The German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) Wants to Use A Quantum Computer to Develop Individually Effective Treatments Against Cancer
(InnovationOrigins) The German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) wants to use the quantum computer in Ehningen, Germany to develop individually effective treatments against cancer in the future.
Cancer patients often accumulate up to 100 terabytes of individual, usually very heterogeneous data in the course of their disease history: Blood and tumor values, personal indicators, sequencing and therapy data, and much more. So far, this information in its abundance can hardly be used efficiently due to a lack of suitable processing mechanisms.
This means promising personalized therapy approaches in many cases never get off the drawing board. Instead, patients receive standard treatment. The German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg now wants to advance research in this field with the help of quantum computing.
“We want to explore how we can systematically process and use such heterogeneous data with a quantum computer to find new, more targeted pathways for patients for whom immunotherapies are less effective. Ultimately, the overarching question is: Which patient can benefit from which therapy?” says Dr. Niels Halama, Division Head of Translational Immunotherapy at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and senior physician at the National Center for Tumor Diseases.
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Halama attaches great importance to three things when working with the quantum computer: data protection, speed and flexibility. The scientists are still working with test data, but if real patient data is used in the future, “it’s a big plus that the Ehningen quantum computer runs under German data protection law and the data remains local,” he says.