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"Big Data has your number, cancer."Dr. Courtney DiNardo | Cancer Physician & Researcher
Cancer is personal to Dr. Courtney DiNardo. It took her grandmother from her as a child. Yet this event in her life inspired her to learn more about cancer and take it one step further: she was determined to help.
Dr. DiNardo is part of a team at MD Anderson that is using big data technology in the fight against cancer. Says Dr. DiNardo, “We’re using IBM’s Watson to identify patterns to treat patients more effectively.” In effect, the supercomputer collates and analyzes a patient’s clinical and genetic history and then uses MD Anderson’s database to help Dr. DiNardo and team devise the most effective treatments. Additionally, the team is also working on targeted therapies for patients. This means understanding the genetics behind a particular cancer as well as immunotherapies. These are treatments that use the body’s own natural defenses to fight cancer.
“It’s such a positive and optimistic culture around here,” Dr. DiNardo says. “MD Anderson’s infrastructure just seems to make collaboration a natural occurrence. We discover more, faster. And with everyone helping out, it’s impossible to not move the field forward.”