13:00 11 November 2013
British scientists have launched the world’s largest cancer database designed to revolutionise the search for cancer cure.
The database, which uses computer programs similar to those that are used to forecast the weather, can quickly process 1.7 billion experimental results and make them available to researchers all over the world free of charge.
Dr Bissan Al-Lazikani, a member of the CanSAR team, said: “The database is capable of extraordinarily complex virtual experiments drawing on information from patients, genetics, chemistry and other laboratory research.
“It can spot opportunities for future cancer treatments that no human eye could be expected to see.”
“The problem is, the more of these gold mines of raw material that we have, the more important the following question becomes: how do we bridge the gap from this raw knowledge to drugs for patients?
“CanSAR links such raw gold mines of genetic data to a whole raft of independent chemistry, biology, patient data and disease information.
“It then uses sophisticated computer machinery and artificial intelligence to draw paths of knowledge between them, predict risks and opportunities and make suggestions that can be tested in the lab and take us closer to a drug.”