A new cancer database containing 1.7 billion experimental results will utilise artificial intelligence similar to the technology used to predict the weather to discover the cancer treatments of the future.
The system, called CanSAR, is the biggest disease database of its kind anywhere in the world and condenses more data than would be generated by 1 million years of use of the Hubble space telescope.
It is launched today (Monday, 11 November, 2013) and has been developed by researchers at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, using funding from Cancer Research UK.
The new CanSAR database is more than double the size of a previous version and has been designed to cope with a huge expansion of data on cancer brought about by advances in DNA sequencing and other technologies.
The resource is being made freely available by The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and Cancer Research UK, and will help researchers worldwide make use of vast quantities of data, including data from patients, clinical trials and genetic, biochemical and pharmacological research.
Although the prototype of CanSAR was on a much smaller scale, it attracted 26,000 unique users in more than 70 countries around the world, and earlier this year was used to identify 46 potentially 'druggable' cancer proteins that had previously been overlooked*.
Peer-reviewed scientific paper (NAR) about CanSAR: