C-DAC to facilitate cancer research

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December 09, 2010

It will be the nodal centre for Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid sponsored by the National Cancer Institute of the US

The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) will augment and facilitate cancer care and research programme in India by modifying the Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (caBIG) sponsored by the National Cancer Institute of the US.

caBIG is an informal network enabling all constituencies in the cancer community. Addressing reporters here on Wednesday, on the eve of the two-day meet on caBIG, the executive director C-DAC, Hemant Darbari, said despite improvement in healthcare and medical technology, cancer still remains a challenging disease affecting people worldwide.

"C-DAC's association with caBIG will ensure the virtual network of interconnected data on cancer research. C-DAC will be a nodal centre for the grid in India,'' he added. C-DAC is the R&D arm of the department of information technology functioning under the Union Ministry of Communications and information Technology.

"The grid will help cancer researchers garner information about clinical research, imaging, molecular biology and pathology. It will also be connected with the National Knowledge Network,'' he said. Stating that C-DAC wants more research institutes to join the grid, Darbari said C-DAC would give certification to research institutes joining the grid within India as well as from other countries.

In reply to a query, C-DAC has accepted the multilingual approach as there is a large demand in America for the research to be available in Spanish. "Among Indian languages, we will have information in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam, apart from Spanish and Arabic as of now," he said.

C-DAC's senior director (high performance computing), PK Sinha said, "A virtual group for cancer research has been formed. C-DAC is also part of the biomedical alternate therapies used for diagnosis, treatment, cure and research in cancer.''

C-DAC has also designed tools that could be valuable for drug research. Project coordinator Medha Dhurangdhar said, "The alternative therapies in cancer are Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, homeopathy and Chinese traditional medicines. However, Ayurveda is more focussed as it is a personalised treatment,'' she said.