Powering the Possible for Pediatric Cancer – NMTRC Symposium Recap

Late last year, Dell launched its first Children’s Cancer Care Program as part of our commitment to Powering the Possible. Through a groundbreaking collaboration with the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and the Neuroblastoma and Mudulablastoma Translational Research Consortium (NMTRC), we are using high performance computing and cloud collaboration technology to reduce the time it takes to identify personalized treatment plans for children with cancer. Here’s a blog post and the press release for more background.

Recently we accomplished a critical step towards this goal, decreasing the time it takes to perform genomic analysis on a patient’s tumor from seven days to less than one. Six days may not sound like a long time, but if you are waiting on these results to start therapy for a critically ill child that’s a big deal!

As a part of this ongoing commitment, we were honored to host the NMTRC Symposium at Dell Children’s Medical Center last week. This event brought together leading researchers, physicians and families of children with cancer to share the latest trends in medical science and technology being utilized to fight this disease in children.


Here are some key takeaways:

  • Survivability statistics for children with cancer have not improved in over 20 years. New approaches are required to improve the outlook for these children.
  • Molecularly guided therapy uses genomic profiling of tumor cells and databases of known treatments to help choose a therapy specifically targeted at an individual’s disease. This approach represents a significant step forward and creates therapies that are tumor cell specific, minimally toxic and highly effective.
  • The human genome has more than 3.2 billion data points – processing and analyzing these data quickly enough for effective treatment in children is a key challenge
  • High performance computing, high speed networks, storage and cloud collaboration technology are required to turn genomic data into actionable information that will enable physicians to provide genomics based medicine to children in record time.

Also, Texas State Senator Kirk Watson noted that Dell technology is helping doctors use genetic analysis to create personalized medicine plans for children with cancer, highlighting that the technology will likely be a part of how other forms of cancer and chronic diseases will be treated in the future.

Thanks to @TGen and @NMTRC for allowing us to host this amazing event. We look forward to continuing the collaboration and making a difference for these kids. Be sure to check out the pictures and videos of the event on our Flickr page, read the press release here.

You can also watch the On the Case video case study series here.

About the Author: Kurt Stonecipher