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Computers fight pancreatic cancer
The Engineer Online ^ | 4/26/05

Posted on 04/26/2005 12:32:03 PM PDT by LibWhacker

The researchers behind the Screensaver-Lifesaver project – which uses the ‘idle time’ of millions of computers worldwide to screen for anti-cancer drugs – are now turning their attention to fighting pancreatic cancer.

The Screensaver-Lifesaver project is run out of the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR) Centre for Computational Drug Discovery under the direction of Professor Graham Richards, Chairman of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Oxford.

In a recent joint statement with the NFCR and Dr. Daniel Von Hoff of the Center for Targeted Cancer Therapies at the University of Arizona and the Translational Genomics Research Institute, Professor Richards described how the new collaborative research project will target developing cancer drugs to fight one of the world’s most deadly cancer types, pancreatic cancer.

Using the screensaver technology, several newly identified protein targets related to the development of pancreatic cancer will now be screened against more than 3.5 million drug-like molecules as potential drug candidates.

‘The success of our cancer research programme based on the computational drug design programme has been very encouraging to this point. Over 10% of our hits in a pilot study are genuine drug target candidates, much better than the pharmaceutical industry expected,’ said Professor Richards.

Over 3 million computer users in over 200 countries now donate more than 10,000 hours of volunteer computer time to cancer research each month. The project is powered by Peer-to-Peer technology provided by United Devices and in silico simulation software from Accelrys, a similar technology platform for the Screensaver-Lifesaver project launched in 2001.

Individuals interested in participating can download the free screen saver at www.NFCR.org and click on the download screensaver button. The screen saver will run in the background on a user’s computer while the computer is idle and when connected to an internet connection, the user’s computer will download a target molecule and run the Ligandfit programme against a database of molecules.

When finished, the computer will then upload the results back to the central servers and download a new assignment.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Technical
KEYWORDS: cancer; computers; computing; distributed; health; healthcare; lifesaver; pancreatic; project; screensaver
Apologies if I shouldn't be posting this here. It just seemed like a worthy project that might help beat a vicious killer.
1 posted on 04/26/2005 12:32:07 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker; El Gato; JudyB1938; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Robert A. Cook, PE; lepton; LadyDoc; jb6; ...

FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.


2 posted on 04/26/2005 12:37:18 PM PDT by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: LibWhacker

the only downside I see is that Al Gore will take credit for this if it is successful


3 posted on 04/26/2005 12:40:48 PM PDT by ghost of nixon
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To: LibWhacker

I didn't even know computers had pancreases.


4 posted on 04/26/2005 12:42:23 PM PDT by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: dead

Drat, you beat me to it.


5 posted on 04/26/2005 12:43:40 PM PDT by Buggman (Baruch ata Adonai, Elohanu Mehlech ha Olam, asher nathan lanu et derech ha y’shua b’Mashiach Yeshua.)
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To: LibWhacker

"Computers fight pancreatic cancer"

I hope the computers win. Way too many
tears have been shed because of this disease.


6 posted on 04/26/2005 12:46:40 PM PDT by righttackle44 (The most dangerous weapon in the world is a Marine with his rifle and the American people behind him)
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To: dead

You mean to tell me that you've never checked your computer's lipase and amylase levels?


7 posted on 04/26/2005 12:48:39 PM PDT by Born Conservative ("Mr. Chamberlain loves the working man, he loves to see him work" - Winston Churchill)
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To: righttackle44

Yes, it took my Dad.


8 posted on 04/26/2005 12:51:03 PM PDT by rightazrain (Uh-til-uh's twin sister)
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To: LibWhacker
I hope the computers win. Way too many tears have been shed because of this disease. this is such a worthwhile use of your computer's idle time. Between friends and family and business associate we have donated over 6 years of CPU time on about 40 installations. I really recommend telling friends and family about this.
9 posted on 04/26/2005 12:54:51 PM PDT by liberty2004
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To: rightazrain
Mine too. 7/19/2004

Hell of a disease.

10 posted on 04/26/2005 12:58:25 PM PDT by whd23
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To: liberty2004

So you have done this? What type of connection do you ned for the peer to peer network (is high speed required)? I am interested.


11 posted on 04/26/2005 12:58:54 PM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
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To: whd23

I hear once a person has pancreatic cancer or cancer that spreads to the pancrease, then thats pretty much it, barring a miracle. I have friends who have (and had) it.
Does it seem like there is more cancer in the news, or is it just me?


12 posted on 04/26/2005 1:00:47 PM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
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To: RedBloodedAmerican
So you have done this? What type of connection do you ned for the peer to peer network (is high speed required)? I am interested.

dial up or high speed. The downloads are not large files. It is an easy setup. You can configure systems to run it "full time," as a screen saver or set a schedule. At work we have some systems run from 5pm-7am weekdays and full time on weekends. On some systems we run it full time because the systems aren't adversely affected (since they are mainly used for word processing)You can tailor a schedule for any times you desire. .

My nephew survived cancer. I lost my dad to cancer, so the little I can do to help is rewarding. From other articles I read, there are many good results expected from this project.

13 posted on 04/26/2005 1:06:00 PM PDT by liberty2004
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To: LibWhacker

Bump.


14 posted on 04/26/2005 1:07:40 PM PDT by Rocko
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To: RedBloodedAmerican
I can't speak to cancer that starts somewhere other than the pancreas and then reaches the pancreas, but pancreatic cancer is extremely aggressive and does not respond to treatment for most people. The survival rates for PC are very low; I can't tell you how many people have died weeks after DX.

My Dad went to NIH in Maryland in an effort to have the cancer surgically removed, but when they opened him up they found two small spots on his liver that hadn't shown up on the C.T. scan, they later tested positive for PC and so he was disqualified for any further surgical treatments. He then participated in a Stage-II chemotherapy trial from 12/2003 until 6/2004 when his C.T. scan showed that the PC was spreading again. He died 5 weeks later at home.

15 posted on 04/26/2005 1:09:35 PM PDT by whd23
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To: LibWhacker; All

I first learned about United Devices through a Reader's Digest article. UD is a fantastic program that runs in the background and takes up very little memory. I've had it for three years now.


16 posted on 04/26/2005 1:13:55 PM PDT by Genesis defender (Let prayer be your steering wheel, not your spare tire.)
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To: liberty2004

I have cable modem that is tweaked so I get very fast speeds, according to dslreports. I have about 10GB drive space available to offer, the drive is 7400rpm scsi and about 384 MB ram. Think it would help? I may contact them.


17 posted on 04/26/2005 1:17:56 PM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
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To: LibWhacker
This interested me because my Mother is in the final stages of pancreatic cancer.

I loaded the program but the current project is about the human genome and the proteins each gene expresses.

I uninstalled the program.
18 posted on 04/26/2005 1:18:38 PM PDT by Yo-Yo
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To: LibWhacker

BTTT. Thanks for posting this.

Since late 2003, two people I know - an old friend from work, and my electrician - have died from this disease.

I was shocked by how quickly they died.


19 posted on 04/26/2005 1:19:03 PM PDT by Constitution Day (RIP - - Carlton Ramsey and Woody Booth)
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To: LibWhacker

Hey, I use that! It runs on two of my PCs while they're idle.


20 posted on 04/26/2005 1:22:14 PM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: whd23

Sorry to hear that. I know the survival rate is very, very low for cancer of the pancrease. I had a freind who was a pastor locally who went to the NIH. They are very good, I hear. I have a family member who is qualified for StageIV trials whenever they want (or need) to with either Mayo or Moffitt. I can NOT imagine being an oncologist. A friend of mine is one and he started out working on children and had to switch to adults because of the heartbreak. He would not have lasted had he stayed a pediatric oncologist. Ugh. Too much cancer talk today for one forum.


21 posted on 04/26/2005 1:23:29 PM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
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To: RedBloodedAmerican
Think it would help? I may contact them yes, definitely. Download and try it. you can always uninstall it. It is a shame that so many computers go idle doing nothing when instead they could donate the CPU cycles and do something that can fight cancer. Here is a link that further explains the project. http://www.grid.org/projects/cancer/about.htm
22 posted on 04/26/2005 1:45:43 PM PDT by liberty2004
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To: liberty2004

thanks.


23 posted on 04/26/2005 1:46:52 PM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
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To: LibWhacker
There's another project out of Stanford University called f@h (folding proteins). I've had their process running in background for several months now. See: http://folding.stanford.edu/

These research projects don't need high speed bandwidth but prefer a 7x24 or at least daily internet connection, 256MB RAM and a high speed processor.

24 posted on 04/26/2005 2:05:53 PM PDT by Procyon
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To: rightazrain
My Dad also.64 years old.5 months from diagnosis to passing.

It was a bad way to go.The only good thing, versus instant death like a heart attack or something,was I got to visit him often and tell him everything I should have said many times years before.The last week was a bitch.

25 posted on 04/26/2005 2:10:51 PM PDT by builder (I don't want a piece of someone else's pie)
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To: Yo-Yo
I'm not sure about this, but I think they're looking at billions of molecules, folding them various ways, and then checking to see if they'll bind well with certain "target proteins" that are associated with various cancers. So participants can't work on just one particular cancer of their choosing. I think pancreatic cancer was just recently added to their list.

I don't understand it, that's for sure, lol! But I may sign up for it and drop SETI@home. I love SETI, but it has plenty of volunteers by now!

26 posted on 04/26/2005 2:19:10 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker
From the Grid.org site that explains the current project:

Current Project: Human Proteome Folding
United Devices has begun a new and exciting research project -- the Human Proteome Folding Project -- in collaboration with the Institute for Systems Biology, the University of Washington, and IBM Corporation.

Now you can volunteer your computer's excess compute resources to take on one of modern science's greatest challenges: Unraveling the protein structures hidden inside the Human Genome.

The Human Proteome Folding Project analyzes sequence data from the Human Genome to predict how the proteins coded there are likely to function. Since proteins directly affect human health and are key targets in developing disease treatments, understanding their structure and function is critical. At present only a fraction of human protein structures are known -- this project seeks to dramatically increase that number and make the data available to scientists for further study by the end of 2005.

General research, very valuable, but not specifically targeted at cancer research. I'll reconsider installing it, but I'd hate to be donating computer time so some corporation can develop a better Viagra.
27 posted on 04/26/2005 4:52:30 PM PDT by Yo-Yo
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To: Yo-Yo
I'll reconsider installing it, but I'd hate to be donating computer time so some corporation can develop a better Viagra.

I'm with you on that! If I'm going to help a company make a zillion dollars, I damned well expect a cut of it. At the moment I can't figure out if this Proteome Folding project has anything at all to do with Prof. Richards cancer work?

I downloaded the software but haven't installed it yet. I don't have a whole lot of time to look into stuff like this (takes away from my recreational internet surfing and game playing :-)), but I'll install it later and try to take a careful look at it, thanks!

28 posted on 04/26/2005 5:32:58 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker

There are teams on the site that one can join. And there is a FreeRepublic team!


29 posted on 04/26/2005 5:35:46 PM PDT by Redcloak (But what do I know? I'm just a right-wing nut in his PJs whackin' on a keyboard..)
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To: Yo-Yo

They should give shares


30 posted on 04/27/2005 12:18:25 AM PDT by Roots (www.GOPatUCR.com - - College Republicans at the University of California, Riverside)
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To: LibWhacker

An old friend told me that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The good news was that his doctors were going to try some promising new drugs. I tend to be an optimist. I called back in a couple of weeks and he was already dead. Ever since then I have wished that I had just dropped everything and travelled to visit him.


31 posted on 04/27/2005 1:17:02 AM PDT by wideminded
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To: wideminded

I'm sorry about your friend. It's a horrible and swift killer. I never realized it myself until my wife's mom died of it. Then we got to listen to "experimental treatment" pitch that everyone hears when they get some horrible disease. We went for it. But it did no good at all, of course, and might actually have made things worse for her.


32 posted on 04/27/2005 1:30:40 AM PDT by LibWhacker
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