Computer Scientists May Have What It Takes to Help Cure Cancer

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 08, 2011 6:54 PM GMT
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/06/science/david-patterson-enlist-computer-scientists-in-cancer-fight.html?_r=1&ref=science

    The Big Data research challenge is to develop technology that can obtain timely and cost-effective answers to Big Data questions. A Berkeley team of eight faculty members and 40 Ph.D. students is rising to that challenge via three initiatives: inventing algorithms based on statistical machine learning; harnessing many machines in the cloud; and developing crowd-sourcing techniques to get people to help answer questions that prove too hard for our algorithms and machines.

    Algorithms, machines and people gave our new lab its name: the AMP Lab.

    AMP technology could help the war on cancer. It needs new algorithms to find those needles in haystacks. To process genome data faster and more cheaply, the war needs new infrastructure to use many machines in the cloud simultaneously. And it needs to be able to engage the wisdom of the crowd when the problems of cancer genome discovery and diagnosis are beyond our algorithms and machines.

    It may have been true once that expertise in computer science was needed only by computer scientists. But Big Data has shown us that’s no longer the case. It is entirely possible that we have the skill sets needed now to fight cancer and to advance sciences in myriad other ways.

    The night after we made that argument, I awoke in the middle of the night with this question etched into my mind: Given that millions of people do have and will get cancer, if there is a chance that computer scientists may have the best skill set to fight cancer today, as moral people aren’t we obligated to try?
  • Montague

    Posts: 5205

    Dec 08, 2011 10:40 PM GMT
    This seems very promising !
  • trevchaser

    Posts: 237

    Dec 09, 2011 12:03 AM GMT
    http://www.youtube.com/movie?v=DoUl7F7dWdE&feature=mv_sr

    Dying To Have Known

    Documentary filmmaker Stephen Kroschel asks whether the long-suppressed form of cancer treatment known as Gerson Therapy could truly be as effective as some cancer survivors claim in this film that offers a wide array of testimonies from medical specialists, health experts, and patients. More than seventy five years after being proven to cure degenerative disease, Gerson Therapy is still virtually unknown to the masses - but why? In order to seek out an answer to this question, Kroschel travels across both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, across the United States, and through Japan, Holland, and Mexico to speak with a wide variety of scientists, nutritionists, surgeons, and patients who have witnessed the powerful effects of Gerson Therapy firsthand.
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    Dec 09, 2011 2:52 AM GMT
    well i think this will lead to a cure...but..i hate to sound like a weirdo..but here goes...if we cure everything..and people eventually live to be 150-200 years old...can the Earth sustain them all?...what if ,as one scientist believes,that we have the potential to live to be 500 to 1000 years old?...how would the earth feed them all?...also,here is the ethical devil....would doctors be able to choose who gets to live and who gets to die? curing cancer would be great...as long as ALL patients can get access to the cure,and it isn't something only the elite can get.............
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 09, 2011 2:56 AM GMT
    Hey, I'm a computer sci grad! Yeay for us nerds! Thanks the post icon_biggrin.gif
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    Dec 09, 2011 5:49 AM GMT
    This is pretty much what I do all day when I'm not on RealJock icon_smile.gif

    It's a very exciting time in the field, new things happening every day!
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    Dec 09, 2011 8:05 AM GMT
    A good friend of mine runs that lab with Patterson. They do cool stuff.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Dec 09, 2011 8:48 AM GMT
    trevchaser saidhttp://www.youtube.com/movie?v=DoUl7F7dWdE&feature=mv_sr

    Dying To Have Known

    Documentary filmmaker Stephen Kroschel asks whether the long-suppressed form of cancer treatment known as Gerson Therapy could truly be as effective as some cancer survivors claim in this film that offers a wide array of testimonies from medical specialists, health experts, and patients. More than seventy five years after being proven to cure degenerative disease, Gerson Therapy is still virtually unknown to the masses - but why? In order to seek out an answer to this question, Kroschel travels across both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, across the United States, and through Japan, Holland, and Mexico to speak with a wide variety of scientists, nutritionists, surgeons, and patients who have witnessed the powerful effects of Gerson Therapy firsthand.


    "Gerson's therapy has not been independently tested or subjected to randomized controlled trials, and thus is illegal to market in the United States. The Gerson Institute promotes the therapy by citing patient testimonials and other anecdotal evidence. In his 1958 book, Gerson cited the "Results of 50 Cases"; however, the U.S. National Cancer Institute reviewed these 50 cases and was unable to find any evidence that Gerson's claims were accurate. Gerson Institute staff published a case series in the alternative medical literature; however, the series suffered from significant methodological flaws, and no independent entity has been able to reproduce the Gerson Institute's claims.

    Anecdotal evidence collected outside the Gerson Institute suggests that the Therapy is not effective against cancer. When a group of 13 patients sickened by elements of the Gerson Therapy were evaluated in hospitals in San Diego in the early 1980s, all 13 were found to still have active cancer. The Gerson Institute's claimed "cure rates" have been questioned; an investigation by Quackwatch found that the Institute's claims of cure were based not on actual documentation of survival, but on "a combination of the doctor's estimate that the departing patient has a 'reasonable chance of surviving', plus feelings that the Institute staff have about the status of people who call in." In 1994, a study published in the alternative medical literature described 18 patients treated for cancer with the Gerson Therapy. Their median survival from treatment was 9 months. Five years after receiving the Gerson treatment, 17 of the 18 patients had died of their cancer, while the one surviving patient had active non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

    The American Cancer Society reports that "[t]here is no reliable scientific evidence that Gerson therapy is effective in treating cancer, and the principles behind it are not widely accepted by the medical community. It is not approved for use in the United States." In 1947, the National Cancer Institute reviewed 10 "cures" submitted by Gerson; however, all of the patients were receiving standard anticancer treatment simultaneously, making it impossible to determine what effect, if any, was due to Gerson's therapy. A review of the Gerson Therapy by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center concluded: "If proponents of such therapies wish them to be evaluated scientifically and considered valid adjuvant treatments, they must provide extensive records (more than simple survival rates) and conduct controlled, prospective studies as evidence." In 1947 and 1959, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) reviewed the cases of a total of 60 patients treated by Dr. Gerson. The NCI found that the available information did not prove the regimen had benefit.

    Gerson therapy can lead to several significant health problems. Serious illness and death have occurred as a direct result of some portions of the treatment, including severe electrolyte imbalances. Continued use of enemas may weaken the colon's normal function, causing or worsening constipation and colitis. Other complications have included dehydration, serious infections and severe bleeding.

    The therapy may be especially hazardous to pregnant or breast-feeding women.

    Coffee enemas have contributed to the deaths of at least three people in the United States. Coffee enemas "can cause colitis (inflammation of the bowel), fluid and electrolyte imbalances, and in some cases septicaemia." The recommended diet may not be nutritionally adequate. The diet has been blamed for the deaths of patients who substituted it for standard medical care.

    Relying on the therapy alone while avoiding or delaying conventional medical care for cancer has serious health consequences

    In 2008, a documentary film advocating Gerson therapy was released titled The Beautiful Truth. In the film, a teenage boy, who is also the filmmaker's son, searching for a cure for cancer, finds people who know about Gerson therapy. The film was released on November 18, 2008, and was shown at the Roxie Cinema in San Francisco on January 9, 2009. The New York Times called the film an infomercial. The film had a U.S. total gross of $15,387 playing in one theater."
  • trevchaser

    Posts: 237

    Dec 11, 2011 9:32 AM GMT
    Can you link me to that article please? icon_smile.gif I know that every story has two sides so that's great! icon_smile.gif

    I heard that in the USA, traditional western medicine deems a person cured of cancer as long as they survive treatment for at least 5 years. After 5 years if they die it doesn't matter.

    I've also heard that there are hundreds of thousands of deaths per year using pharmatceutical drugs minus the people who have overdosed and used the medicine outside of their prescribed dosage. I know a lot of friends who have had serious side effects from drugs yet it's still legal to take it because the gov't deems it safe.

    So if both sides are true it really doesn't matter what anyone says because both are killing people at rates that are unheard of until media brings it up.

    If only the world would work together on solving problems instead of count their yearly billion dollar profits, we'd have an uncorrupted system of health. Oh well I guess we just have to go by what our body feels is right!