Home Science Health NICTA applies IT to prostate cancer research

A cross-disciplinary team including researchers from NICTA, the University of Melbourne, and the Epworth and Royal Melbourne hospitals will look for a way to use genetic information to determine whether prostate cancer sufferers have the aggressive form of the disease.

A team of Melbourne-based researchers have been awarded a $670,000 NMHRC grant to develop techniques to analyse genetic information in order to identify lethal prostate cancers from less aggressive forms of the disease, potentially allowing more targeted treatments.

Eight patients have already donated to the project cancerous tissue from the prostate and bones at different stages of the disease.

Gene sequencing and other investigations generate terabytes of data for analysis, and researchers from NICTA's Victoria Research Laboratory are developing new algorithms and coordinating the processing.

"This project bridges computing and medicine and gives us the capacity to process the data into meaningful biology," said Associate Professor Christopher Hovens, director of scientific research at the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre.

Movember, the annual prostate cancer and male mental health awareness and fundraising event, is currently in full swing.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences, a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies, and is a senior member of the Australian Computer Society.

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