IBM and the New York Genome Center announced a new project using Watson to recommend personalized treatments for cancer patients.
IBM and the NYGC will test a Watson prototype designed specifically for genomic research, parsing the genomic data of individual patients and recommending treatments to oncologists.
NYGC’s CEO Robert Darnell called the program “not purely clinical and not purely research,” in an interview with Ars Technica. He said that the project would start with 20 to 25 patients who are suffering from glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer with a poor prognosis.
Watson will (through a cloud-based connection) analyze DNA and RNA data in addition to biomedical literature and drug databases, figuring out which mutations are distinct to a patient’s tumor, what protein networks they affect, and which specific drugs target proteins that are part of those networks.