Thursday, September 4, 2014

Supercomputer Simulations Help Gain Insight into New Cancer Treatment Technology

A recent release from the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) sheds light on one of the research programs that is being supported, or better say enabled, by the TACC powerful supercomputer, one of the fastest machines in the world. Using supercomputer simulations on TACC's “Lonestar”  system, researchers are able to model radiation in a magnetic field, which will facilitate the safe use of the MRI-linac and enable more effective cancer treatment.

The research is being done by the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.  According to the team working on it, the new solution they develop unites radiation therapy and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), allowing physicians to view the cancer tumor in real-time and in high detail during treatment. It also permits physicians to adapt the radiation treatment during the procedure, sparing healthy tissue and reducing side effects.

To develop the system, the MD team utilize the TACC supercomputer to ran complex simulations. A great use for the supercomputing power. TACC system was build using the most flexible architecture of a cluster, a combination of CPUs and co-processors and InfiniBand for the connectivity. A great example of a standard based system and an example on why there is no reason to use proprietary products for supercomputers. You can read more on TACC systems at I enjoy using them too.

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