World Cancer Day: Three Ways We’re Fighting Cancer

by Tonie Hansen

Your mother. Your colleague. Maybe even your child. We all know someone cancer has touched. That person might even be you. Two of five people in the United States will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, according to the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

The fight against cancer may have gone global. But for each of us here at NVIDIA, this is personal. It’s an effort that’s engaged NVIDIANs at every level — from bake sales to raise money for cancer-focused nonprofits to supporting some of the world’s most promising cancer research.

Three highlights:

  1. Cancer Moonshot — In November, we announced we’re working with the U.S. National Cancer Institute, the U.S. Department of Energy and several national laboratories to accelerate cancer research.The initiative — known as the Cancer Moonshot, announced by U.S. President Barack Obama during his 2016 State of the Union address — aims to deliver a decade of advances in cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment in five years.The research efforts include a focus on building an AI framework called CANDLE (Cancer Distributed Learning Environment). It will provide a common discovery platform that brings the power of AI to the fight against cancer. CANDLE will be the first AI framework designed to change the way we understand cancer, giving data scientists around the world a powerful new weapon against this disease.

    NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang
    NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang talks about how CANDLE will bring the power of AI to the fight against cancer.
  2. AI for Grand Challenges — We’re working with researchers all over the world to help take on “grand challenges” — ambitious, game-changing efforts that bring the very latest technology to the fight against cancer.January’s Data Science Bowl will pit teams of researchers against one another to develop new AI algorithms that can detect cancerous lung lesions.We’re also working with researchers at Case Western Reserve University, Harvard, Stanford, and Massachusetts General Hospital to bring GPU-driven AI to the fight against breast cancer.And Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Health Data Sciences Institute is using the GPU-powered Titan supercomputer — one of the fastest in the world — to speed up the pace at which cancer statistics are collected and disseminated so researchers can identify ties between demographics and population cancer outcomes faster.
  3. Compute the Cure — The employee-led NVIDIA Foundation has put almost $3 million to work to advance cancer research and care since 2011. This includes our annual $200,000 Compute the Cure grants to researchers using GPUs to accelerate work in cancer diagnostics, treatment and drug design.We also award four $50,000 Compute the Cure cancer care grants to nonprofits providing patient care and support around the world. Our latest grants fund radiotherapy treatment in Kenya, provide music therapy for pediatric patients in the U.S., support pain relief and end-of-life care to the poor in India and help fund the #KnowYourLemons global breast cancer awareness program.

So if you’re part of the fight against cancer, we want to let you know, with World Cancer Day tomorrow, that — whether we’re putting our best tools in the hands of the world’s leading researchers or organizing walk-a-thons or raffles in one of our global offices — we’re in this fight every day, too.

The fight against cancer is an effort that’s engaged NVIDIANs at every level.