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Old 05-15-2013, 06:56 AM   #7
Devon Ryan
Location: Freiburg, Germany

Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 3,480

Originally Posted by briandc View Post
If the computer can be made to "see" on the cellular level, then it doesn't even require an genetic understanding, but only some characteristic of the cancer cell: shape, color, size, whatever.

The key is to "teach" the app/computer to "see" the sick cells. That is all.

Much of the difficulty is in the fact that every cancer is different, though there can be similarities that can be exploited. If you have a surface marker, then you could develop some sort of nano device to target that. Short of that, you'll either need to get into the cells or have something that just sits around and waits for cells to start dividing quickly or monitors energy usage or oxygenation or some other marker. I know that people are working on various nano-related things, though I don't think we're to the point where we can develop anything useful yet.

Another question becomes, what should the computer "see"? There are a lot of possible marker for it to look at, and if you pick the wrong one (or use the wrong algorithm) your treatment will simply kill the patient.

Also, your "that is all" is laughably simplistic. Most of us here are quite proficient at programming, so we can tell you that that will prove exceedingly complex. There are many people working on new cancer treatments, but drugs and surgery are going to be needed for quite a while still.

Cancer is hard, there is no magic bullet to its treatment.
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