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Supercomputers assist in search for new, better cancer drugs

Surgery and radiation remove, kill, or damage cancer cells in a certain area. But chemotherapy—which uses medicines or drugs to treat cancer—can work throughout the whole body, killing cancer cells that have spread far from the original tumor. Finding new drugs that can more effectively kill cancer cells or disrupt the growth of tumors is one way to improve survival rates for ailing patients. Increasingly, researchers looking to uncover and test new drugs use powerful supercomputers like those developed and deployed by the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC). "Advanced computing is a cornerstone of drug design and the theoretical testing of drugs," said Matt Vaughn, TACC's Director of Life Science Computing. "The sheer number of potential combinations that can be screened in parallel before you ever go in the laboratory makes resources like those at TACC invaluable for cancer research." Three projects powered by TACC supercomputer, which use virtual screening, molecular modeling and evolutionary analyses, respectively, to explore chemotherapeutic compounds, exemplify the type of cancer research advanced computing enables. Read more at https://phys.org/news/2017-05-supercomputers-cancer-drugs.html

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