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NCI-DOE Collaboration 2020 Virtual Ideas Lab: Towards Building a Cancer Patient 'Digital Twin'

Since 2016, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have been collaborating in the Joint Design of Advanced Computing Solutions for Cancer (JDACS4C) program to simultaneously accelerate advances in predictive oncology and scientific computing. A multidisciplinary community arose from that collaboration and identified aspirational cancer challenges that require shared efforts across cancer research, artificial intelligence, and advanced computing technologies. Digital twin technology is one of those challenges. In July 2020, 30 multidisciplinary scientists participated in a five-day interactive event, the NCI-DOE Collaboration Virtual Ideas Lab: Toward Building a Cancer Patient 'Digital Twin'. They formed new collaborations and created innovative research projects focusing on a digital twin component that, within the next 2-3 years, will advance the development of a model of an individual cancer patient. Six multidisciplinary mentors from government, academia, and industry advised the project teams. Over 130 scientists applied. Participants were selected to create a balance of diverse expertise, career-level and demographics. A digital twin is a computer replica of the systems and processes needed to run simulations without disrupting or harming the real-world object. A digital twin would be a real-life replica of the human body able to show outcomes in the present and future. A cancer patient's digital twin (aka, avatar or virtual patient) could be used as a holistic computer-based model to enable personalized medicine, support cancer research, pre-clinical development, clinical trials, aid diagnosis and support running treatment simulations. The research projects have the potential to lead to disease- and intervention-specific models and simulations, using mathematical, active learning and ensemble model approaches.

Project URL:

Geographic Scope: U.S. and international

Project Status: Complete - not recruiting volunteers

Participation Tasks: Learning, Measurement, Observation,

Start Date: 04/07/2020

Project Contact:

Federal Government Sponsor:

NIH logo

Other Federal Government Sponsor: Department of Energy (DOE)

Fields of Science: Biology, Chemistry, Computers and technology, Health and medicine, Physics

Intended Outcomes: Develop innovative research projectsto advance the development of a model of an individual cancer patient and lead to disease and intervention-specific models and simulations.