• New hope for rare childhood diseases

    How high-performance computing helps answer the question ‘Can you treat my child?’

      • For six years, Dell has joined TGen at the bedside of pediatric cancer patients. The key to treating them lies somewhere in the vast number of data points that make up the human genome. Dell Technologies has invested over $40 million in funding, technology, and expertise to help TGen find those answers.

        With the right data, TGen doctors can prescribe the right treatments, saving their patients’ little bodies from lots of ineffective drugs and harsh side effects. Our high-performance computing delivers that data at incredible speed, so TGen doctors can make treatment decisions in hours instead of weeks.

        That’s not just better for patients. It’s also a huge relief for families to know what the health issue is, and that their child is receiving the best possible treatment from day one.

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      Stories of hope

      Having a child born with a health problem turns a parent’s world upside down. And when that problem is too rare to be diagnosed as a specific disorder, it starts a long, lonely search for answers.

      The Rankin family’s search started in 2005 when they noticed that their baby, Beorn, couldn’t track objects with his eyes. Then he began having severe seizures. After a decade of tests and worry, the Rankins still didn’t know what his future held. Finally, their quest for answers brought them to the Translational Genomic Research Institute (TGen). There, researchers analyzed Beorn’s genetic data with the Dell Genomic Data Analysis Platform.

      This enabled them to diagnose Beorn with a rare DNM1 gene mutation. While there is no cure, the diagnosis is a much longed-for breakthrough.

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      More progress towards revolutionary new treatments

      In FY16, Dell’s support enabled TGen and Beat Childhood Cancer to launch the world’s first Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved precision medicine trial that applies upfront molecular guided therapy in combination with standard chemotherapy at the point of pediatric cancer’s diagnosis.

      This is a new approach, as molecular guided therapy has typically been applied only after patients’ tumors have proven resistant to more traditional therapies. This both saves time and saves patients from the harmful effects of ineffective drugs.

      TGen and its partner, City of Hope, are pioneering research in other areas as well. They have developed innovative new ways to isolate multiple cancer types, Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders, as well as rare childhood diseases. Yet this is only the beginning. We are extremely excited to see what further breakthroughs our technology, funding and partnership will enable.

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      Life Care: powering India's healthcare revolution

      We use our technology to support healthcare workers in rural India; discover how