21 February 2018
The DreamLab app, developed by the Vodafone Foundation in partnership with the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, allows your smartphone to crunch data for two cancer research projects, speeding up the research process. Overnight, DreamLab has achieved an exciting achievement, the completion of the first research project.
Project Decode — the first of two cancer research projects running on the DreamLab app — aims to understand cancer based on a patient’s DNA profile, rather than the tissue in which their cancer started (in this case, breast, ovarian, prostate and pancreatic cancers).
“Project Decode reaching 100% complete on DreamLab is an exciting milestone,” says Dr Warren Kaplan, Chief of Informatics at the Garvan Institute.
Researchers at the Garvan Institute have already begun to analyse the data. According to Kaplan, “We are excited to already be seeing some interesting patterns that we will explore further. In June we plan to report our findings in a research publication. In order to encourage others to explore the data, explore our analytical methods, and possibly improve on them, we plan to make all the code and data publicly available for anyone to use.”
Sarah McGorman is living with cancer, “As a cancer patient for 21 years I have had plenty of moments waiting for research to find solutions to my rare cancer. It can feel like a long slow wait. Participating in medical research helps me cope with the uncertainty of my disease and prognosis… Powering the DreamLab app each night gives me a sense of contributing to the research, albeit in the smallest possible way. If I can help the researchers get their data one day faster by powering DreamLab, then it is worth it.”
More than 122,000 DreamLab users completed Project Decode in half the time it would have taken computing infrastructure at the Garvan Institute. The DreamLab community crunched 25 million research calculations in triplicate (to validate the results) – 75 million calculations in total.
DreamLab still has another project – Project Genetic Profile – which will calculate genetic similarities between brain, lung, melanoma and sarcoma cancers. Download DreamLab on iOS from App Store and for Android on the Google Play store.