Speeding up data discovery in the fight against cancer
The fight against cancer is leading researchers to delve faster and deeper into the huge amounts of data generated daily in our online lives.
Songhua Xu, assistant professor of information systems in NJIT’s Ying Wu College of Computing, is an expert in web intelligence, and his work could dramatically accelerate progress in the quest to find a cure for cancer.
Dr. Xu’s research shows that cancer mortality trends can be captured quickly, reliably and economically by mining readily available online content, including obituaries. Using breast and lung cancer as test cases, Dr. Xu and his colleagues from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory found a high correlation between their data and official statistics reported by the Centers for Disease Control and the National Cancer Institute, which can take several years to collect, validate and disseminate.
Dr. Xu’s novel big-data approach will help public health officials and policy experts to understand more quickly the impact and effectiveness of new cancer screening and treatment discoveries.