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Daring to make a difference

  • Written by Matthew Hurford, Area VP & Managing Director, ANZ at NetApp

The Children’s Cancer Institute (CCI) has been researching childhood cancer for more than 35 years and has become an internationally recognised leader in the field. Its Zero Childhood Cancer Program (ZERO), launched in 2017, is Australia’s world-leading precision medicine program for children.

As Australia's only independent medical institute wholly dedicated to childhood cancer, CCI’s research initiatives are critical and have proven track-record in discoveries that directly impact on children’s treatment and survival. To solve the complex problem of childhood cancer, CCI need the best available tools to manage its vast amount of research data to help improve the lives of children and their families.

Its world-class research has made an important contribution towards improving science’s understanding of cancer in children. CCI runs a cloud-based containerised pipeline, developed in-house, to analyse each patient’s genomic makeup to improve outcomes.

This massive amount of information analysis requires one Terabyte of data (TB) for every child and takes around 27 hours to process real-time. To put it into perspective, one terabyte can store the equivalent of over 200,000 novel-length books.

Not only does each patient dataset require a huge amount of storage but is also extremely sensitive in-nature, requiring best-in-class management.

For over five years, NetApp has proudly been delivering its data analytics and management solutions to help its world-class team to make better informed decisions for their research datasets.

As CCI continued to expand is operations and research initiatives, it required a commercial data centre to properly store and analyse patient data with a scalable system.

The challenge to understand the genetic basis of paediatric cancer means that CCI collaborates with partners around the world to share data, presenting a significant data science challenge.

The data fabric components of NetApp means that CCI could seamlessly share, access, and analyse data generated in Sydney with data generated around the world through the cloud.

This year, CEOs and business leaders across Australia are walking the walk and facing their fears in joining CCI’s CEO Dare to Cure fundraising initiative. I am a proud ambassador of the program and together with CCI, NetApp has a shared vision to combat childhood cancer and improve outcomes for young patients.

Last year, CEO Dare to Cure raised a whopping $1.5M and every 84 cents of every dollar spent within the institute was spent directly on dedicated research to help cure childhood cancer.

This year’s dares include:

  • Bugs for Breakfast

  • The Snake Bath Challenge

  • Tattoos live in public

The live events will take place in Melbourne on the 20th of October and in Sydney on the 27th of October.

Read more about the initiative here: About - CEO Dare to Cure | Children's Cancer Institute.

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