At IBM, cancer is seen as an information science challenge

We apply information science principals to massive amounts of disparate data generated by individuals and industry research, to help identify treatment options for complex health conditions, such as cancer.

Artificial Intelligence can be your oncologist’s most powerful tool

AI systems can be used to ingest massive amounts of multi-modal data, then statistically analyze it for insights. This support can help doctors focus on what human experts do well: applying years of experience, judgment and wisdom to making decisions.

Applications of AI in healthcare

Searching for similarities for treatment planning

Longitudinal medical records, and associated treatment plans and outcomes can be fed into an AI system to build its knowledge base. Applying machine and deep learning to that data set -- in context with unstructured text from individual patient records -- the AI system could find similarities between a current patient and other patients who've already been treated and had the preferred outcome.


A second set of eyes

AI methodologies such as deep learning can process diagnostic imaging data, using their ability to learn from massive amounts of data to discern the subtle patterns and changes between images that may escape human eyes. For a computer, pictures are just a string of numbers, so changes over time -- such as those found in a yearly mammogram -- could be more easily detected.


Every doctor could be the best doctor

Between published literature, clinical studies and patient trials, it’s not possible for individual doctors to study all relevant, available information. By feeding an AI system that information, the insights derived from that data become more easily accessible so doctors can consider how to best treat their patient.


Our goal: research that improves healthcare

IBM cancer research teams are composed of scientists with backgrounds in biology, chemistry, neuroscience, physics, machine learning, data mining, statistics, visual analytics and decision science. Our goal is to develop advanced AI methodologies from these different areas and apply them to observational healthcare data that's collected across the healthcare ecosystem. Then provide the insights to clinicians to help them provide the best treatment options for their patients.

Explore cancer research at IBM

Cancer research at IBM

Featured research

Using AI to better understand Glioblastoma

IBM cancer research project

IBM researchers bring AI to radiology

IBM cancer research project

New hope for patients with Genomics

IBM cancer research project

Exosome-based liquid biopsies to detect cancer

IBM cancer research project

Helping doctors detect melanoma with AI

IBM cancer research project

DREAM Digital Mammography Challenge

IBM cancer research project

Solving cancer immunotherapy mystery

IBM cancer research project

New Study: Synthetic Macromolecules Kill Multidrug-Resistant Cancer Cells

IBM cancer research project

Battling tumors with computer science





At IBM, cancer is personal

Cancer isn't just something we fight in the labs. Many of us–our researchers and families–have experienced the disease first-hand. Listen to some of the personal stories that motivate our scientists to pursue innovation that can improve outcomes.

Inspiration for IBMers

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IBM Research isn’t alone

Our colleagues in Watson Health are driving research and creating solutions to help transform cancer care.

Learn more about Watson Health