The DreamLab app, developed by Vodafone Foundation has completed Phase 3 of its cancer-related DRUGS project.

This article originally appeared on Vodafone UK’s News Centre.

DRUGS (Drug Repositioning Using Grids of Smartphones) from DreamLab app partner Imperial College London is the largest research project ever undertaken looking into whether combinations of pre-existing drugs might be better at treating specific forms of cancer.

By harnessing the collective computing power of tens of thousands of smartphones being charged overnight, researchers have been able to trawl through masses of scientific data looking for the best drug combinations.

This builds upon the first two phases of DRUGS which examined the anti-cancer potential of single drugs and foods respectively.

These previous phases have already led to promising new discoveries: hundreds of anti-cancer molecules exist in everyday foods such as oranges, cabbages and grapes, for example, and two existing drugs designed for treating other conditions also have anti-cancer properties.

Researchers at Imperial College London now have to analyse all the Phase 3 results in detail.

Phase 4, which is the current DRUGS project in DreamLab, goes down a different branch of research. Building upon Phase 2, it examines whether combinations of molecules from multiple types of food could be more effective as treatments rather than single foods alone.

These two strands of research into the anti-cancer potential of pre-existing drugs for other conditions and food molecules will eventually come together in Phase 5.

Not yet started, this will investigate whether combining drugs and food molecules together can be used to treat cancer. As far as the researchers at Imperial College are aware, no one else has attempted such research on a scale as large as Phase 5.

But to get there, Phase 4 has to be completed first. Every night, thousands of people plug in their smartphones and fire up the DreamLab mobile app from the Vodafone Foundation.

These smartphones, by working together, can crunch volumes of scientific data in far less time than it would take a desktop PC, thereby speeding up the search for new cancer treatments.

A cure for COVID-19?

DRUGS isn’t the only active research project being crunched by DreamLab. The app’s Corona-AI project is investigating whether foods and drugs for other conditions could be used to treat COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

We’re just three months into the project, but here’s what DreamLab users have achieved…

Users can also support Demystify from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Australia to find more personalised treatments for cancer. This project is almost 60% complete and aims to understand how genetic variation correlates with clinical or phenotypic information.

If you want to contribute to any of these pioneering research projects, download the DreamLab app from the App Store for iOS or Play Store for Android, and don’t forget to share the app with your friends and family. The more people who use DreamLab, the faster we can generate discoveries together.

Vodafone customers can activate DreamLab for free using either mobile data or Wi-Fi. Those on other networks can choose much data they would like to donate to power the app, or can connect via Wi-Fi.

By using DreamLab every night, every one of us can help make a difference.

Terms and conditions

A compatible handset is required to download and use DreamLab. Downloading DreamLab will consume data. Once downloaded, DreamLab can be used when your device (i) is connected to a charging source and (ii) has mobile network or WiFi connectivity. Mobile data to use DreamLab is free for Vodafone Australia customers on the Vodafone Australia network. Roaming incurs international rates.

For the DreamLab privacy statement, please see the DreamLab Privacy page.

For the full list of end user terms and conditions please visit our DreamLab User Terms page.

By downloading, installing or otherwise using the DreamLab application on your Device, you agree to be bound by these terms and conditions. If you do not agree to be bound by these Terms, you should not download, install or otherwise use DreamLab Application.

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