Brussels / 3 & 4 February 2024


Fighting cancer with Rust

Biospecimens and high-quality clinical data are essential for cancer research. At the same time, health data is highly sensitive with regards to data protection, hence, instead of centralizing all the data, federated information systems enable researchers to locate and work with data/biospecimens having certain characteristics, e.g. specimen type, diagnosis, and molecular markers, across hospitals, countries, or even continents. At the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Germany’s largest biomedical research center, we develop, operate, and maintain such national infrastructures in hospitals and biobanks around Germany, Europe and the world, using 100% FLOSS. Recently, we have re-implemented and open-sourced key components in Rust with great benefits towards stability, safety and performance. In particular, we report on Beam, a distributed task broker for efficient communication across strict network environments, and Focus, a federated query dispatcher protecting patient privacy using differential privacy.


Photo of Enola Knezevic Enola Knezevic