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Researchers to Use AI for Cancer Treatment
AI Tools Can Help Predict Tumor Response in Patients

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has proved to be a very useful tool in different sectors. And now, even the medical field is all set to incorporate this technology to get better treatments for the patients. According to a research published in Clinical Cancer Research, it is now possible to predict tumor response in patients containing advanced non – small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Image Credits: Medanta

This study will help to predict a patient’s response to the treatment with the help of AI technologies. This in turn, will enable the radiologist to come up with a more accurate and reproducible treatment at an early stage of the disease. This can prove to be very important because a radiologist’s interpretation of CT scans of cancer patients is inherently subjective. In order to develop the AI algorithm, the CT scans which were taken at baseline an on first treatment assessment were utilized by the researchers.

Laurent Dercle, MD, PhD, associate research scientist in the Department of Radiology at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center says, “Radiologists’ interpretation of CT scans of cancer patients treated with systemic therapies is inherently subjective. The purpose of this study was to train cutting-edge AI technologies to predict patients’ responses to treatment, allowing radiologists to deliver more accurate and reproducible predictions of treatment efficacy at an early stage of the disease.”

Along the same lines, a startup named OncoHost also uses AI to understand the patient’s response towards cancer treatment. The company was founded in 2017, it utilizes combination of proteomic analysis with artificial intelligence in order to predict responses to immunotherapy. This also provides the therapists with potential combination strategies in order to overcome treatment resistance.

The company was able to develop a system called PROphet. This system is capable of identifying up to 1,000 possible proteins in the patient’s blood plasma. This system then employs machine learning to understand the different patterns of proteins were able to respond various immunotherapy treatments. This is done by the machine learning system while it studies thousands of patient blood profiles. This is useful for the therapist to identify which one is most likely to help the patient.

The company aims to develop a system which can function as a “cancer management GPS”. This system will be functional in predicting responses to immunotherapy and will be very helpful for oncologists.

Over the past few years there have been rapid changes done in the field of cancer treatment. And the last decade has seen the significant progress due to the introduction of modern immunotherapies. But the issue with immunotherapies is, it doesn’t work for all patients and this ineffectiveness is not easy to detect either. It takes months to find out whether the treatment is working or not. The company is hoping to develop a medicine which could act like a “silver bullet”. A drug that potentially could be used universally.

The PROphet is equipped with employing powerful bioinformatic tool along with machine learning algorithm capabilities, which allows it to identify host response patterns to the therapy. The system is capable of monitoring the patients response to the treatment in real time and can also predict the outcome accurately.  Given how grave problem cancer is, both these organizations efforts in order to tackle it are commendable.





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