Artificial Intelligence can now predict how cancer will progress and evolve. This could prove revolutionary in designing the most effective treatment for each patient. Known as Revolver (Repeated Evolution of Cancer) the new technique was developed by Cancer Research London (ICR) and the University of Edinburgh. Artificial Intelligence picks out patterns in DNA mutation within cancers and uses the information to forecast future genetic changes. “The ever-changing nature of tumours was one of the biggest challenges in treating cancer - with cancers often evolving to a drug-resistant form” said the researchers.
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However, if doctors can predict how a tumour will evolve, they could intervene earlier to stop cancer in its tracks before it has had a chance to evolve or develop resistance, increasing the patient's chances of survival.
The team also found a link between certain sequences of repeated tumour mutations and survival outcome.
“With this tool we hope to remove one of cancer's trump cards - the fact that it evolves unpredictably, without us knowing what is going to happen next” said Dr Andrea Sottoriva, Institute of Cancer Research London.
If tumours with certain patterns are found to develop resistance to a particular treatment, this novel methodology could be used to predict if patients will develop resistance in the future according to a research published in the journal Nature Methods.
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"We've developed a powerful artificial intelligence tool which can make predictions about the future steps in the evolution of tumours based on certain patterns of mutation that have so far remained hidden within complex data sets” said Dr Andrea Sottoriva, who led the study and is team leader in evolutionary genomics and modelling at the ICR.