Using AI to Better Understand Cancer Cells

Using AI to Better Understand Cancer Cells

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a new technology making it possible for machines to learn from experience, adjust to new inputs and perform human-like tasks. Through AI, machines can learn, plan, solve problems and recognize speech. In recent years, there have been tremendous breakthroughs.

Researchers in the medical community are using the technology to understand cancer cells in new ways. Their ultimate goal is to provide the most effective treatment for cancer patients.

Differentiating Between Different Types of Cancer Cells

There are variations in types of cancer cells, even within one subset of cancer. Identifying the exact cell types present in a tumor can help physicians choose the best course of treatment for each unique patient. To date, this identification process has been time-consuming and sometimes limited.

An Osaka University research team used an artificial intelligence-based system to successfully identify different types of cancer cells based on scanned microscopic images. It was able to differentiate between human and mouse cancer cells. This kind of automation shows promise, with the eventual hope to establish a universal system that can identify a wider range of specific cells.

Evolution and Drug Resistance

The ever-changing nature of tumors is one of the biggest challenges faced in cancer treatment. It is especially difficult when cancer evolves into a drug-resistant form.

With the help of advanced technology, doctors are one step closer to predicting how a tumor’s cells will change in the future. If a doctor can predict how a tumor will evolve, they can get ahead of the disease to stop evolution and drug resistance before it starts.

A team led by the University of Edinburgh and the Institute of Cancer Research in London used AI to find patterns in DNA mutation. It shows promise for real-life application. For example, if a tumor with a certain pattern is found to develop resistance to certain treatments, this could lead to more personalized cancer treatments in the future.

Cancer Treatment

Researchers from MIT have reported that they’re developing a system that “learns” from patient data, using a specific sector of AI called machine learning. They studied patients with brain tumors. The goal was to reduce tumor size while ensuring the highest quality of life for the patients by determining the smallest treatment dose possible.

Before artificial intelligence systems can be used in clinical programs and routine treatment, the technological developments first need to be leveraged and properly vetted by the Federal Drug Administration. In the future, they may hold the key to big developments in the way we think about and treat cancer.