In a recent development, scientists have successfully used artificial intelligence to create a new drug regimen for children with a deadly form of brain cancer, where survival rates have not improved for 50 years.
Professor Kristian Helin, chief executive of The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), London, where a team of scientists, physicians and data analysts made the discovery, was quoted as saying by The Guardian: “The use of AI promises a transformative effect on the drug discovery.”
He added: “In this study, the use of AI has identified a drug combination that shows promise as a future treatment for some children with incurable brain cancer. It’s exciting to think that it could become one of the first examples of a AI-proposed treatment that benefits patients.”
Scientists and cancer specialists at the ICR and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust used AI to work out that combining the drug everolimus with another called vandetanib could treat diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG).
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It is a rare and fast-growing type of brain tumor in children.
Such tumors are difficult to remove surgically because they are diffuse. This means that they do not have well-defined boundaries suitable for operations.
A quarter of children with DIPG have a mutation in a gene known as ACVR1, but no treatments are currently approved to address this mutation.
“DIPG is a rare and aggressive childhood brain cancer and survival rates have not changed in the past 50 years, so we urgently need to find new treatments for this disease,” Chris Jones, a professor of pediatric brain tumor biology at the ICR, was quoted as saying. by The Guardian.