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Scientists have used artificial intelligence to recognise patterns in breast cancer – and uncovered five new types of the disease each matched different personalised treatments.
Their study applied AI and machine learning to gene sequences and molecular data from breast tumours, to reveal crucial differences among cancers that had previously been lumped into one type.
The new study, led by a team at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, found that two of the types were more likely to respond to immunotherapy than others, while one was more likely to relapse on tamoxifen
The researchers are now developing tests for these types of breast cancer that will be used to select patients for different drugs in clinical trials, with the aim of making personalised therapy a standard part of treatment.
The researchers previously used AI in the same way to uncover five different types of bowel cancer and oncologists are now evaluating their application in clinical trials.
The aim is to apply the AI algorithm to many types of cancer – and to provide information for each about their sensitivity to treatment, likely paths of evolution and how to combat drug resistance.