Artificial Intelligence to Help Global Battle With Asbestos-Linked Cancer

Story Highlights
  • AI is used in research to study an aggressive form of cancer
  • The disease 'Mesothelioma' follow ordered paths of mutations
  • Professor Fennell made a breakthrough in treating Mesothelioma

Technology: Artificial Intelligence is used by the International Genomics Research to study an aggressive form of cancer that could improve patient outcomes. Mesothelioma is a disease that occurs in the lining of the lungs or abdomen and is generally caused by breathing asbestos particles.

Only 7% of people survive five years after the diagnosis. Recent research by the Leicester Mesothelioma Research revealed that using artificial intelligence analysis of DNA-sequenced mesotheliomas, repeated paths between individuals are evolved. These paths predict the possible therapy of incurable cancer.

Professor Dean Fennell, Chair of Thoracic Medical Oncology at the University of Leicester said, “Using AI to interrogate genomic ‘big data’, this initial work shows us that mesotheliomas follow ordered paths of mutations during development and that these so-called trajectories predict not only how long a patient may survive, but also how to better treat cancer- something Leicester aims to lead on internationally through clinical trial initiatives”.

Since the early 1990s, cases of Mesothelioma have increased in the UK. Recently, Professor Fennell in collaboration with the University of Southampton made a breakthrough in treating Mesothelioma by demonstrating that nivolumab, an immunotherapy drug stabilized the disease for patients. This is considered the first-ever trial to demonstrate improved survival in patients with relapsed Mesothelioma. 

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