Fuck cancer: Microsoft using AI to fight back

Countless drug trials and mountains of research about cancer are being developed and released each month. If you are oncologist, it will be quite tricky to stay on top of treating your patients and keeping up with new studies and approved medications coming out.

Microsoft Corp. is aiming to help doctors stay on top of treatments and studies with the use of artificial intelligence.

According to reports, Microsoft Research has a machine learning project called Hanover that will be fed with all the research papers and drug literature related to cancer to help determine which combinations of treatment and drugs will be most effective on each type of patient.

Hoifung Poon, Hanover’s architect, is working with researchers at Oregon Health & Science University’s Knight Cancer Institute. They are working on utilizing the system to find the right drug combination that will effectively fight acute myeloid leukemia, a type of cancer that has been quite difficult to treat.

Jeff Tyner, Knight Cancer Institute’s director, and Brian Druker, known for pioneering Gleevac, a drug that works for different types of leukemia, are all involved in the project.

“There are already hundreds of these kinds of specifically targeted drugs, so even if you think let’s pair two drugs, there are tens of thousands of options,” Poon said. “It’s very hard to wrestle with. You might need several drugs to lock down all of the tumor’s pathways.”

Poon explains that with Hanover, tumor board reviews which decides the best course of treatment, will be augmented as the process will be automated and the course of treatment can be applied immediately.

Aside from delivering the best combination of treatment, Microsoft is also looking to use AI in other projects such as helping radiologists better understand the progress of the tumor and in the future, possibly programming cells to fight diseases.

Image source: Pexels

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