Towards personalized oncology: these are the advances that are already here thanks to AI

Artificial intelligence and the development of other types of technology are causing major changes in various branches of oncology. Part of the future of fighting cancer lies in precision oncology and personalized oncology, because every person develops cancer after a a unique combination of mutations.

Dr. Antonio Brugarolas, Head of Department Oncology platform from Hospital Quirónsalud Torrevieja explains that progress is being made at different stages of the process, from diagnostic imaging until treatment, whether chemotherapy with personalized pharmacologyimmunotherapy with antitumor vaccines or surgical using advanced robotic surgery.

In the case of diagnostic imaging in oncology, which plays a vital role in early diagnosis of tumors, The devices used, such as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), currently offer higher resolution and are more accurate. In recent years, hybrid devices such as positron emission tomography combined with CT (PET/CT) have been added to them.

However, technological progress is striving for the next step in this area radiological diagnosis cancer, using technologies such as imaging biomarkers, radiomics and artificial intelligence to increase diagnostic accuracy.

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Radiation oncology is also vital fight cancerand technological progress makes it possible to improve their results. Among the newest methods of treatment are without a doubt proton therapy or proton therapy. Compared to conventional radiotherapy, this technique allows minimal, or even zero, radiation to reach the area surrounding the tumor. It is much more accurate. This makes it the treatment of choice in the case pediatric patientsand also for tumors that are located next to critical organs of the body.

The role of artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) can be said to have a lateral impact in oncology, as it can be present in significant advances in various fields. It plays an important role in diagnostic advances and in achieving new drugs to improve treatment. Next to machine learning or machine learning, one of its branches, enables analyze large amounts of dataand be a useful tool in predicting disease progression.

He Dr. Josep Tabernero, Head of the Gastrointestinal and Endocrine Tumors Department and the Baselga Oncology Institute at the Quirónsalud Hospital Barcelona, ​​​​is talking to us about the usefulness of artificial intelligence for the interpretation of huge amounts of patient data in oncology. This serves, he explains, “to draw conclusions about patterns or models that can help in decision making in the clinic“. Incorporating bioinformatics experts into teams, he adds, is revolutionizing the way we use AI in cancer research.

Likewise, Dr. Tabernero thinks that “artificial intelligence models in healthcare have a huge potential to improve decision-making in clinical routine, leading to diagnosis, prognosis and earlier treatment of the diseasebetter and more accurate.” But he also warns that running these models faces a major challenge due to the lack of large enough datasets to train them on.

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This is particularly limiting, the doctor adds, “when developing cancer detection tools, where data collection runs into serious practical, ethical and legal obstacles. The solution may include initiatives such as ODELIA projectwhich aims to “seek new approaches to train artificial intelligence models, such as swarm learning, that enable learning from medical data without sharing any confidential data, thereby protecting patient privacy”.

Another area in which artificial intelligence is contributing is the development of new drugs. He Dr. Jesús García-Foncillasdirector of the oncology institute “OncoHealth” and the oncology department of the University Hospital of the Jiménez Díaz Foundation, explains to us that artificial intelligence “allows us to identify new targets from the study of tumor biology on which to design development new drugs with much greater selectivity and efficacy and a reduction in the toxicity profile itself.”

As for the research project they are immersed in, they explain that they use artificial intelligence to do the analysis metastatic lesions colon cancer, which will make it possible to choose the most suitable treatment for each patient. This represents “a support for therapeutic individualization from using systems based on neural networks.’

Artificial intelligence and the development of other types of technology are causing major changes in various branches of oncology. Part of the future of fighting cancer lies in precision oncology and personalized oncology, because every person develops cancer after a a unique combination of mutations.

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