Scientists use AI to create drug regime for rare form of brain cancer in children

Photograph: Manjurul Haque/Alamy Stock Photo

Scientists have successfully used artificial intelligence to create a new drug regime for children with a deadly form of cancer“>brain cancer that has not seen survival rates improve for more than half a century.

The breakthrough, revealed in the journal Cancer Discovery, is set to usher in an “exciting” new era where AI can be harnessed to invent and develop new treatments for all types of cancer, experts say.

“The use of AI promises to have a transformative effect on drug discovery,” said Prof Kristian Helin, chief executive of The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), London, where a team of scientists, doctors and data analysts made the discovery.

“In this study, use of AI has identified a drug combination which appears to have 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 treatment proposed by AI going on to benefit patients.”

Computer 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), a rare and fast-growing type of brain tumour in children.

Currently, DIPG and other similar types of tumours are incredibly difficult to remove surgically from children because they are diffuse, which means they do not have well-defined borders suitable for operations.

But after crunching data on existing drugs, the team found everolimus could enhance vandetanib’s capacity to “sneak” through the blood-brain barrier and treat the cancer.

The combination has proved effective in mice and has now been tested in children. Experts now hope to test it on a much larger group of children in major clinical trials.

The research found that combining the two drugs extended survival in mice by 14% compared with those receiving a standard control treatment.

Both the drugs in the research, which was funded by Brain Research UK, the DIPG Collaborative, Children with Cancer UK and the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, among others, are already approved to treat other types of cancer.

“DIPG is a rare and aggressive childhood brain cancer, and survival rates have not changed over the past 50 years so we desperately need to find new treatments for this disease,” said Chris Jones, professor of paediatric brain tumour biology at the ICR.

“Our study demonstrates just how much AI can bring to drug discovery for cancers like DIPG, in proposing new treatment combinations that would not have been obvious to people.

“The AI system suggested using a combination of two existing drugs to treat some children with DIPG – one to target the ACVR1 mutation, and the other to sneak the first past the blood brain barrier. The treatment extended survival when we tested it in a mouse model, and we have already started testing it out in a small number of children.

“We still need a full-scale clinical trial to assess whether the treatment can benefit children, but we’ve moved to this stage much more quickly than would ever have been possible without the help of AI.”

Dr Fernando Carceller, consultant in paediatric and adolescent neuro-oncology at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, and leader of the paediatric and adolescent neuro-oncology and drug development team at the ICR, said the breakthrough was “encouraging” and highlighted the possibilities of “harnessing artificial intelligence” to find “cures” for cancer.

The initial idea for the research came from BenevolentAI – a company that has built an AI drug discovery platform. Researchers at the ICR worked with those from BenevolentAI to use its platform to identify drugs that could be used to treat DIPG.

Prof Peter Richardson, vice-president for pharmacology at BenevolentAI, said the early results were “promising”.

He added: “AI-enhanced approaches are already proving their value in expanding researchers’ capabilities to find innovative new treatment approaches – be it through uncovering new therapeutics or repurposing existing ones – not only in DIPG, but also other diseases in the future.”

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

'Flight Simulator: GOTY Edition' adds new aircraft and locations on November 18th

Microsoft is spicing up Flight Simulator with an expanded re-release, although this one may be more ambitious than some. It’s releasingFlight Simulator: Game of the Year Edition on November 18th ... Read more »

25 merry and bright products to get you in the holiday spirit

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. We all have favorites when it comes to celebrating holidays. Some ... Read more »

Boeing zeros in on cause of Starliner launch scrub

Engineers are zeroing in on the “root cause” of a disappointing August launch scrub that grounded Boeing's Starliner astronaut ferry ship: humidity-triggered corrosion in key propulsion system valves, company managers ... Read more »

Targeted prostate cancer screening ‘could benefit men with inherited syndrome'

Men who inherit an increased risk of cancer through Lynch syndrome could benefit from regular specific testing to detect early signs of prostate cancer, researchers have said. Lynch syndrome increases ... Read more »

LeEco Le 2 hands-on review

© Provided by TechRadar null LeEco has ambitious plans for India and aims to be among the top three smartphone manufacturers in India by the end of this fiscal. The ... Read more »

8 awesome hidden features in Windows 10 smartphones

© Provided by TechRadar null Microsoft recently launched its new high-end smartphones- Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL in India. Not only does this mark the release of a new ... Read more »

Idea changes Rs 348 plan to offer unlimited calling and 1GB of data per day

© Provided by TechRadar null Following Airtel and Vodafone’s lead, Idea Cellular has now revised its Rs 348 plan to offer double the data (1GB) along with unlimited local and ... Read more »

ASUS ZenFone 3 vs Xiaomi Mi 5

© Provided by TechRadar null The ASUS ZenFone 3 is currently trending in India, partly because it was unveiled only two days ago. The company continued its tradition of confusing ... Read more »

5 smartphones under Rs 10,000 with fingerprint scanners

© Provided by TechRadar null Fingerprint sensors have moved on from being a niche luxury feature found only in flagships to an essential feature found in most mid-range smartphones. Slowly ... Read more »

Xiaomi unleashes Mi Band 2 in India for just Rs 1,999!

© Provided by TechRadar null Xiaomi, in an event in New Delhi today unveiled the Mi Band 2 for a staggeringly low price of Rs 1,999. The Mi Band 2 ... Read more »

Lenovo Vibe X3 review: The all-rounder Android phablet

© Provided by TechRadar null Lenovo  has been making headlines from quite a while. The Chinese tech major  along with Samsung has accounted for more than half of the 4G ... Read more »

Here are the official Indian prices of all iPhone 7, 7 Plus variants

© Provided by TechRadar null Tim Cook unveiled the iPhone 7 alongside the iPhone 7 Plus and the Apple Watch: Series 2 at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San ... Read more »

Activision Blizzard says 20 employees ‘exited' as part of harassment investigations

Activision Blizzard says more than 20 employees have “exited” the company, and more than 20 other employees have been reprimanded following complaints about misconduct. The Financial Times reported that the ... Read more »

20 essentials to have at home during cold and flu season

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. Fall is in full swing, which means that cold and flu ... Read more »

Watch The Bachelorette 2021 online and stream season 18 from anywhere

There’s no stopping love, that much is for sure as we head into the second season of The Bachelorette to grace our screens in 2021. The runner up in the ... Read more »

La Niña will bring up to 32in of snow to New York City to this winter

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo La Niña has returned to the Pacific Ocean, bringing along drier weather to southern California, which had hoped for a wet winter to ... Read more »

Spec showdown: Google's new Pixel 6 vs. Samsung, Apple, and more

At its fall event on Tuesday, Google announced the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, which feature its custom Tensor processor and the first big camera upgrade for Google’s phones ... Read more »

Cyberport's future is in the north as industry pivots towards Greater Bay Area, says CEO of Hong Kong tech hub

Hong Kong tech hub Cyberport sees its future in the North as the city’s tech industry pivots towards China’s Greater Bay Area from Southeast Asia, its chief executive said. In ... Read more »

Astronaut Chris Hadfield found space for 'The Apollo Murders' in real history

© Provided by Space Chris Hadfield, former Canadian Space Agency astronaut, holds up a copy of his first novel, “The Apollo Murders.” Many writers have looked back at the events ... Read more »

A secret NASA moon mission launches in Chris Hadfield's alt-history novel 'The Apollo Murders' (book excerpt)

© Provided by Space Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield’s new alternative history science fiction book “The Apollo Murders” recounts a Space Race to the moon very different from our own. New ... Read more »

How to track and spot a wild moose

It was too early in the morning for bad jokes. But at 7:00 am in August, I boarded a pontoon boat at the New England Outdoor Center where my guide’s ... Read more »

Best budgeting software of 2021

The best budgeting software can help you keep a record of your spending and saving, to better manage your finances. The best budgeting software Click the links below to go ... Read more »

Netflix is shifting the way it ranks its most popular titles

© Image: Netflix An image from Netflix’s popular title Squid Game. Netflix will change the public-facing metrics it uses to rank the most popular titles on its streaming service, the ... Read more »

Xbox will soon automatically mute your speakers when you plug in headphones

Microsoft is testing a feature that automatically mutes your speakers when you plug in headphones, fixing one of my biggest pet peeves with playing games on Xbox. The feature is ... Read more »

NASA's new $150M telescope will study the Milky Way galaxy's evolution

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo NASA has picked a new telescope that will help study the Milky Way, shedding new light on how stars are born and die ... Read more »

Over 10 million Americans have received a COVID-19 vaccine booster

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo More than 10 million Americans have received boosters shots since they became available in the U.S. this August, new data reveal. These include ... Read more »

How corrosive valves may have delayed the launch of Boeing's Starliner

Boeing says it is narrowing down the source of the issue that delayed the launch of its new Starliner spacecraft this summer, blaming the problem on excess water and humidity ... Read more »

Save $50 on two of the best vacuums we've ever tried with these Dyson deals

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. When it comes to vacuums, Dyson is behind some of the ... Read more »

12 cube storage options that will keep you totally organized

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. When you’ve got stuff, it can seem like there’s no end ... Read more »

Fortnite adds some melange with new Dune crossover

© Image: Epic Games Epic Games is once again proving that no brand is safe from Fortnite by adding two playable characters from Dune to its hit battle royale shooter. ... Read more »

Microsoft is finally dropping UWP app support Windows App SDK, here's why

Microsoft dropped a surprise announcement on developers of UWP apps. The company is transitioning support to the Windows App SDK for Windows 11 and, in a newly uploaded document, is ... Read more »

Brave has launched its own search engine to topple Google

Following a public beta for its new search engine back in June, Brave Software has announced that Brave Search is now officially available. Beginning today, the company’s search engine will ... Read more »

How the laws of physics could prevent us from ever meeting aliens

Where are the aliens? Italian physicist Enrico Fermi posited the idea that aliens may not exist simply because, if they did, there should be some evidence for them. Fermi wasn’t ... Read more »

Will we be advised to work from home again during the winter?

Employers will benefit from consulting with their workers about what they feel most comfortable doing if COVID-19 infections begin to rise this winter. Photo: Getty Since COVID-19 restrictions were eased ... Read more »

Six from MIT named American Physical Society Fellows for 2021

APS names Bourouiba, Grego, Liu, Peacock, Winslow, and Yildiz as MIT’s newest fellows for their contributions to physics. Read more »

10 of the best gifts to buy at Lululemon this year

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. Lululemon is a great place to shop for any adult on ... Read more »

7 at-home Halloween activities for a night of wicked fun

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. Crow witches and skeletal sovereigns, rejoice: Halloween is nearly here. If ... Read more »

This chair style is all over social media—here's how to get one

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. By name you may not recognize the Cesca chair, but you’ve ... Read more »