Scientists have used artificial intelligence to predict how cancers will progress and evolve.
This could help doctors design the most effective treatment for each patient.
A team led by the Institute of Cancer Research London (ICR) and the University of Edinburgh developed a new technique known as Revolver (Repeated Evolution of Cancer).
This picks out patterns in DNA mutation within cancers and uses the information to forecast future genetic changes.
The researchers said the ever-changing nature of tumours was one of the biggest challenges in treating cancer – with cancers often evolving to a drug-resistant form.
However, if doctors can predict how a tumour will evolve, they could intervene earlier to stop cancer in its tracks before it has had a chance to evolve or develop resistance, increasing the patient’s chances of survival.
The team also found a link between certain sequences of repeated tumour mutations and survival outcome.
This suggests that repeating patterns of DNA mutations could be used as an indicator of prognosis, helping to shape future treatment.
Image Credit: Getty Images
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