Netflix and… Sick? will use Netflix-style algorithms to study tumor growth and plan cancer treatment | The Weather Channel – Articles from The Weather Channel

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An international team of researchers from University College London (UCL) in the United Kingdom and the University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego) in the United States has developed a Netflix-like algorithm that could one day allow doctors to review a patient’s fully sequenced tumor status and personalize their treatment, the Independent reported.

A typical Netflix algorithm analyzes data on how often a type of program or movie is watched, and whether or not it is liked. Based on the data, new movies and TV series are recommended next time.

The study, published in the journal Nature, showed that the algorithm deploys artificial intelligence (AI) to track DNA changes from the onset of cancer through its progression. The team believe that knowing about the genetic traits the tumor acquires as it grows will help doctors understand how a cancer is likely to behave.

“Just as Netflix can predict which shows you choose to watch next, we believe we will be able to predict the likely behavior of your cancer, based on the changes its genome has already undergone,” said Dr Ludmil Alexandrov, UC San Diego was quoted as saying.

“With this information, we believe doctors will be able to offer better and more personalized cancer treatment in the future,” he added.

The new algorithm can sift through thousands of lines of genomic data and identify common patterns in the way chromosomes organize and arrange themselves. It can then categorize patterns that emerge and help scientists establish the types of defects that can occur in cancer, the team explained.

The scientists found 21 common defects by using the algorithm to search for patterns in the fully sequenced genomes of 9,873 people with 33 distinct forms of cancer. These will now be used to develop a blueprint that scientists can use to predict the aggressiveness of cancer, identify its weak spots and develop new treatments for it.

Of the 21 signatures identified by the algorithm, the scientists found that tumors where chromosomes broke and reformed were associated with the worst survival outcomes.

“To stay ahead of cancer, we need to anticipate how it adapts and changes. Dr Nischalan Pillay from UCL.


The above article was published by a news agency with minimal changes to the title and text.

Sharon D. Cole