IBM just made its cancer-fighting AI projects open-source

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IBM recently developed three artificial intelligence tools that could help medical researchers fight cancer.

Now, the company has decided to make all three tools open-source, meaning scientists will be able to use them in their research whenever they please, according to ZDNet. The tools are designed to streamline the cancer drug development process and help scientists stay on top of newly-published research — so, if they prove useful, it could mean more cancer treatments coming through the pipeline more rapidly than before.

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How scientists built a ‘living drug’ to beat cancer

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IN 2010, EMILY Whitehead was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, a cancer of certain cells in the immune system.

THIS IS THE most common form of childhood cancer, her parents were told, and Emily had a good chance to beat it with chemotherapy. Remission rates for the most common variety were around 85 percent.

It would be 20 months before they’d understand the shadow behind that sunny statistic, and the chilling prospect of volunteering their daughter as patient zero for the world’s first living drug.

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The U.S. is purging Chinese cancer researchers from top institutions

 

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The NIH and the FBI are targeting ethnic Chinese scientists, including U.S. citizens, searching for a cancer cure. Here’s the first account of what happened to Xifeng Wu.

The dossier on cancer researcher Xifeng Wu was thick with intrigue, if hardly the stuff of a spy thriller. It contained findings that she’d improperly shared confidential information and accepted a half-dozen advisory roles at medical institutions in China. She might have weathered those allegations, but for a larger aspersion that was far more problematic: She was branded an oncological double agent.

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MIT AI model is ‘significantly’ better at predicting breast cancer

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The model can find breast cancer earlier and eliminates racial disparities in screening.

MIT researchers have invented a new AI-driven way of looking at mammograms that can help detect breast cancer in women up to five years in advance. A deep learning model created by a team of researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and Massachusetts General Hospital can predict — based on just a mammogram — whether a woman will develop breast cancer in the future. And unlike older methods, it works just as well on black patients as it does on white patients.

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Advance in CAR T-cell therapy eliminates severe side effects

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An advance in the breakthrough cancer treatment known as CAR T-cell therapy appears to eliminate its severe side effects, making the treatment safer and potentially available in outpatient settings, a new USC study shows.

“This is a major improvement,” said Si-Yi Chen of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, professor in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, and senior author of the study appearing online April 22 in Nature Medicine. “We’ve made a new CAR molecule that’s just as efficient at killing cancer cells, but it works more slowly and with less toxicity.”

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Cause of cancer is written into DNA of tumors, scientists find, creating a ‘black box’ for origin of disease

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Cancer causes the genetic code of DNA to change and the alterations can now be read

The cause of cancer is written into the DNA of tumors, scientists have discovered, in a breakthrough which could finally show how much disease is attributable to factors like air pollution or pesticides.

Until now the roots of many cancers have proved elusive, with doctors unable to tease out the impact of a myriad of carcinogenic causes which people encounter everyday.

Even with lung cancer, it is not known just how much can be attributed to smoking and how much could be linked to other factors, such as living by a busy road, or inhaling pollutants at work.

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Device spots cancer in a single blood drop

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A new ultrasensitive diagnostic device could allow doctors to detect cancer quickly from a droplet of blood or plasma, report researchers.

The device could lead to timelier interventions and better outcomes for patients.

The “lab-on-a-chip” for liquid biopsy analysis detects exosomes—tiny parcels of biological information tumor cells produce to stimulate tumor growth or metastasize.

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Researchers successfully turn breast cancer cells into fat to stop them from spreading

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Researchers have been able to coax human breast cancer cells to turn into fat cells in a new proof-of-concept study in mice.

To achieve this feat, the team exploited a weird pathway that metastasising cancer cells have; their results are just a first step, but it’s a truly promising approach.

When you cut your finger, or when a foetus grows organs, the epithelium cells begin to look less like themselves, and more ‘fluid’ – changing into a type of stem cell called a mesenchyme and then reforming into whatever cells the body needs.

This process is called epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and it’s been known for a while that cancer can use both this one and the opposite pathway called MET (mesenchymal‐to‐epithelial transition), to spread throughout the body and metastasise.

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Lasers cure nearly 50% of patients with prostate cancer in new study

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Experts have honed a cutting-edge method to kill off tumors with less damage to healthy cells.

Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and STEBA Biotech have announced the success of the unique method they developed to fight prostate cancer. This treatment, which the group of expects called “transformative,” has shown promising results.

Under development since 2011, vascular targeted photodynamic therapy (VPT), as the procedure is called, is carried out in a two-step process. Patients are first introduced to WST11 — a compound extracted from some benthic bacteria, or bacteria that dwell at the bottom of the sea. These bacteria are particularly special, though, as they are highly light-sensitive.

Optical fibers are then inserted through an area called the perineum, found between the the testes and the anus, and directly into the prostate gland. Afterwards, the scientists turn on a red laser that is induced through the optical fibers. This process utilizes the photosensitivity of the WST11 drug and activates it. Upon activation, free radicals are released within the area, attacking and destroying the tumors. Unlike conventional treatments which might affect a general area of body cells, this treatment is localized. The nearby cells are left more or less unharmed.

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Scientists develop 10-minute universal cancer test

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Coloured scanning electron micrograph of dividing breast cancer cells.

Inexpensive procedure shows whether patient has cancerous cells in the body, but does not reveal where or how serious it is.

Scientists have developed a universal cancer test that can detect traces of the disease in a patient’s bloodstream.

The cheap and simple test uses a colour-changing fluid to reveal the presence of malignant cells anywhere in the body and provides results in less than 10 minutes.

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The end of chemotherapy? Scientists discover all cancerous cells have a KILL CODE that can be triggered without the gruelling treatment

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Researchers at Northwestern University found that our cells can kill themselves

Currently, this is triggered by disease itself or the artificial use of chemotherapy

Now, experts believe the ‘kill codes’ could be synthetically duplicated for use

Every cell in the human body contains a ‘kill code’ which can be triggered to cause its own self-destruction.

That’s the discovery made by researchers at Northwestern University, Illinois, who believe it could be utilised for the future fight against cancer.

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