Artificial intelligence can help work out where a patient’s cancer came from, allowing doctors to choose better treatments, a study suggests.
For a small percentage of patients – especially those whose cancer has spread – doctors can struggle to pinpoint where the tumor originated from.
This makes it much more difficult to choose a treatment for those patients, because many cancer drugs are typically developed for specific cancer types.
Now, a new technique developed by scientists may make it easier to work out where these enigmatic cancers originated from.
AI DOCTOR: A previous study found that AI provides higher quality answers and is more empathetic than real doctors
Researchers have created a computational model that can analyze the sequence of about 400 genes and use that information to predict where a given tumor originated in the body.
With this model, the team showed that they could accurately classify at least 40 percent of tumors of unknown origin with high confidence in a dataset of about 900 patients.
This approach more than doubled the number of patients who could have been eligible for precision treatment based on where their cancer originated.
Intae Moon, a researcher from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said: ‘That was the most important finding in our paper – that this model could be potentially used to aid treatment decisions, guiding doctors toward personalized treatments for patients with cancers of unknown primary origin.’
Alexander Gusev, senior author of the study, added: ‘A sizeable number of individuals develop these cancers of unknown primary every year, and because most therapies are approved in a site-specific way, where you have to know the primary site to deploy them, they have very limited treatment options.
‘We’re not requiring a new drug to be approved…what we’re saying is that this population can now be eligible for precision treatments that already exist.’
The findings were published in the journal Nature Medicine.
It comes a study found that AI provides higher quality answers and is more empathetic than real doctors.
Research by the University of California San Diego compared written replies from doctors and those from ChatGPT to real-world health queries to see which came out on top.
A panel of healthcare professionals preferred ChatGPT’s responses 79 percent of the time and rated them higher quality in terms of the information provided and more understanding. The panel did not know which was which.
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