February 21, 2024

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Indian Researchers Develop AI Model for Better Cancer Treatment ​

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras (IIT-Madras) have developed an artificial intelligence (AI)-based mathematical model, NBDriver, to identify cancer-causing alterations in cells. This will help identify the most appropriate treatment strategy for a patient. The study was funded by the Department of Biotechnology and has been published in the peer-reviewed journal Cancers.

The algorithm uses a relatively unexplored technique of leveraging DNA composition to pinpoint genetic alterations responsible for cancer progression, according to a news report. Cancer is caused due to the uncontrolled growth of cells driven mainly by genetic alterations. In recent years, high-throughput DNA sequencing has revolutionised the area of cancer research by enabling the measurement of these alterations. However, due to the complexity and size of these sequencing datasets, pinpointing the exact changes from the genomes of cancer patients is notoriously difficult.

One of the major challenges involves differentiating between the relatively small number of ‘driver’ mutations that enable cancer cells to grow and the large number of ‘passenger’ mutations that do not have any effect on the progress of the disease, one of the researchers explained. The study found that the neighbouring gene sequences of driver mutations are significantly different from that of passengers. The researchers designed NBDriver to identify the pathogenic variants of mutations that can cause cancer.

A report noted that the model will identify these driver mutations by looking at genome data around the mutations. “Think of it like looking for a spelling error in a sentence. We are feeding a sentence into the model and by looking at the words before and after a word, the model can identify the erroneous word,” explained one of the researchers.

The research will help identify the most appropriate treatment strategy for a patient. Further, it will help tailor the treatments to a specific illness and person’s genetic make-up. The researchers hope that the driver mutations predicted through their mathematical model will ultimately help discover potentially novel drug targets and will advance the notion of prescribing the “right drug to the right person at the right time.”

While global researchers have developed computational methods for distinguishing between driver and passenger mutations, limited literature exists on using raw nucleotide sequences surrounding a particular mutation as potential features for building predictive models. The researchers at IIT-Madras aimed to discover patterns in the DNA sequences – made up of four letters, or bases, A, T, G, and C, surrounding a particular site of alteration. The underlying hypothesis was that these patterns would be unique to individual types of mutations – drivers and passengers. Therefore, these patterns could be modelled mathematically to distinguish between the two classes.

The performance of NBDriver was tested on several open-source cancer mutation datasets, the report said. The model could distinguish between well-studied drivers and passenger mutations from cancer genes with an accuracy of 89%. Furthermore, combining the predictions from NBDriver and three others commonly used driver prediction algorithms resulted in an accuracy of 95%, significantly outperforming existing models. NBDriver could accurately identify 85% of the rare driver mutations from patients diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM), a particularly aggressive type of cancer affecting the brain or spine. NBDriver is available publicly and can be used to obtain predictions on any user-defined set of mutations.

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Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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