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AI is transforming cancer care

Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionising cancer care.

And IBM’s Watson AI services are at the forefront of delivering that revolution in collaboration with researchers around the world united in their desire to defeat cancer.

“The majority of the time, we just tell patients they have a cancer. Watson can help us provide more comprehensive, personalized care to patients,” said Dr Ravindra Kolhe, breast and molecular pathologist and director of the Georgia Esoteric & Molecular Labs LLC in the Department of Pathology at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.

Feeding DNA and other key information on a tumour into Watson to, Dr Kohle can quickly receive detailed analysis of the data.

“In about 20 minutes, Watson looks at what is abnormal in the sample, then takes the abnormalities and looks all around the world to see what are the drugs already used against them, what studies are underway against them, even other drugs out there that might be useful.”

Dr Kohle has been running a series of tests using IBM Watson. In one of these Watson supplied a 30-page review of a patient  ‘with a rare soft tissue sarcoma, that included mutations on seven genes, where the mutations are, what they are known to do and options for targeting them.’ “This type of comprehensive report might take 10 people 10 days to generate, if ever,” added Kolhe.

And a $50 million research collaboration – launched last year – combines genomic data and IBM Watson’s cognitive computing systems to discover why cancer becomes resistant to drugs. The partnership project between IBM and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard aims to find the answer by studying thousands of drug resistant tumours and tapping into Watson’s ‘computational and machine learning methods’ to discover why they become resistant.

While a hospital in America is offering cognitive rooms to personalise care for patients by enabling them to access information via speakers.


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