Saturday December 7, 2019

AI Reveals New Breast Cancer Types that Respond Differently to Treatment

According to researchers, two of them are more likely to respond to immunotherapy, one was more likely to relapse

0
//
IVF method
However, before starting the treatment for cancer Radhika had her ovaries frozen, said Dr Mandavi Rai, IVF expert at Indira IVF Hospital, here, who treated her. Pixabay

Using artificial intelligence (AI), researchers have distinguished five types of breast cancer, which were earlier lumped into one.

Published in the NPJ Breast Cancer journal, researchers, including one of Indian-origin, applied AI and machine learning (ML) to gene sequences and molecular data from breast tumours, to reveal crucial differences among these cancer types.

According to researchers, two of them are more likely to respond to immunotherapy, one was more likely to relapse on tamoxifen. “We are at the cusp of a revolution in healthcare as we get to grips with the possibilities AI and ML can open up,” said study leader author Anguraj Sadanandam from the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), London.

“Our study has shown that AI can recognise patterns in breast cancer that are beyond the limit of the human eye, and to point us to new avenues of treatment among those who have stopped responding to standard hormone therapies,” Sadanandam said.

AI, Breast Cancer, Treatment
Using artificial intelligence (AI), researchers have distinguished five types of breast cancer, which were earlier lumped into one. Pixabay

The majority of breast cancers develop in the inner cells that line the mammary ducts and are “fed” by oestrogen or progesterone. These are classed as ‘luminal A’ tumours and often have the best cure rates.

However, patients within the group respond differently to standard treatments, like tamoxifen, or new treatments — needed if patients relapse — such as immunotherapy.

The researchers applied the AI-trained computer software to a vast array of data available on the genetics, molecular and cellular make-up of primary ‘luminal A’ breast tumours, along with data on patient survival.

Once trained, the AI was able to identify five different types of disease with particular patterns of response to treatment.

Also Read- ISRO to Build Centre to Monitor and Protect High Value Space Assets

Women with a cancer type labelled ‘inflammatory’ had immune cells present in their tumours and high levels of a protein called PD-L1, suggesting they were likely to respond to immunotherapies.

Another group of patients had ‘triple negative’ tumours, which don’t respond to standard hormone treatments but various indicators suggest they might also respond to immunotherapy.

Patients with tumours that contained a specific change in chromosome 8 had worse survival than other groups when treated with tamoxifen and tended to relapse much earlier. These patients may benefit from an additional or new treatment to delay or prevent late relapse.

The markers identified in the study don’t challenge the overall classification of breast cancer, but find additional differences within the current sub-divisions of the disease, with important implications for treatment. (IANS)

Next Story

Regular Use Of Hair Dye And Straightener May Increase The Risk Of Breast Cancer

An intriguing finding was the association between the use of chemical hair straighteners and breast cancer

0
Breast cancer pink ribbon
Breast cancer survival rates are rising as screening and treatment improve. Pixabay

Researchers have found that women who use permanent hair dye and chemical hair straighteners have a higher risk of developing breast cancer than women who don’t use these products.

The study, published in the International Journal of Cancer, suggests that this risk increased with more frequent use of these chemical hair products.

“Researchers have been studying the possible link between hair dye and cancer for a long time, but results have been inconsistent,” said study author Alexandra White from National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) in US.

“In our study, we see a higher risk associated with hair dye use, and the effect is stronger in African American women, particularly those who are frequent users,” White said.

Using data from 46,709 women in the Sister Study, researchers at NIEHS, found that women who regularly used permanent hair dye in the year prior to enrolling in the study were nine per cent more likely than women who didn’t use hair dye to develop breast cancer.

Among African American women, using permanent dyes every five to eight weeks or more was associated with a 60 per cent increased risk of breast cancer as compared with an eight per cent increased risk for white women.

The research team found little to no increase in breast cancer risk for semi-permanent or temporary dye use.

Permanent hair dye risks breast cancer
Women who regularly use permanent hair dye could be increasing their risk of breast cancer up to 60 percent, according to scientists writing in the International Journal of Cancer. Pixabay

An intriguing finding was the association between the use of chemical hair straighteners and breast cancer.

The researchers found that women who used hair straighteners at least every five to eight weeks were about 30 per cent more likely to develop breast cancer.

While the association between straightener use and breast cancer was similar in African American and white women, straightener use was much more common among African American women, the study said.

The researchers cautioned that although there is some prior evidence to support the association with chemical straighteners, these results need to be replicated in other studies.

ALSO READ: Protein Deficiency Ordinary Among Indians: Experts

When asked if women should stop dyeing or straightening their hair, study co-author Dale Sandler, “We are exposed to many things that could potentially contribute to breast cancer, and it is unlikely that any single factor explains a woman’s risk.

“While it is too early to make a firm recommendation, avoiding these chemicals might be one more thing women can do to reduce their risk of breast cancer,” Sandler said.(IANS)