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Can we fine-tune drug doses with the help of artificial intelligence?

| | August 23, 2018
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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Patients with glioblastoma, a malignant tumor in the brain or spinal cord, typically live no more than five years after receiving their diagnosis. And those five years can be painful — in an effort to minimize the tumor, doctors often prescribe a combination of radiation therapy and drugs that can cause debilitating side effects for patients.

Now, researchers from MIT Media Lab have developed artificial intelligence (AI) that can determine the minimum drug doses needed to effectively shrink glioblastoma patients’ tumors.

[T]hey created a testing group of 50 simulated glioblastoma patients based on a large dataset of those that had previously undergone treatment for their disease. Then they asked their AI to recommend doses of several drugs.

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When the AI prescribed a tumor-shrinking dosage, it received a reward. However, if the AI simply prescribed the maximum dose all the time, it received a penalty. According to the researchers, [the AI needed] to strike a balance between a goal and the consequences of an action.

The AI will still need to undergo further testing and vetting by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before doctors could put it into practice. But if it passes those tests, it could eventually help people with glioblastoma attack their brain tumors without causing them more pain in the process.

Read full, original post: AI Can Make Sure Cancer Patients Get Just Enough (but Not Too Much) Treatment

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