AI, also known as artificial intelligence, is growing by leaps and bounds within the technology industry. While many might assume this only has implications for improvements in computing, artificial intelligence is also being explored by the medical community in the hopes it can assist with everything from diagnosing illnesses to recommending personalized, specific treatments for patients. Recently, AI has been used to match skin cancer patients with the drugs most likely to offer the best outcome for them.
In a new study of a drug class known as immune checkpoint inhibitors, investigators showed that although technically this treatment had been successful for at least some patients vs. traditional chemotherapies, still, half of the patients did not respond well to the inhibitor drugs reviewed in the study. This particular drug class is also expensive and can cause notable side effects — all of which could send patients down an unsuccessful treatment path that may even lead to further health issues, and is associated with greater costs.
Harnessing the Power of AI
For patients with metastatic melanoma, researchers at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine and Perlmutter Cancer Center designed an artificial intelligence tool that was able to predict in four out of five cases, which patients with this type of skin cancer would respond well to immune checkpoint inhibitor drugs.
With their artificial intelligence tool, researchers were able to match the patients that would likely be the most responsive to this drug class. This meant more patients were likely to receive a treatment that would help them, and those who were not a good match were able to avoid a treatment that was costly, had significant side effects, and in the long run would likely be unsuccessful.
It’s always good news for cancer patients when the medical community is provided with new tools that allow them to treat their patients more efficiently and effectively. If you or someone you know has skin cancer, please contact me for more information about the latest, most effective treatment protocols.