03.11.2020 change 03.11.2020
Marek Matacz
Marek Matacz

Scientists from Gdańsk working on ‘bespoke’ kidney cancer treatment

Credit: Fotolia Credit: Fotolia

University of Gdańsk specialists are creating an artificial intelligence system supporting doctors in the treatment of kidney cancer.

The international project called 'Knowledge At the Tip of Your Fingers: Clinical Knowledge for Humanity' (KATY) is aimed at creating personalized cancer therapy.

The KATY system will use a distributed graph of knowledge and a pool of predictors to model patient outcomes, the results of which will be communicated to doctors who will be able to make better decisions tailored to the needs of each patient.

Dr. Javier Alfaro from International Centre for Cancer Vaccine Science, University of Gdansk, who responsible for the KATY project said: “Each patient takes their own path to recovery. These paths can be extraordinarily unique.

“But at each fork in the road, patients have one common experience. A doctor uses their own understanding of the disease and the best clinical practice to present options to patients that help to shape their recovery.”

He added: “We are now deep in a new wave of rapidly developing artificial intelligence technologies that learn complex patterns to influence decisions across a variety of sectors.

“The interdisciplinary consortium of the Horizon 2020 project +Knowledge at the Tip of your Finger: Clinical Knowledge for Humanity+ (KATY) coordinated by University of Rome of Tor Vergata (Italy), comprising in total 20 international partners, will adapt these approaches to influence healthcare decisions.”

As a proof of concept, the consortium will first develop the system that will support the treatment of renal cancer, a complex and heterogeneous disease.

Dr. Alfaro said: “Cancer is particularly heterogeneous and artificial intelligence is perfectly poised to provide tailored, targeted treatments for patients. Targeted therapies in cancer treatment are already a reality in the form of immunotherapies and small-molecule drugs.

“But, the current practice in cancer treatment misses the opportunity to use artificial intelligence to support important clinical decisions. AI-empowered Personalized Medicine will bring targeted therapies to the next level, linking patient stories to swaths of publicly available clinical and research data.”

The researchers emphasize that their greatest challenge is building a system that can be accepted by physicians, patients and clinical researchers. Only then will technology be able to support treatment.

The project financed under the EU programme Horizon 2020 received almost EUR 8.5 million, of which nearly EUR 650 thousand was awarded to specialists from the International Centre for Cancer Vaccine Science (ICCVS) of the University of Gdańsk.

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