Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New computer-aided approach tailors drug dose to patient needs


A computer-aided approach -- based on software-that-learns -- promises to provide a new tool that helps doctors tailor the dosage of abciximab, a medicine frequently used before angioplasty to lessen the chance of heart attack.

Dr. Mirna Urquidi-Macdonald, professor of engineering science and mechanics, says, "While we tried our approach first with abciximab, it may be applicable to other medicines that have a narrow therapeutical range between under dosing and overdosing."

The approach is described in the January issue of the journal, Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. The authors are Urquidi-Macdonald, who worked on the project during a sabbatical at the National Institute on Aging, Gerontology Research Center in Baltimore, Md.; Dr. Donald E. Mager, National Institute on Aging, Gerontology Research Center, Baltimore, Md.; Dr. Mary A. Mascelli, Centocor Inc., Malvern, Pa.; Bart Frederick, Centocor, Inc., Malvern; Dr. Jane Freedman, Division of Cardiology, Boston University School of Medicine; Dr. Desmond J. Fitzgerald, The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; Dr. Neal S. Kleiman, Division of Cardiology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas; and Dr. Darrell R. Abernethy, National Institute on Aging, Gerontology Research Center,.

The new approach is based on neural network software that can "learn" when given a large body of data on which to train. Using a fast back-propagation neural network and data from 8 patients undergoing coronary angioplasty and 30 healthy patients, the researchers trained the software to predict the best dose strategy for an individual patient based on 17 characteristics. These include, race, sex, age, weight, stable angina, previous myocardial infarction, diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, smoking, prior coronary angioplasty, coronary artery bypass graft, statins, beta blocker, nitrates, calcium antagonists and diuretics.

Abciximab lessens the risk of heart attack by reducing the chance that a harmful blood clot will form by preventing blood cells, called platelets, from clumping together. Urquidi-Macdonald trained the software to predict the individual patient doses versus the time necessary to achieve 20 percent of the baseline platelet aggregation over 15 days.

"The key problem to solve was how to represent the data so that it included all of the patient’s characteristics along with the concentrations of drug and platelet aggregation which change over time and to use a fast back propagation neural network designed for this application," Urquidi-Macdonald says.

The researchers solved the problem and also identified key patient characteristics that contribute significantly to establishing the abciximab dose-effect relationship. These characteristics include, among others, whether the patient smokes or not, ethnicity and the patient’s weight.

By comparing the dosages predicted by the new system with dose-effect data from 39 patients who had undergone standard abciximab therapy, the researchers found that the new software offered potential for dose prescription improvement. For example, the software predictions suggest that the targeted degree of platelet inhibition may be achieved in some patients with lower doses, which could translate into a reduced risk for adverse side effects.

The Penn State researcher says, "The software also predicts that administering a smaller initial dose, followed by one or two infusions to keep the platelet concentration at 20 percent of baseline, achieves the same effect as giving the patient a larger initial dose."

In addition, the software predicted that two of the patients tested would not achieve the target response within the tested range of doses.

The researchers write, "The utility of this approach and whether it may provide an improvement in therapeutic outcomes clearly remain to be determined in a randomized, double-blind, prospective clinical trial."

Should the utility of the new approach be borne out in clinical trials, they predict that by using personal computers, laptops or personal digital assistants, clinicians could simply to enter the necessary input parameters to obtain a network-predicted regimen to aid in their decisions.

The project was supported by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute on Aging. Clinical studies that provided the data for this analysis were supported by Centocor, Inc.

Barbara Hale | EurekAlert!
Further information:

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>