Made-to-measure treatment battling colon cancer by computer
Colon cancer treatment could be revolutionised with a pioneering computer system to help doctors fight the disease.
Colon cancer is the third biggest killer cancer and the £2 million EU-funded project could mean faster and more accurate diagnosis, leading to better treatment outcomes for patients.
The system identifies gene mutations that contribute to the growth of cancerous tumours, giving doctors vital details about the type of cancer and its possible causes. It works by matching information from a simple blood test to gene databases of other cases, equipping doctors with a valuable tool to make decisions on long-term care.
It helps them determine the most effective way to battle the condition and, by speeding up the time to make treatment decisions, it will boost survival rates and reduce costs incurred by inaccurate diagnosis. It also means patients will no longer need to undergo invasive procedures unnecessarily.
The project has been masterminded by a team across the EU, comprising leading computer experts working alongside cancer specialists, biomedical scientists and genetic engineers.
It heralds the first major step towards tailor-made, personalised medical treatment.
Dr Babak Akhgar leads the seven-strong team working on the project, in the Universitys Cultural, Communication and Computing Research Institute. He said: "Its very exciting. It is potentially a defining IT project for the future of cancer care and is a huge step towards cutting cancer rates across the board because once the system is established it can be adapted to be applied to other cancers. Theres a real chance of helping save lives. It harnesses the know-how in this field across Europe, bringing it to the desktop of any healthcare professional. It means treatment is backed up by hard facts, rather than reliant on a specialists interpretation and experience alone.
"It will be the first breakthrough in personalised medicine. Its like being able to take a tablet not just for symptom relief, but to treat the exact illness you have. This paves the way for 25th century drugs that are tailor-made to treat an individuals problems, rather than mass-produced drugs for all."
Sheffield Hallam University is one of eight research partners from across Europe working on the project, called MATCH. The state-of-the-art technology could be in use in hospitals within five years.
The next phase of MATCH is collecting data from colon cancer patient databases in Italy and Poland, which will be fed into the system and tested.
Pharmaceutical firms will also be brought into the project to feed into talks on potential new drug design and discoveries.
Kelly Hill | alfa
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...