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Prostate cancer ‘Rosetta stone’ paves way to new therapies

— almost 90% of metastatic prostate cancers have treatable defects —

A cancer genome sequencing study published last week in the prestigious journal Cell provides new and surprising information about metastatic prostate cancer that has become castration-resistant.

An international consortium of scientists pieced together the first comprehensive map of genetic mutations linked to metastatic prostate cancer from 150 patients and found that almost 90% of the men whose DNA they studied carried potentially treatable defects.

The findings suggest that these advanced cancers may be treated using a precision medicine approach, using a range of medicines that target specific gene mutations. Many of these medicines are already in use or undergoing clinical trials. They also learned that 8% of the men were born with genetic faults that predisposed them to prostate cancer, strengthening the case for screening people with a family history of the disease.

This research is groundbreaking because it provides solid evidence that there may be effective new treatment options for those with advanced prostate cancer who have become resistant to current therapies.

Click to read the original article abstract (you’ll need a subscription to read the entire manuscript).

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goes to…APCaRI member Russ Greiner

Image of DREAM challenge winners, Russ Greiner pictured on far left.

Dr. Russ Greiner, Canada CIFAR AI Chair, Fellow-in-Residence at Amii, University of Alberta Professor, and APCaRI member, received the CAIAC Lifetime Achievement Award announced at the Canadian AI Conference on May 27, 2021. This the highest honour bestowed by CAIAC, given in recognition to researchers who have distinguished themselves through outstanding research excellence in AI during the course of their academic career. APCaRI congratulates Russ Greiner for his well-deserved CAIAC Lifetime Achievement Award!

“Using machine learning techniques to produce effective, evidence-based personalized treatment”

The main foci of Russ Greiner’s current work are (1) bioinformatics and medical informatics; (2) learning and using effective probabilistic models and (3) formal foundations of learnability. He has published over 200 refereed papers and patents, most in the areas of machine learning and knowledge representation, including 4 that have been awarded Best Paper prizes.

One of these four papers was an entry into an international machine learning competition hosted by DREAM, an open-science effort dedicated to improving health and health care through crowdsourcing problem-solving. DREAM’s challenge was to develop an algorithm to predict which prostate cancer patients would respond to certain treatments and which would follow the medication regimen. The algorithm could be used by clinicians to help chose the best treatment plans for the patient.

Greiner and a team of students tied for the top place in the competition against over 50 teams from around the world. Then the winners collaborated to create an even better solution to the problem!

 

 

 

 

 

 

- Perrin Beatty