In the first week of December, Industry Watch brings our readers news of promising developments in oncology. There’s a machine learning method being utilized by researchers to best select cancer treatment combinations; and new research on patients deemed “exceptional responders” to cancer therapeutics which may aid the development of medicines in future. There’s also the latest on the pandemic, in an article charting key moments over the coming months; and findings concerning risk for asthmatic people. You’ll also find news of progress in our understanding of Alzheimer’s, eye diseases, and depression.
AI Predicts Cancer Killing Drug Combos
The accurate detection of disease outcomes still remains a challenging obstacle for physicians. As a result, machine learning (ML) has emerged as a popular tool for researchers. It can aid in discovering and identifying patterns and relationships from complex datasets, while predicting future outcomes. Now, researchers in Finland report they have developed a machine learning model that can predict how combinations of different cancer drugs kill various types of cancer cells. The new AI model was trained with a large set of data obtained from previous studies, which had investigated the association between drugs and cancer cells.
Charting the Pandemic Over the Next 12 Months, and Beyond
A project by STAT describes 30 key moments, possible turning points that could steer the pandemic onto a different course or barometers for how the virus is reshaping our lives, from rituals like Halloween and the Super Bowl, to what school could look like, to just how long we might be incorporating precautions into our routines.
Asthmatics Less Likely to Catch Coronavirus, Study Suggests
People with asthma may be less likely to catch the coronavirus, research suggests. With asthma a respiratory condition and the coronavirus infecting the airways, experts flagged early in the pandemic those with the breathing disorder may endure more serious viral complications.
Depression Linked to Bowel Conditions
A new study has found depression is more common among people with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis in the years before they are diagnosed. Researchers from London studied the records of fifteen thousand people with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, collectively known as inflammatory bowel diseases or IBD.
NIH Scientists Collect Clues to Improving Cancer Care From 'Exceptional Responders'
A small number of cancer patients respond particularly well to drugs. These so-called “exceptional responders” not only see their tumors shrink with treatment, they also enjoy responses that are unusually long. Understanding of the molecular features of this rare group of patients could guide the development of new strategies for fighting cancer.
TBI ‘Significantly Fast-Forwards’ Onset of Alzheimer’s
Patients with a history of traumatic brain injury experienced the clinical onset of Alzheimer’s disease several years earlier than those without TBI, data shows. The findings, presented at the virtual Alzheimer's Association International Conference, showed that a history of TBI was associated with “higher amyloid deposition and cognitive deficit” in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), researchers reported.
New Gene Therapy for Eye Disease
Degeneration of the optic nerves, DOA typically starts to cause patients’ symptoms in their early adult years. These include moderate vision loss and some color vision defects, but severity varies, symptoms can worsen over time, and some people may become blind. There is currently no way to prevent or cure DOA.