Personalizing the Future of Cancer Detection | AIChE

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Personalizing the Future of Cancer Detection

SBE Special Section

In the past few years, advances in personalized medicine have opened up new avenues in cancer detection and monitoring.

Cancer doesn’t look or behave the same way in any two people, posing tremendous challenges to screening, diagnosis, and treatment. But rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach, personalized cancer detection technologies are fulfilling a pressing need for new strategies to determine which patients are at the highest risk for developing cancer, and who will respond to which treatments best.

Researchers and clinicians are training artificial intelligence (AI) models to predict an individual’s disease risk, developing RNA-based blood tests for early diagnosis, and monitoring skin cancer treatment responses with more precision than ever before. Such innovations may catch cancer earlier than existing methods for screening and biopsies, offering patients more treatment options with better chances of survival.

“If you detect lung cancer early,” says Florian Fintelmann, a physician and scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), “the long-term outcome is significantly better. Your five-year survival rate is closer to 70%, whereas if you detect it when it’s advanced, the five-year survival rate is just short of 10%.”...

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