Cancer Cure News 2017: New Tech to Relieve Prostate Cancer Patients from Radiotherapy Side Effects

REUTERS/Eric GaillardA patient receives chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer at the Antoine-Lacassagne Cancer Center in Nice on July 26, 2012.

A recent study indicates that tailored treatment for prostate cancer is now possible through the use of artificial intelligence (AI).

Telegraph reports that men who are battling prostate cancer may be spared from the devastating side-effects of radiotherapy. In a new research the Institute of Cancer Research, London, specialists have discovered a way to adjust the treatment by analyzing dozens of genetic variables.

These data include the medical history, genetics, radiotherapy dose, and reported side effects of radiotherapy for over 700 patients. Based on the findings, some of these genetic characteristics could predict specific side-effects, including bowel, urinary, and sexual dysfunction.

Each year, over 47,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer. About two-thirds of these patients will undergo radiotherapy. While effective, the treatment has long-term side effects. The new study reports that a personalized treatment plan to cure prostate cancer is now possible. Dr. Navita Somaiah, a co-lead researcher, has explained how this feat could be achieved through the use of AI. She said that, hopefully, this might also be applied other types of cancer that are treated with radiotherapy.

"Advances in technology have enabled us to combine what we've learnt from decades of research into radiotherapy. For the first time, we can now look at the full complexity of a patient's genetics, medical history and treatment, to predict if they are at risk of side effects. We hope that our method can be used to personalise radiotherapy for patients based on this risk, improving the chances of a cure and also minimising the side effects suffered," Somaiah explained.

Meanwhile, a procedure combining nanotechnology and oriental medicine technology has been posited to cure different types of cancer, including colorectal cancer. A South Korean research team group from the Department of Energy Science and Engineering of Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST) recently presented the use of acupuncture as a treatment.

Led by Professor Su-Il In, the group developed nanoporous needles with microscopic holes by applying simple electrochemical nanotechnology. They discovered that the molecular biologic indicators related to anticancer effects changed after the procedure.