While the world has been at odds with whether or not the advent of AI is a good thing for art, one thing is for sure: It is great for medicine, as evidenced by the fact that it may be on the verge of curing cancer.
According to a new study published in Chemical Science, University of Toronto researchers, alongside Insilico Medicine, have used an AI drug discovery program—called Pharma.AI—to develop a potentially revolutionary treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
HCC is the most common form of liver cancer.
How Did Scientists Use AI to Potentially Discover a Treatment for HCC?
To discover a previously unknown treatment pathway for HCC, the researchers used an AI-powered protein structure database called AlphaFold; in using this technology, they were able to find a novel cancer target and design a so-called “novel hit molecule” that could bind to said target.
The drug—which has yet to undergo clinical trials—was created in only 30 days from the selection of the target.
Can AI Also Predict Whether or Not Cancer Will Be Terminal?
AI develops cancer treatment in 30 days, predicts survival rate https://t.co/ckKPEtT5bQ— New York Post (@nypost) March 20, 2023
In a separate study, published in Jama Network Open, University of British Columbia researchers demonstrated how their AI model was over 80% accurate in predicting whether or not cancer would be terminal amongst patients.
Their model crawled more than 47,000 doctors’ notes on cancer patients, analyzing trends to make predictions.
“The AI essentially reads the consultation document similar to how a human would read it,” lead author Dr. John-Jose Nunez said in a statement.
“These documents have many details like the age of the patient, the type of cancer, underlying health conditions, past substance use, and family histories. The AI brings all of this together to paint a more complete picture of patient outcomes.”
The Future of AI in Medicine
Artificial intelligence develops cancer treatment in just 30 days https://t.co/xxUNAkZMUh— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) March 19, 2023
Although the University of Toronto’s possible treatment is applicable to only a specific brand of cancer, the mere fact that AI has made any cancer treatable is nothing short of miraculous. Considering that the advent of AI is still in its infant stages, there is a lot to look forward to with regards to how it can be used in the field of medicine.
According to Ray Kurzweil, ex-Google engineer and current futurist, scientists are on the brink of developing AI nanobots, which would be placed in patients’ bloodstreams and ward off diseases, even the effects of aging. And while some have their doubts, AI’s recent contributions to mankind’s seemingly never-ending quest to cure cancer prove that artificial intelligence is indeed a force to be reckoned with.