IIT-Madras develops AI algorithm to spot cancer-causing mutations

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  • Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras have developed an Artificial Intelligence-based mathematical model to identify cancer-causing alterations in cells.
  • The algorithm uses a relatively unexplored technique of leveraging DNA composition to pinpoint genetic alterations responsible for cancer progression, which is difficult using present methodologies. The results are published in the peer-reviewed International Journal Cancers.
  • Understanding the underlying mechanism of these alterations will help identify the most appropriate treatment strategy for a patient in an approach known as ‘precision oncology’.
  • “One of the major challenges faced by cancer researchers involves the differentiation between the relatively small number of ‘driver’ mutations that enable the cancer cells to grow and the large number of ‘passenger’ mutations that do not have any effect on the progression of the disease,a said Prof B. Ravindran, Head, Robert Bosch Centre for Data Science and AI (RBCDSAI), IIT Madras, in a statement.
  • In this study, the researchers decided to look at this problem from a different perspective. The main goal was to discover patterns in the DNA sequences — made up of four letters, or bases, A, T, G and C surrounding a particular site of alteration.
  • The underlying hypothesis was that these patterns would be unique to individual types of mutations — drivers and passengers, and therefore could be modelled mathematically to distinguish between the two classes.
  • Source :  government.economictimes.indiatimes.com

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