Biotech Strategy Blog

Commentary on Science, Innovation & New Products with a focus on Oncology, Hematology & Cancer Immunotherapy

Posts tagged ‘clonal evolution’

Earlier this year we highlighted how machine learning, artificial intelligence and big data might have an earlier than expected impact on clinical decision making. Quite a few sceptics scoffed at this idea.

Since then we have seen some nifty examples emerge at various conferences relating to clinical analyses such as this one at ASCO, although there have been quite a few others.

AACR Tumour Heterogeneity 2020

This latest post isn’t about deep learning per se though, but rather how can we look at the tumour microenvironment differently in ways which might help us make better or earlier clinical decisions?

There are a quite a few high profile examples where the emerging research is starting to look helpful so it’s time to link all the loose ends and take a thoughtful look at what we can learn from a particular example involving a high profile study.

The results, some of which intuitively make sense and others are surprising, may give us some useful clues of where to start looking next in terms future therapeutic interventions…

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At the 2018 AACR annual meeting, one of the noteworthy talks given to the 22,000+ attendees in Chicago was a plenary lecture by Charles Swanton from the Francis Crick Institute in London. He’s a Professor of Personalized Cancer Medicine at University College London and chief clinician for Cancer Research UK (CRUK).

Professor Swanton is the leader of a landmark clinical study, TRACERx (TRAcking Cancer Evolution through therapy (Rx)) study, which involves analyzing how cancers and in particular, lung and renal cancers, evolve over time.

There’s a lot of heavy science and jargon inherent in this niche that often frightens off people, but that need not always be the case.

What is fascinating, though, is the very idea that tracking the development of early stage cancers might teach us new insights and lessons about alternative approaches to oncology R&D.

We have all seen the limitations of chemotherapy, targeted therapies and even immune checkpoint blockade, so what other approaches can be considered that link back to the biology of the disease and how it evolves over time?

What we wanted to achieve here was a clear and elegant story about what Prof Swanton and his colleagues are doing, as well as a simple grounding on the basics of disease progression and how that can translate clinically into new therapeutics that might make a real difference to the lives of people with cancer.

It’s a fascinating story and may well be one of the most underappreciated recent developments in cancer research…

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Churchill College, Cambridge:  Yesterday, the main focus at the EACR Cancer Genomics conference was on immunology-related topics as they pertain to genomics.

A rainy day in the Fens for #CG17

Unfortunately, however, the Great British summer ended as almost as soon as it started – I can confirm that it started on a Wednesday this year and fizzled out by the following Tuesday!

Consider that on the first two days of the conference it was gloriously sunny and those wooden benches were full of scientists sitting outside eagerly discussing their research or various collaborations afoot.

A mere 24 hours later, the heavens opened and steadfastly drizzled all day long, much to the chagrin of the attendees.

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