Software tool under development to identify low-grade aggressive HER2 cancers so ‘targeted’ therapeutic drugs can be prescribed
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A particularly active form of breast cancerknown as HER2-low, is thought to be present in around half of the 55,000 new cases that appear in the UK each year.
This is a subtype of breast cancer that is not detected by conventional tests.
But researchers at King’s College London are working with Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals and the Google-backed startup Owkin. artificial intelligence The breast cancer diagnostic tool could be made available on the NHS within three years.
This tool will allow people with low HER2 to be found so that they can then be offered “targeted” breast cancer drugs.
“Research shows that more women could benefit from targeted breast cancer treatments – we just need to find them,” the team said.
“We hope to help thousands more women benefit from targeted anti-HER2 treatments in the UK each year, with transformative drugs that could prolong and save lives.”
The HER2 proteins behind this potent form of cancer are overproduced by faulty genes. New AI models can rapidly analyze the amount of HER2 protein in cancer.
Dr Jakob Nikolas Kather, assistant professor at Aachen University and visiting professor at the University of Leeds, said: “This could speed up detection of dangerous subtypes of cancer and help many women women receive optimal treatment.”
In addition to detecting these low HER2 cases for the first time, the researchers are confident their device will be faster and more accurate in diagnosing standard cases of HER2.
Once identified, a patient may be offered a number of drugs used to treat HER2-positive cancers that are likely to work well against this low HER2 subtype. AstraZeneca’s new drug Enhertu (trastuzumab deruxtecan), looks particularly promising.
It was recently approved for use in Scotland, following approval in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Enhertu combines two drugs and attaches itself to HER2 proteins, which can stop cancer cells from growing. When trastuzumab attaches itself to proteins, it delivers the antibody drug deruxtecan to breast cancer cells to destroy them.
An AstraZeneca study published in September found that the drug reduced the risk of death or disease progression by 72 percent compared with an existing drug.
Meanwhile, the breast cancer diagnostic device is part of a new generation of AI with the potential to transform cancer treatments and other aspects of healthcare.
The developers of the HER2 tool are planning to use it to better diagnose stomach cancer.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/health/artificial-intelligence-find-aggressive-breast-26290590 'Artificial intelligence can find aggressive cases of breast cancer that tests fail to detect' - Miriam Stoppard