Cutting-edge AI cancer treatment algorithm wins funding

NEWS

Cutting-edge AI cancer treatment algorithm wins funding

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Evergreen Life in collaboration with the Department of Computer Science at Durham University and University College London Hospitals’ (UCLH) has won a £685,316 grant from Innovate UK to implement a cutting-edge AI cancer treatment algorithm.

Our Head of Applied Machine Learning and AI, Assistant Professor Noura Al-Moubayed, together with her PhD student Matthew Watson and ULCH's Dr Pinkie Chambers, has developed a proof-of-concept machine learning algorithm that can predict liver and kidney function levels in cancer patients before they have started chemotherapy treatment.

What impact will the algorithm have?

Chemotherapy is commonly used to treat cancer but, unfortunately, it can damage the kidneys and liver. Currently, patients' kidney and liver function are monitored with regular blood tests to spot any damage after the chemotherapy has started. The machine learning algorithm can predict a patient’s kidney and liver function before they have started chemotherapy treatment.

At Evergreen Life, our mission is to increase people’s happy and healthy years; this includes their mental as well as their physical health. That’s why we’re delighted that the algorithm will mean safer monitoring of high-risk cancer patients and fewer hospital trips for unnecessary blood tests in those who are low risk of kidney and liver damage. Importantly, in the future it could enable clinicians to choose less damaging medication in patients who are at high-risk.

Speaking about the exciting work Dr Al-Moubayed said:

“The project is a clear demonstration of a successful collaboration between the industry and academia. We hope this state-of-the-art solution will contribute to the improvement of patient outcomes and alleviate some of the challenges of cancer chemotherapy.”

On the collaboration, Dr Chambers said:

"Patients are often concerned about the frequency of blood tests and the waiting time associated with them, during chemotherapy. I am delighted that our collaboration has been funded to progress this work to improve both patient experience, safety and reduce NHS costs.”

What lies ahead for the Evergreen Life-led project?

The pioneering project will benefit from a £685,316 grant thanks to Innovate UK. We’re proud to collaborate with Durham University and UCLH and lead this project. Together we will expand the algorithm and create a regulated software application that can be used in clinical practice. This could allow over 10,000 high risk cancer patients to be more proactively monitored and potentially enhance their care.

Download the Evergreen Life app