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January 20, 2022
Science and Medical

Machine Learning Tool Can Spot Mutations in Tumors

New method of identifying unique genetic changes in tumors could lead to more precise cancer treatments

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Cancerous tumors tend to have a life of their own. They grow and evolve constantly, and so does their DNA. Exactly how tumor DNA changes is important information because it influences doctors’ treatment decisions.

There are technologies out there that can perform this type of complicated analysis. The DNA of a tumor sample is sequenced, and then a combination of computational tools and human experts analyze the data to figure out what kinds of genetic changes, or mutations, are occurring.

But none of these existing tools is completely accurate, according to a report published today in Science Translational Medicine. In an effort to remedy that, the authors of the report say they have developed a new method involving machine learning that automates the tumor DNA diagnostic process.

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