Computers Provide Gauge for Breast Cancer Cells Response to Treatments

A new development in the war on breast cancer is emerging. A computational program is allowing researchers to determine the ways in which genes are changed when a healthy breast cancer cell becomes malignant. The program, which was developed by scholars at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Carnegie Mellon University, also has the capacity to predict how those cells will respond to various forms of breast cancer treatment. Effectively, the program took a massive amount of data from breast cancer patients and, in turn, uses it to illustrate the various processes by which cancer cells develop resistance to treatment.

Wei Wu, an associate research professor with Carnegie Mellon’s Lane Center for Computational Biology, explained to VentureBeat that the new program could reduce the cost incurred in testing ineffective drugs by revealing their flaws prior to trials.

“With our system, pharmaceutical developers wouldn’t need to go to expensive clinical trials to discover that a drug isn’t going to work,” Wu told the source. “It could save them a tremendous amount of money and a tremendous amount of time.”

This could be a huge boon to the section of the pharmaceutical industry dedicated to designing breast cancer treatments for the estimated one in eight American women who will contract the disease in their lifetime.

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