Bioethics News

Algorithms Compete to Predict Recipe for Cancer Vaccine

December 14, 2016

(Nature) – Could predictive algorithms be the key to creating a successful cancer vaccine? Two US nonprofit organizations plan to find out by pitting a range of computer programs against each other to see which can best predict a candidate for a personalized vaccine from a patient’s tumour DNA. The Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy in San Francisco, California, and the Cancer Research Institute of New York City announced the algorithmic battle on 1 December. It is part of a multimillion-dollar joint project to solve a major puzzle in the nascent field of cancer immunotherapy: which of a patient’s sometimes hundreds of cancer mutations could serve as a call-to-arms for their immune system to attack their tumours.

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