According to a recent study, people born after 1960 will have at least a one in two chance of contracting cancer in their lifetime.
Some cancers, such as breast cancer, have a five-year relative survival rate of nearly 100%. This is not the case for everyone, however. Other cancers are difficult to treat and have high recurrence rates. Glioblastoma and ovarian cancer recur in almost all patients. And they do it independently of cancer therapies.
Oncological therapies, decisive for better or for worse
OncoHost, as mentioned, is a precision clinical oncology company. Yuval Shaked, who co-founded the company in 2017, he is a member of the cell biology and cancer research department of the Israeli Technion Institute of Technology.
His research confirms that oncological therapies induce a series of undesirable effects in healthy tissues. Some may even promote tumor aggression.
Cancer therapies (including immunotherapy, chemotherapy, targeted medications, radiation, and surgery) can trigger a variety of physiological reactions in patients, Shaked says. These effects include elevated levels of cytokines, a large and loose category of small proteins important in cell signaling. Not only that: also growth factors, enzymes and chemokines (a sub-category of cytokines) in the blood.
How does OncoHost work?
OncoHost technology aims to identify and characterize responses to oncological therapies. It aims to discover new goals to improve the fight against cancer through artificial intelligence.
Applying AI to predict response to cancer therapies is not a new idea. A recent study published in Clinical Cancer Research found that an algorithm trained on standard CT scans could anticipate tumor response in lung cancer patients. In June, a research team in France launched a new study to monitor cancer patients. As? Using an artificial intelligence system.
OncoHost takes a different approach. Uniquely analyzes changes in blood to monitor the dynamics of biological processes in response to cancer therapies, and to identify potential drug targets.
The company's lab uses protein analysis technology to determine the levels of thousands of proteins associated with resistance to therapy and tumor spread in a single plasma sample.
For this, OncoHost claims to be able to monitor a patient's response to cancer therapies in real time.
Cancer therapies of the future: the next developments
OncoHost has established a preclinical program to test the efficacy of new drug combinations in tumor models in mice. Soon, the company will launch a clinical trial for glioblastoma patients undergoing standard-of-care therapy.
Proteomic analysis could lead to great advances in the development of more effective cancer therapies.
The future of personalized cancer care is no longer a distant reality. It is within our reach.
Gianluca Riccio, born in 1975, is the creative director of an advertising agency, copywriter and journalist. He is affiliated with Italian Institute for the Future, World Future Society and H +, Network of Italian Transhumanists. Since 2006 he directs Futuroprossimo.it, the Italian resource of Futurology.
Futuroprossimo.it is an Italian resource of futurology opened since 2006: every day news about the near future. Scientific discoveries, medical research, prototypes, concepts and predictions about the future for free.
Gianluca Riccio, copywriter and journalist - Born in 1975, he is the creative director of an advertising agency, he is affiliated with the Italian Institute for the Future, World Future Society and H +, Network of Italian Transhumanists.