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Fujitsu improves efficiency in cancer genomic medicine in joint AI research with University of Tokyo

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Fujitsu has announced the results of a joint research project it has been conducting with the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Tokyo since April 2018.

As part of this joint research Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd has successfully developed and verified AI technology to improve the efficiency of treatment planning in cancer genomic medicine, demonstrating its effectiveness through verification experiments at the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Tokyo. 

In the field of cancer genomic medicine, creating treatment plans derived from genomic information remains a costly and time-consuming process. The newly developed technology extracts from a vast body of research and academic papers to generate a knowledge graph of cancer genomic medicine that can be used for creating treatment plans, including the effects of a given course of treatment.

Verification trial experiments using this technology have allowed the Department of Hematology and Oncology at the Institute of Medical Science, the University of Tokyo to reduce the amount of work required to determine a treatment plan for acute myeloid leukemia by more than half, delivering improved efficiency. 

The goal of cancer genomic medicine is to provide optimal medical care for each patient by identifying genomic mutations in cancer patients, and predicting the likelihood of disease, as well as drug response and side effects. Starting from June 2019 in Japan, cancer gene panel testing has been covered by health insurance, and industry experts anticipate an increasing number of patients to seek further testing. 

Presently, in the field of cancer genomic medicine, it remains necessary for specialist physicians to painstakingly search for relevant articles one by one from a database and determine appropriate treatment methods as well as their effects on the patient. To address these challenges, Fujitsu Laboratories and the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Tokyo's launched a joint AI research project beginning in April 2018 to improve the efficiency and sophistication of the work of physicians specializing in cancer genomics, subsequently conducting a verification trial for the technology.

The new technology automatically generates a database of knowledge on the relationship between gene mutations and therapeutic drugs, and the relationship between therapeutic drugs and their effects, drawing from medical papers. This is accomplished by integrating Fujitsu's AI technology for language processing, which identifies terms and phrases used in research papers from context, as well as insight of information needed to discuss treatment policies identified by the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Tokyo.

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Genomic medicine is an area where the application of computer algorithms will be very effective and could produce good outcomes. A company like Fujitsu is well suited to such work which is appropriate to Japan's national goal of eliminating cancer.

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