GE Healthcare, Vanderbilt to tackle cancer immunotherapy with AI

GE Healthcare and Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., entered into a five-year partnership to develop artificial intelligence tools aimed at improving cancer immunotherapy treatments.

Immunotherapy attempts to boost the patient's immune system to identify and attack cancer cells. Research has shown these therapies can be more effective than traditional treatments, but response rates are often low, according to a joint statement from GE and VUMC.

"Immunotherapy offers tremendous promise but given the current unpredictability of some patients' reactions to treatments, it is also associated with increased morbidity and cost," said Jeff Balser, MD, PhD, president and CEO of VUMC. "This partnership provides the opportunity to leverage strengths of both of our organizations to further personalize cancer care by creating new tools that allow clinicians to more accurately predict how patients will respond to a specific therapy."

Under the agreement, GE and VUMC will analyze immunotherapy treatment responses of thousands of VUMC cancer patients. Using patients' de-identified demographic, genomic, tumor, cellular, proteomic and imaging data, GE and VUMC will develop AI-powered apps that can help physicians personalize treatments for their patients.

"This partnership is a great example of the increasing convergence of the tools, technologies and data used by therapy innovators and healthcare providers," said GE Healthcare President and CEO Kieran Murphy.

GE and VUMC also plan to develop new positron-emission tomography imaging tracers, which the companies say will accelerate the process of bringing new drugs to market by measuring the efficacy of new immunotherapies.

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