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Side effects from testicular cancer predicted by machine learning

Cancer cell during cell division. Credit: National Institutes of Health

In collaboration with Rigshospitalet, researchers from DTU Health Technology have developed a machine learning model that can predict chemotherapy-associated nephrotoxicity, a particularly significant side effect in patients treated with cisplatin.

Testicular is the most common cancer in young men. The number of new cases is increasing worldwide. There is a relatively high survival rate, with 95% surviving after 10 years—if detected in time and treated properly. However the standard chemotherapy includes cisplatin which has a wide range of long-term side effects, one of which can be .

“In testicular cancer patients, cisplatin-based chemotherapy is essential to ensure a high cure rate. Unfortunately, treatment can cause side effects, including renal impairment. However, we are not able to pinpoint who ends up having side effects and who does not,” says Jakob Lauritsen from Rigshospitalet.

Patient data is key to knowledge

The researchers therefore asked the question: How far can we go in predicting nephrotoxicity risk in these patients using machine learning? First, it required some patient data.

“Using a cohort of patients from Denmark– in collaboration with Rigshospitalet, we developed a machine learning predictive model to tackle this problem,” says Sara Garcia, a researcher at DTU Health Technology, who, together with Jakob Lauritsen, are the first authors of an article published recently in JNCI Cancer Spectrum.

The high-quality of Danish patient records allowed the identification of key patients, and a technology partnership between DMAC and YouDoBio facilitated DNA collection from patients at their homes using postal delivered saliva kits. The project, originally funded by the Danish Cancer Society, saw the development of several analyses strategies of genomics and patient data, bringing forward the promise of artificial intelligence for integration of diverse data streams.

Best predictions for low-risk patients

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Hemoglobin Electrophoresis: MedlinePlus Medical Test

What is hemoglobin electrophoresis?

Hemoglobin is a protein in your red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. There are several different types of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin electrophoresis is a test that measures the different types of hemoglobin in the blood. It also looks for abnormal types of hemoglobin.

Normal types of hemoglobin include:

  • Hemoglobin (Hgb) A, the most common type of hemoglobin in healthy adults
  • Hemoglobin (Hgb) F, fetal hemoglobin. This type of hemoglobin is found in unborn babies and newborns. HgbF is replaced by HgbA shortly after birth.

If levels of HgbA or HgbF are too high or too low, it can indicate certain types of anemia.

Abnormal types of hemoglobin include:

  • Hemoglobin (Hgb) S. This type of hemoglobin is found in sickle cell disease. Sickle cell disease is an inherited disorder that causes the body to make stiff, sickle-shaped red blood cells. Healthy red blood cells are flexible so they can move easily through blood vessels. Sickle cells can get stuck in the blood vessels, causing severe and chronic pain, infections, and other complications.
  • Hemoglobin (Hgb) C. This type of hemoglobin does not carry oxygen well. It can cause a mild form of anemia.
  • Hemoglobin (Hgb) E. This type of hemoglobin is mostly found in people of Southeast Asian descent. People with HgbE usually have no symptoms or mild symptoms of anemia.

A hemoglobin electrophoresis test applies an electric current to a blood sample. This separates normal and abnormal types of hemoglobin. Each type of hemoglobin can then be measured individually.

Other names: Hb electrophoresis, hemoglobin evaluation, hemoglobinopathy evaluation, hemoglobin fractionation, Hb ELP, sickle cell screen

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