NUS scientists develop new technology to customize optimal drug ‘cocktail’ for myeloma patients

A multidisciplinary team of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has developed an artificial intelligence (AI) technology platform that could potentially change the way drug combinations are being designed, hence enabling doctors to determine the most effective drug combination for a patient quickly.

Applying the platform towards drug resistant multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer, the researchers were able to establish new effective drug combinations, as well as identify the patients who may be more responsive to these treatments in under a week.

Existing methods for designing drug combinations typically involve testing arbitrary combinations of commonly used drugs or incorporating new targeted therapies into established drug combinations. Bortezomib-containing drug combinations are currently used as the first and second-line treatment for multiple myeloma. However, most patients inevitably become resistant to these drugs and new combinations need to be established. While some newer combinations have shown to be effective for some patients, rapid identification of an optimal personalised treatment for a specific patient from an infinite span of possible drug combinations remains a challenge.

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