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UNIGE – Faculty of Medicine


Developing new personalized treatments for colorectal cancer patients

In partnership with
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The challenge

Although cancer treatment has improved over the past decades, there remains an unmet medical need for smarter therapies. Treatment options for late-stage metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) patients with specific mutations are limited and survival is dismal.

Despite drug combinations having a high potential, it is extremely difficult to identify optimal drug mixtures, as the number of combinations seems infinite.

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The solution

Using a platform developed by the researchers at UNIGE medicine faculty, called therapeutically guided drug optimization (TGMO), they can rapidly optimize a drug combination from a large set of available compounds using AI powered tools. They have previously identified potent and selective drug combinations on CRC laboratory cell lines and validated their activity on tumour models in vivo.

« [...] it would mean that an entirely new strategy for individualized cancer therapy will become available [...] »

To offer an effective personalized CRC therapy, they will use this validated procedure to establish a pipeline for optimized combination of targeted compounds and chemotherapeutics. Their procedure is highly adjustable and can be completed within two weeks following surgery or biopsy.

The impact of the project is, next to the enhanced efficacy of the treatment, the identification of treatment strategies with reduced side effects and reduced induction of drug resistance. The proposed technology can be extended for application to all cancer types or even outside the field of oncology. If the main goal of this project is achieved, it would mean that an entirely new strategy for individualized cancer therapy will become available, radically changing our view on the complexity of cancer treatment.

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