What does the word Revolver mean to you? A weapon? A Beatles album? What you probably do not think of is a new, and important, form of cancer treatment.
Revolver stands for “Repeated Evolution of Cancer”. And what does that mean? Well, in this case it means a new way of predicting how cancer is going to develop, a way that involves artificial intelligence.
Now if to you AI means “The Terminator” don’t worry. Arnold Schwarzenegger is not involved. In this case AI is being used to study countless cases of cancer to find out how it develops in various circumstances and then using that information to predict how other cases of cancer will develop.
One of the biggest problems with cancer is that it mutates. That means one form of treatment that might have been working, now no longer works. This is often the reason why remissions are lost , or that treatments that worked for one person do not work for another., The more a cancer mutates the harder it is to treat.
Revolver means that doctors can look at a person’s DNA and general case history, realise that a mutation is a real possibility and can start to treat this mutation before it starts to cause trouble.
Dr Andrea Sottoriva, Team Leader in “Evolutionary Genomics and Modelling” at ICR, said:
“We developed a powerful artificial intelligence tool which can make predictions about the future steps in the evolution of tumours based on certain patterns of mutation that have so far remained hidden within complex data sets."
“With this tool we hope to remove one of cancer’s trump cards – the fact that it evolves unpredictably, without us knowing what is going to happen next. By giving us a peek into the future, we could potentially use this AI tool to intervene at an earlier stage, predicting cancer’s next move.”
This way of predicting the future can be used when fighting a long list of cancers - lung, breast, bowel, a lot of the most deadly cancers. It is going to benefit a lot of people.
And guess who helped fund the development of Revolver. Yes, you got it, it was Cancer Research UK. So, by giving money to Cancer Research UK you are helping countless people all over the world.
Yes, we are after your money again. We are, after all, a charity. But think how even a small sum from you can benefit so many people for so many generations to come. Giving now to help projects like Revolver can have the maximum effect on the maximum number of people. It is easy and relatively painless to set up a regular gift. Just tell your bank or use your internet banking, set up a monthly Standing Order for say three, four, five or even ten, or twenty pounds. These are the details, Sort Code 30-91-20 and Account Number 00622718.
If you cannot spare a regular donation, there are many other ways to get involved, by attending our events, by volunteering at an event or collection, by doing your own sponsored event or arranging a fundraising event. Please do get in touch!
Article by Alan Kitch (one of our fantastic volunteers!)