A research team led by the National University of Singapore (NUS) has harnessed CURATE.AI, an artificial intelligence (AI) platform, to treat a patient with advanced cancer, completely halting disease progression. This new development represents a big step forward in personalised medicine.

In the study, a patient with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (MCRPC) was given a novel drug combination consisting of investigational drug ZEN-3694 and enzalutamide, an approved prostate cancer drug. The research team successfully utilised CURATE.AI to continuously identify the optimal doses of each drug to result in a durable response, allowing the patient to resume a completely normal and active lifestyle.

“Dynamic dosing in cancer therapy is not commonly used. In fact, drug dosing changes in oncology are typically performed only to reduce toxicity. The platform uniquely modifies drug dosing to increase efficacy. Our clinical study has shown that dosing can profoundly affect the efficacy and safety of treatment. A patient’s clinical profile changes over time. The unique ability for CURATE.AI to rapidly identify the drug doses that result in the best possible treatment outcomes allows for actionable, and perpetually optimised personalised medicine,” explained Professor Dean Ho, Director of the Singapore Institute for Neurotechnology (SINAPSE) at NUS, who led the study.

Harnessing AI

To overcome the challenges of conventional combination therapy, the NUS team of engineers developed the CURATE.AI. The platform uses the patient’s own clinical data—such as their drug doses and corresponding changes to tumour sizes or levels of cancer biomarkers in the blood—to calibrate his or her unique response to treatment. This calibration is then used to create an individualised profile, or map- That identifies the drug doses which enable the best possible treatment outcome at any given point in time.

“No two patients’ profiles are alike, and as a patient’s body and the cancer itself evolve during treatment, the CURATE.AI profile evolves as well, enabling the clinical and engineering teams to optimise care for the entire duration of treatment, an unprecedented advance for combination therapy,” Prof Ho explained.

In this study, which was conducted at the UCLA Institute of Urologic Oncology for a period of over a year, a patient with metastatic prostate cancer was given ZEN-3694 and enzalutamide. Reducing the level of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in the patient’s blood served as the primary biomarker to determine if the patient was responding to treatment. CT imaging of the cancer lesions monitored the extent of disease progression.

“Using CURATE.AI to dynamically modify drug doses and successfully treat a metastatic cancer patient represents a landmark breakthrough for the use of AI to truly personalise patient care. This advance is expected to dramatically improve response rates for all combination therapies that are being developed for oncology as well as virtually all other diseases. We can also expect CURATE.AI to markedly reduce the costs of drug development,” Prof Ho added.

Dr. Allan Pantuck, the lead clinician of the study, added, “With fixed dose therapy, patients are often switched to other drugs when they no longer respond to treatment. However, CURATE.AI has shown that patients can still respond to the therapies that have seemingly stopped working by continuously identifying the patient’s optimal dosing parameters.”

“The implementation of CURATE.AI represents a game-changing shift in the way that combination therapy can be optimised at the single patient level, and we have shown that N-of-1 medicine can be a reality. We are excited that CURATE.AI could ultimately enhance patient accessibility to important new combination therapies, saving lives in the process,” said Prof Ho.

Source: National University of Singapore