​The Princess Margaret is using the power of AI and cloud computing to improve cancer treatment


Princess Margaret Cancer Centre is using the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Microsoft’s Azure cloud technology to improve cancer treatment. 

Led by Senior Scientists Benjamin Haibe-Kains and Trevor Pugh, this groundbreaking research involves analyzing large panels of cancer cells to determine genomic differences and how each might respond to drug treatment.

It will bring precision medicine and personalized medicine closer to reality, according to Dr. Haibe-Kains.

“That involves using artificial intelligence techniques as well as more traditional statistical approaches to build those complex predictive models that will ultimately help clinicians make better decisions,” he says.

This allows Drs. Haibe-Kains and Pugh to take their research into practice much faster and lead to better treatments.

“In the laboratory we are trying to design a new method using what we call single-cell sequencing, trying to understand the genetic makeup of every single cell in a tumour sample, and use that very rich information to actually predict the response of those single cells and to optimize the combination of those drugs that would kill most of them and prevent the rise of resistance,” adds Dr. Haibe-Kains.

By using the cloud technology, Drs. Haibe-Kains and Pugh are creating the first shared database where clinicians around the world can enter biopsy results through an algorithm to assist in cancer treatment. 

“The long-term vision is to essentially have all of Canada's data accessible in one place, with appropriate data governance and patient controls really built right into the system,” says Dr. Pugh.

Read more about the breakthrough at Microsoft.com