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Algorithm selects best cancer treatment

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., July 24 (UPI) -- U.S. medical scientists have created an algorithm that can sort molecular information about a tumor, helping select the best drug treatment.

University of Virginia researchers, led by Dr. Dan Theodorescu and computational biologist Jae Lee, used a panel of 60 diverse human cancer cell lines from the National Cancer Institute to devise an algorithm designed to match the best potential treatments for a particular tumor in a specific patient.

"Even though this NCI cell set wasn't an exhaustive encyclopedia of cancer cells, we found we could use the available data to draw conclusions about other cell types we were exploring," said Theodorescu. "We believe we have found an effective way to personalize cancer therapy."

In addition to predicting patient responses to therapy, the researchers said their algorithm can be used to discover effective compounds in any form of cancer.

The study, which involved scientists at GeneLogic Inc., appears in the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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