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Developments in cancer research have led to precision medicine, which uses data, such as genomic data, to pinpoint what’s driving the cancer.

The ability to understand cancer has drastically evolved in recent years. Within the past decade, scientists learned that cancers are being driven by mutations in DNA. That led to precision medicine, which uses data, such as genomic data, to pinpoint what’s driving the cancer.

But the United States is falling behind when it comes to adequate research infrastructure for providing cancer care solutions. That’s because U.S. labs typically don’t effectively track samples and share data.

Until recently, labs have been doing their own data analysis and keeping the data in-house. Now, a new technology platform is helping scientists and medical providers obtain better results so they can collect and share that data globally, resulting in improved cancer diagnosis and better outcomes for patients.

“Having a sense of urgency on something that has the potential to impact the world is important to make big things happen,” says molecular biologist Jurgi Camblong, who’s CEO of SOPHiA GENETICS, the company behind the innovative SOPHiA DDM™ platform.

The company’s SaaS platform, which is widely utilized in Europe, hit the market in 2014, and the adoption has been quick. To date, they’ve worked with more than 780 hospitals and labs in 72 countries.

The cloud-based platform, which was developed using techniques such as machine learning, statistical inference, and pattern recognition, uses AI to analyze patient data and create a tumor profile. The database has a quick turnaround time, meaning the tumor information is tracked within days, instead of weeks.

The power of data-driven medicine

SOPHiA DDM™ pulls data into a single platform ­­— the first of its kind. Here’s how it works: a hospital or lab locally sequences a patient’s DNA and then loads that data into the SOPHiA DDM™ platform. Within a few hours, the AI annotates and pre-classifies the mutations.

“Using the platform, one can have a better perspective of a patient’s tumor profile, and eventually make better informed medical decisions,” says Camblong, noting in the past that labs wouldn’t have had this accuracy capability, or they would have had to send the samples to another lab, increasing turnaround time.

In 2020, SOPHiA helped to differentiate the molecular events driving the cancer of more than 35,000 patients with leukemia. That collective intelligence helps doctors predict how their patients’ cases might evolve and helps them decide the best treatment path forward.

Currently, SOPHiA completes over 25,000 genomic profiles every month. They’re adding additional data layers, including imaging data, to track how a patient is responding to treatments.

This technology can be used to detect other health issues, including COVID-19. From a surveillance perspective, it’s important to trace how the novel coronavirus and various strains are evolving, and then share that data, globally, on the platform.

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SOPHiA GENETICS products are for Research Use Only and not for use in diagnostic procedure.

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