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Evomics Medical's AI, nuclear medicine are game changers against cancer
By Calum Chace  |  May 04, 2023
Evomics Medical's AI, nuclear medicine are game changers against cancer
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As we all know, speed is essential in cancer treatment, so by speeding up the analysis process and getting valuable insights to clinicians sooner, AI can enable diagnoses to be made earlier and more accurately, with lives saved.


AI and nuclear medicine

Some of the most innovative uses of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare today are in the field of nuclear medicine and, thanks to AI, nuclear medicine demonstrates great potential for cancer treatment. There are around 20 million new cancer cases a year and some 10 million deaths, accounting for one in six of all deaths. This means that the problem - and therefore the opportunity - is vast.

One of the leading companies in the field is Evomics Medical, based in Shanghai and Vienna. Evomics uses the same technology to develop both diagnostics and therapies, and it has ambitious plans for its EV101 compound, which it thinks may become a USD10 billion blockbuster.

Nuclear medicine versus radiation therapy

People often confuse nuclear medicine with radiation therapy, or radiotherapy. Radiotherapists bombard tissue with radiation from an external source to remove or reduce cancerous cells. In nuclear medicine, however, radioactive molecules are injected into the bloodstream, where they act as a drug. The radioactive molecule is known as a ‘radioligand' - which comes from the Latin 'ligare,' which means to bind - and it can perform either a diagnostic function or a therapeutic one.

Once inside the body, the molecule 'recognizes’ proteins expressed by tumorous cells and binds to them. This then causes the radioligand to decay and emit positrons, the antimatter counterpart to electrons. When the positrons encounter electrons, they annihilate each other, producing a pair of high-energy photons, which are detected by a device called a positron electron tomography scanner. This is the diagnostic mode of nuclear medicine.

In therapeutic mode, the radioligand delivers a dose of radiation to the tumorous cell that

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