Secondary Care

Cambridge University Hospitals trials data web tool to support cancer care

Researchers at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS FT are using an AI and machine learning powered web tool that could lead to cancer patients receiving personalised care.

The Molecular Tumour Board Portal (MTBP) uses data that has come from patients who are signed up to the European-wide ‘Basket of Baskets’ trial.

The trial is looking at whether patients with different types of cancer could, in the future, be treated with the same targeted therapies because they share a common genetic mutation that is causing their cancer.

The amount of data collected from cancer patients is increasing and it is hoped the tool will help determine how the disease will progress and predict how tumours will respond to different treatments.

The MTBP system has been set up by Cancer Core Europe to automatically collect data extracted from biopsies and blood samples taken from the 500 patients enrolled in the trial so far. It then interprets these large volumes of patient data, extracting the most clinically relevant information to produce an interactive online report.

Every patient report generated from the online clinical decision support system is discussed during one of the weekly web-based multi-disciplinary team meetings where members from all seven centres taking part in the trial evaluate the results and agree on each patient’s personalised treatment plan.

Dr Richard Baird, from the Department of Oncology at the University of Cambridge and consultant oncologist at CUH said: “This is an important step forward in improving treatment for cancer patients. By collaborating with other leading centres across Europe, and accessing vast computational power to process masses of complex data, we can consider each individual patient in a different light and hopefully provide the optimal care for them at that moment in their journey.”

Professor Carlos Caldas, Cambridge lead for Cancer Core Europe and Director of the Breast Cancer Programme, CRUK Cambridge Centre said: “Many were sceptical that centres located in seven different European countries could develop such a tool that works in practice every week. We are delighted to have pushed the boundaries and proven the unlikely is possible using modern web-based and intelligent tools such as the MTBP”.

The trial is being run by seven specialised cancer centres across Europe, known collectively as Cancer Core Europe.

The MTBP is also freely accessible to other cancer centres at