Technology Transfer Office

AI4Curie: Institut Curie and Swiss Life launch a challenge to predict the effectiveness of immunotherapy in lung cancer, thanks to artificial intelligence

Actualité - Partnership
Institut Curie
Institut Curie and Swiss Life join forces in the context of a challenge, in artificial intelligence, to predict the effectiveness of immunotherapy in the treatment of lung cancer. On this occasion, they are launching the first edition of "AI4Curie" which is aimed at startups and AI researchers with the goal of identifying promising projects.

An innovative challenge to advance research

The call for projects will reward companies or academic research laboratories with the most relevant proposal for answering a question submitted by Institut Curie in the field of oncology: predicting the response to the immunotherapy from image analysis of patients with bronchial cancer. The proposed answer must imperatively use Artificial Intelligence (or AI) and be innovative. This challenge is open until April 30; the applications will be examined by a jury made up of, among others, experts in oncology and artificial intelligence. The winner will be selected in June and the proof of concept (or POC) will take place from September to December 2020, at the premises of Institut Curie. At that time only, the winner will have the opportunity to work on anonymized images and will be accompanied by the best experts to set up a POC, based on his proposal, for a period of 4 months - a rare opportunity to work in such conditions. The prize money amounts to € 60,000.

Swiss Life and Institut Curie, long-standing partners

This partnership between Institut Curie, the leading French cancer center, and Swiss Life, is a first for the insurer, a benchmark player in health, who wishes to reaffirm its societal role. Swiss Life supports its customers throughout their lives, including in difficult times. This is why, # VivrePlusLongtemps  constituts one of the fundamental aspects of its raison d'être, the Swiss insurer joined forces with the Institut Curie - a foundation recognized as having public utility since 1921 - to launch this big challenge # AI4Curie-SwissLife.

To support the revolution linked to health data, Institut Curie has set up a transversal structure, the Data Department, which supports its researchers and medical staff in structuring, making available and promoting data from health and research. Institut Curie is today at the forefront of the use of data and artificial intelligence to improve research and treatment of patients. In this perspective, AI4Curie is a real opportunity to collaborate with new partners in the artificial intelligence and automatic image processing, hence this ambitious partnership with Swiss Life.

"It was quite legitimate for us to join in such a challenge on the one hand, because we have been a great support of the Institut Curie for years in cancer research, and on the other hand, because that we believe we have a societal role to play as a health insurer "declared Pierre François, managing director of SwissLife Prévoyance et Santé

Artificial intelligence: a revolution announced for cancer research and the treatment of patients

The objective is to make data more effective in accelerating the discovery of new therapeutic targets, predicting the effect of molecules and the response to treatments to advance the Precision medicine.

"AI is a revolution in oncology because it will allow us to better classify tumors, better predict response to treatment and improve the prognosis," explains Dr. Alain Livartowski, oncologist and advisor to the Director of Curie Data.

In the era of artificial intelligence, it is essential to work with these masses of data, that is to say to identify and interpret them. This is the case at the Institut Curie, which has 500,000 patient files and is a pioneer in the computerization of clinical data. Medical records have been computerized there for over 15 years and there is a shared medical record that structures medical information precisely to provide usable, quality data.

Lung cancer: continuing to personalize treatments and innovate to reduce mortality

Each year, more than 31,000 men and more than 15,000 women are affected by lung cancer. Second cause of cancer in men, after the prostate, and third cause of cancer in women, after the breast and the colon-rectum, it occurs on average at the age of 66 and remains the first cause of death from cancer in France with more than 33,000 deaths each year, in particular due to tobacco

"Two revolutions have profoundly changed care over the past five years and allow us to offer truly personalized treatments: targeted therapies and immunotherapy", says Professor Nicolas Girard, oncologist and pulmonologist at the Institut Curie, responsible for Thorax Curie-Montsouris Institute and president of the Jury for this challenge. With immunotherapy, by stimulating the patient's immune system, we obtain prolonged therapeutic responses, with lower toxicities than those of chemotherapy. "

One of the major challenges is to be able to identify the patients who will respond to immunotherapy." It is a question of giving the right treatment to each patient taking into account many parameters concerning both the tumor and the patient himself " , he specifies. He concludes: "This integration of many parameters, known and especially still unknown to date, in the treatment decision, requires the support of teams specialized in artificial intelligence. The expertise and help of Swiss Life, a long-standing partner of the Institute, is indisputable in developing prediction models. "