Dr Yinyin Yuan
Dr Yinyin Yuan, at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, is using artificial intelligence to study how lung cancers evolve, which can allow them to escape treatment.
Dr Yuan is developing a fast, automated way of imaging cells, that will reveal the characteristics of the cells inside lung tumours. This technique will allow them to look at the numbers of different types of cells, and their distribution within the tumour. Working with our TRACERx study, she’s seeing if there is a pattern that could help predict how well a patient might respond to different treatments.
By looking at the cellular ‘ecosystem’ of the tumours, and how the healthy cells and cancer cells interact, she hopes to reveal how healthy cells can influence how the cancer cells evolve. Dr Yuan is particularly interested in immune cells. She’s investigating the best way to measure how the immune system responds to the tumour – whether it helps or hinders it – and if there’s a way to work out whether immune-targeting treatments could be effective.
This is particularly important for immunotherapy, as while it can be hugely beneficial for some patients, for others it has no effect and can carry serious side effects. She hopes that this work will reveal which patients may benefit from this treatment, and help spare those who won’t.