AI-based predictor of colorectal cancer wins BPI-DOST plum for BioSci alumni

The research that used “AI-based prediction of colorectal cancer using miRNA expressions” won the 2022 BPI-DOST Innovations Award. The study was authored by BS Biology alumni Aamer Sultan, Austin de Asa, and Tesah Guimbangunan, who were advised by Professor Pia Marie S.P. Albano, PhD. With the plum, the group received a trophy and a cash prize of Php 100,000.

The study focused on colorectal cancer (CRC), the third most diagnosed cancer globally, and aimed to find less-invasive and more cost-efficient methods for identifying it. Thus, the study “aimed to develop artificial neural network (ANN) models that could accurately detect CRC using miRNA expressions in tissue and plasma samples…by using miRNA expression profiles of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue and plasma samples obtained from CRC patients and healthy controls.”

According to the findings, “the ANNs achieved an accuracy of 98.5% and 88.2%, a sensitivity of 90.9% and 80.4%, a specificity of 29 92.6% and 84.7%, and an area under the ROC curve of 0.92 and 0.83 for the plasma and tissue samples, respectively. Moreover, sensitivity analyses showed that miR-135b-5p and miR-92a-3p  had the greatest influence in distinguishing CRC from healthy plasma and malignant from  neoplasm-free colorectal tissues, respectively. However, only miR-135b-5p was significantly downregulated in both CRC plasma and malignant colorectal tissue samples.”

This is the latest BPI-DOST plum secured by Thomasian researchers. Among past winners include Jay Patrick M. Nieles (BD Electronics Engineering alumnus – 2019 awardee), Sheena S. Gumatay (BS Biology alumna – 2017 awardee) and Ervin Luis M. Jayag (BS Chemical Engineering alumnus – 2017 awardee).

The BPI-DOST Innovation Awards, in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute, is a competition that aims to challenge bright Filipino students to actively participate in resolving problems in the community through science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

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