Groundbreaking groupings

Florentine researchers develop new algorithm

Mary Gray
April 3, 2014

Researchers at the Foundation FiorGen-Cerm at the Polo Scientifico di Sesto Fiorentino have developed an algorithm that could have major implications for cancer treatment. The algorithm, named Kodama after a spirit in Japanese folklore, was developed by Claudio Luchinat, Leonardo Tenori and Stefano Cacciatore, whose work was recently recognized in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a journal published in the United States.


Kodama, an information-based algorithm, divides subjects into groups. The categories that the algorithm creates could improve what is known in the medical field as the ‘stratification of disease.’ For example, oncologists have long emphasized the idea that each tumor is different, and that, consequentially, individuals have unique responses to the same treatment. In the early stages of experimentation, Kodama would be able to identify specific differences among tumors, helping to indicate which treatments would be best suited to individual patients.


As Luchinat explained, ‘The goal is to obtain more detailed classifications of tumors, thereby encouraging stratification and helping develop more personalized medical care methods.’

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