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Researchers' AI Predicted Pancreatic Cancer 3 Years Before Doctors

Sunday May 14, 2023. 05:34 PM , from Slashdot
Researchers' AI Predicted Pancreatic Cancer 3 Years Before Doctors
The Register reports:
AI algorithms can screen for pancreatic cancer and predict whether patients will develop the disease up to three years before a human doctor can make the same diagnosis, according to research published in Nature on Monday.

Pancreatic cancer is deadly; the five-year survival rate averages 12 percent. Academics working in Denmark and the US believe AI could help clinicians by detecting pancreatic cancer at earlier stages, if the software can reliably predict which patients are at higher risk of developing the disease. The researchers trained AI algorithms on millions of medical records obtained in the Danish National Patient Registry and the US Veterans Affairs Corporate Data Warehouse... 'Cancer gradually develops in the human body, often over many years and fairly slowly, until the disease takes hold,' Chris Sander, the study's co-senior investigator and leader of a lab working at the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School, told The Register. 'The AI system attempts to learn from signs in the human body that may relate to such gradual changes...'

'AI on real-world clinical records has the potential to produce a scalable workflow for early detection of cancer in the community, to shift focus from treatment of late-stage to early-stage cancer, to improve the quality of life of patients and to increase the benefit/cost ratio of cancer care,' the paper reads... The study is still in its early stages, and the software cannot yet be used to run screening programs. Improvements are needed before even a trial can be conducted... Still, the team believes that as the technology improves and operating costs decrease, AI could become a valuable screening tool in the future. 'Many types of cancer, especially those hard to identify and treat early, exert a disproportionate toll on patients, families and the healthcare system as a whole,' said Søren Brunak, professor of disease systems biology and director of research at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research at the University of Copenhagen, a co-senior investigator of the study, said in a statement.

'AI-based screening is an opportunity to alter the trajectory of pancreatic cancer, an aggressive disease that is notoriously hard to diagnose early and treat promptly when the chances for success are highest,' he concluded.
Thanks to Slashdot reader Tony Hu for sharing the article.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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