A study reveals the “ability” of artificial intelligence to detect pancreatic cancer

 Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest types of cancer in the world, and the number of people affected is expected to continue to rise.

Pancreatic cancer

The findings, published in the journal Nature Medicine, suggest that AI-based population screening could be useful in detecting people at risk of developing the disease, which could speed up the diagnosis of the disease, which is often in advanced stages with poor treatment and diagnosis efficacy.

Currently, there are no population-based tools for pancreatic cancer screening on a large scale. People with family history and certain gene mutations that predispose them to pancreatic cancer are screened in a targeted way, but researchers say such targeted screening may miss other cases that fall outside those categories.

A new study suggests that artificial intelligence (AI) may contribute to early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, according to the Washington Post.

artificial intelligence

The new study, published last month in Nature Medicine, shows that AI screening could enable earlier diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and lead to more effective treatment.

In tests on a large number of patients, the AI tool successfully identified people at risk of pancreatic cancer, reviewed their medical records, and found evidence of increased risk three years before they were diagnosed.

According to the Mayo Clinic, pancreatic cancer is rarely detected in its early, more curable stages, as symptoms often do not appear until it has spread to other organs.

The need for early detection is clear, as the disease is highly aggressive and usually diagnosed late, leading to poor prognosis.

The researchers used data from medical records of patients in both the United States and Denmark from 1977 to 2020.

They studied a group of 6.2 million Danish patients (of whom 23,985 were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer) and a group of 3 million veterans receiving treatment. Among the veterans, 3,864 were eventually diagnosed with the disease.

The researchers analyzed the data using machine learning models and taught them to predict cancer risk based on symptoms and various diagnosis codes in patients' medical records.

“AI tools that can focus on people at risk of pancreatic cancer can help improve clinical decision-making,” said Chris Sander, a biologist at Harvard Medical School.

About 44% of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at an early stage of the disease are alive five years after diagnosis, but only 12% of those diagnosed are diagnosed at an early stage. If the tumor has grown beyond the site of origin, survival rates drop to between 2-9%.


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