In the quest to help physicians understand and anticipate mesothelioma, one of the most important factors is being able to forecast when the rare form of cancer will return. Though there are many protocols that have successfully stopped the growth of the cancerous tumors, predicting its return gives patients more of a fighting chance and can potentially extend survival. According to a recently published Japanese study, artificial intelligence has proven to be a remarkably accurate tool for that task.
Computer Tool Can Predict Mesothelioma Recurrence
According to study author Dr. Yoichiro Yamamoto, the RIKEN Center for Advanced Intelligence Project has devised a computer program whose technology can recognize distinctive elements in images of mesothelioma and other cancers and use those elements to make accurate predictions.
Remarkably, the technology’s ability was not programmed by its developers. Rather the artificial intelligence software taught itself, and in doing so it found features in the images that pathologists had not been previously aware of. This represents a significant step forward in capabilities, and may lead to improved diagnosis and understanding of individual patient’s prognosis.
Computer Artificial Intelligence Represents the Future of Diagnostic Medicine
The report about the RIKEN technology’s success detailed how the program learned from the input of more than 13,000 pathology slides of prostate cancer, but the same abilities will be available for cancers of all kinds, including malignant mesothelioma. The fact that the artificial intelligence was able to identify predictive aspects of the images that the pathologists had been unaware of will prove particularly helpful for a rare cancer like mesothelioma, for which there are few samples for physicians to learn from.
The researchers determined that the measures used by the artificial intelligence were more accurate than what is currently used by pathologists, and hopes that combining the powers of each will result in far greater capabilities. Dr. Yamamoto said, “Combining the AI’s predictions with those of a pathologist increased the accuracy even further, showing that AI can be used hand-in-hand with doctors to improve medical care.”
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, then you know how important it is to be able to predict what the disease will do next. For more information, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net at 1-800-692-8608.