Scottish Researchers Create Artificial Intelligence Tool for Detecting Mesothelioma

The difficulty of diagnosing malignant mesothelioma and of tracking its progression through the body is one of the greatest challenges faced by patients and physicians alike, but researchers in Scotland are developing a groundbreaking new tool that could revolutionize the process. Cancer specialists have worked with a medical imaging software company to utilize Artificial Intelligence in a new and remarkably effective way.

New Imaging System Pinpoints Mesothelioma Growth

Using Artificial Intelligence to assess mesothelioma is not new, but the system developed by Canon Medical Research Europe is being heralded as groundbreaking. The company, which specializes in medical imaging software, has been working with experts from the University of Glasgow and is about to publish its clinical findings on the newly-developed tool. 

The need for improved protocols surrounding malignant mesothelioma is particularly critical in Scotland: The country’s extensive use of asbestos in shipbuilding and construction has led to it having the highest incidence of mesothelioma in the world. In response, the country has introduced a Cancer Innovation Challenge that has increased funding for technology like this Artificial Intelligence system, which has been trained to find and measure mesothelioma on CT scans.

Teaching Computers to Spot and Measure Mesothelioma Tumors

The Artificial Intelligence software was trained by showing it over 100 previously recorded CT scans of mesothelioma tumors. Those images were carefully marked by a mesothelioma expert to make sure that the software was properly exposed to the characteristics of the rare type of tumor. Following the training session the Artificial Intelligence program was shown new scans to see how successfully it had been taught to identify and stage the disease. The results of the mesothelioma recognition training were excellent.

The researchers indicate that the tool will improve both the accuracy and speed with which mesothelioma tumors are diagnosed and measured, thus speeding the determination of which treatment will be most beneficial and that treatment’s administration. Speaking of the findings, Keith Goatman, Principal Scientist at Canon Medical, said, “The speed and accuracy of the AI algorithm could have a wide-reaching impact on Mesothelioma treatment. Accurate tumor volume measurements are much too time-consuming to perform by hand. Automating these measurements will open the way for clinical trials of new treatments, by detecting even small changes in the tumor size. Ultimately, it could be used routinely in hospitals to decide the best treatment for each individual.”

Faster diagnosis of mesothelioma will result in more effective treatment. For more information on innovations in the treatment of this rare and deadly disease, contact the Patient Advocates at today at 1-800-692-8608.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

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