Scientists find how to detect earliest signs of pancreatic cancer

Credit: CC0 Public Domain.

Scientists from Cedars-Sinai developed artificial intelligence (AI) tool that can accurately predict who will develop pancreatic cancer based on CT scan images years prior to being diagnosed with the disease.

This AI tool was able to capture and quantify very subtle, early signs of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma in CT scans years before the occurrence of the disease. These are signs that the human eye would never be able to discern.

The research is published in the journal Cancer Biomarkers and was conducted by Debiao Li et al.

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is not only the most common type of pancreatic cancer, but it’s also the most deadly.

Recent studies have reported that finding cancer early can increase survival rates by as much as 50%. There currently is no easy way to find pancreatic cancer early, however.

In the study, the team reviewed electronic medical records to identify people who were diagnosed with cancer within the last 15 years and who underwent CT scans six months to three years prior to their diagnosis.

These CT images were considered normal at the time they were taken. The team identified 36 patients who met these criteria, the majority of whom had CT scans done in the ER because of abdominal pain.

The AI tool was trained to analyze these pre-diagnostic CT images from people with pancreatic cancer and compare them with CT images from 36 people who didn’t develop cancer.

The team found that the model was 86% accurate in identifying people who would eventually be found to have pancreatic cancer and those who would not develop cancer.

The AI model picked up on variations on the surface of the pancreas between people with cancer and healthy controls.

These textural differences could be the result of molecular changes that occur during the development of pancreatic cancer.

The team’s hope is this tool could catch cancer early enough to make it possible for more people to have their tumor completely removed through surgery.

This AI tool may eventually be used to detect early disease in people undergoing CT scans for abdominal pain or other issues.

If you care about pancreatic cancer, please read studies about new vaccine to prevent pancreatic cancer, and new therapy to kill pancreatic cancer from within.

For more information about cancer, please see recent studies about herb that may help treat pancreatic cancer, and results showing how to detect pancreatic cancer at treatable stages.

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