Health Care

Computer can spot bowel cancer in less than a second

Computer can spot bowel cancer in less than a second”

Several universities have developed systems that can detect diseases before medical symptoms appear.

In order to analyze almost 300 features of a colorectal polyp, the computer-assisted diagnosis system makes use of an endocytoscopic image that provides a 500-fold magnified view of the polyp after staining with methylene blue or after the application of NBI (narrow-band imaging) mode. Reportedly, researchers across the globe are exploring myriad AI for early cancer detection for quite a while now. The AI was able to tell within a second whether the tumor was cancerous or not.

The findings of the first prospective trails of the AI-assisted endoscopic system were presented yesterday in Barcelona, Spain, at the 25th United European Gastroenterology (UEG) week.

The 86% accuracy figure, if it holds steady in future studies, is impressive. In newly administered trials the artificial intelligence (AI)-powered system was able to locate colorectal adenomas that are non-malignant tumors that can spread into cancer from enhanced endoscopic images.

"This allows the complete resection of adenomatous (cancerous) polyps and prevents unnecessary polypectomy (removal) of non-neoplastic polyps".

"The most remarkable breakthrough with this system is that artificial intelligence enables real-time optical biopsy of colorectal polyps during colonoscopy, regardless of the endoscopists' skill", said Dr Yuichi Mori from Showa University in Yokohama, Japan.

Early detection is crucial in colorectal cancer, as it is highly treatable in its early stages.

Often detected late, at which point it can be fatal, and with the prognosis for 43% of patients not surviving ten years after their diagnosis, it is essential to develop more efficient methods of diagnosis.

In recent tests, says Alphr, the system successfully identified 90% of colorectal adenomas - benign tumours that can evolve into bowel cancer - from a sample of 250 patients.

"This is thought to decrease the risk of colorectal cancer and, ultimately, cancer-related death", Mori added.

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