Patients receiving treatment for a rare cancer linked to asbestos exposure are being assessed with artificial intelligence in a pilot project.
Scotland has the highest incidence of mesothelioma in the world, connected to traditional heavy industry, but options for treating it are limited.
Researchers have created a prototype artificial intelligence system able to recognise the tumours.
It is hoped the technology could speed up clinical trials of new treatments.
Scottish medical imaging software firm, Canon Medical Research Europe, has been working with the University of Glasgow on a study of the new AI cancer assessment tool.
Chemotherapy does not work as effectively on mesothelioma as it does on other cancers and because of how the tumours grow, it’s hard to monitor if treatments are working.
Prof Kevin Blyth, who runs a specialist clinic for mesothelioma patients, said most cancers grow in sphere and to measure that is “relatively straightforward”.
He said: “Mesothelioma is almost like the peel of an orange, it forms like a rind around the lung and if you take a scan of that tumour, it is a very complex shape. To measure changes in that shape is very difficult.”
The AI prototype, developed by researchers to recognise the tumours, was shown more than 100 CT scans which a clinician had already assessed – it was then able to find and measure tumours without human input.
The article was originally posted at the BBC website.
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