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AI vs Cancer

AI algorithm could assist busy pathologists identifying cancer in biopsies

11 April 2022

AI vs Cancer

Thanks to sci-fi, we associate artificial intelligence (AI) with robot uprisings that enslave humanity. But – for now – AI is more likely to help than harm us. Researchers have developed a new AI algorithm to help diagnose colorectal cancer, the third most common cancer worldwide. The examination of colorectal biopsies by expert pathologists is the best way to diagnose cancer, but these specialists are overworked, leading to fatigue and risking mistakes. An algorithm, however, is only limited by its hardware. The AI, trained on clinical biopsies annotated by experts, first identifies healthy and cancerous areas and then classifies each as ‘high risk’ (red in this biopsy section) or ‘low risk’ (green). The AI classified nearly 4 in 5 biopsies correctly, and most of the mistakes were false positives, meaning that it's unlikely to miss cancer. After further improvements, the aim is to introduce the AI as a tool to assist pathologists soon.

Written by Henry Stennett

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