Mayo Clinic using AI to detect pancreatic cancer

Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic is utilizing artificial intelligence to achieve earlier detection of pancreatic cancer in patients while the disease is still curable, according to an Oct. 2 news release.

Right now, 40 percent of early pancreatic cancers evade detection with existing technology. But when not detected early, 70 percent of patients have an increased risk for mortality. 

Researchers at Mayo Clinic's Comprehensive Cancer Center developed an extensive imaging dataset and used it to train AI technology in identifying this deadly cancer earlier to improve patient outcomes and survival. 

"This is where the study emerges as a beacon of hope," Ajit Goenka, MD, the study's lead author and a radiologist at Mayo Clinic stated in the release. "It addresses the last-mile challenge — detecting the cancer at a stage when the cancer is even beyond the scope of experts."

The model in their study — which was published Aug. 31 in the journal of the American Gastroenterological Association — was capable of detecting pancreatic cancer in patients between three and 36 months prior to traditional clinical diagnosis.

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