Using a new surgical technique developed at University College Dublin that uses artificial intelligence to detect cancerous tissue in real time during surgery could dramatically improve health outcomes.
In a study published in Scientific reports on nature, the new method shows how, with the use of a digital camera and dyes, cancerous processes in living tissue can be visualized during an operation.
This allows surgeons to see the exact extent of cancers during a procedure, ensuring that the maximum amount of cancerous tissue is removed surgically.
“If the cancer can be completely detected, it is much more likely to be cured in a single operation or to have better sequenced combination therapies and thus the risk for the patient of recurrence and complications is markedly reduced,” said Ronan Cahill, professor of surgery at UCD School of Medicine and Mater Misericordiae University Hospital (MMUH).
“The dynamic numerical discrimination of cancer at the time of surgery means the surgical team can better perfect the right procedure for the patient the first time.”
He added, “The tools we are developing are simple to deploy and use software to allow users to easily interpret the results without having to develop additional specialist knowledge.
Previously, surgeons had to wait long before a formal characterization of tissue types could be performed by laboratories.
This delay also occurred when evaluating response to medical therapies by interval radiologic imaging.
On the other hand, the new approach developed by Dr Cahill, alongside Jeffrey Dalli, general surgeon and researcher in surgery at UCD, allows the detection of cancerous tissues not only by their appearance but by their behavior, which allows them to be detected. clearly distinguish from nearby normal tissue. fabric.
Their technique, which uses existing technology and current workflows, uses a camera to take video of a suspicious area that has been infused with a specialized dye. Then, based on how the tissue changes color, an algorithm determines the chances of it being cancerous.
“It only takes a few minutes to determine if a lesion is cancerous,” Dr Cahill said, speaking to The Irish Times.
“If it’s there. [there] it is not necessary to wait for a biopsy, we can remove it immediately. We also have a better chance of curing all cancers for the first time and increasing a person’s chances of being cured. “
Scientific work on the new technique was carried out at UCD and Mater Hospital, with technological collaboration from IBM Research, and the method was successfully applied to 200 patients.
The new approach is particularly effective for colorectal cancers, said Mr Dalli, which affects some 2,800 people each year in Ireland.
“Colon and rectal cancers are common, being the second most common type of cancer in men and women and their incidence is increasing, especially in young people,” he said.
“[This] The technology will help surgeons better distinguish what is best for each patient during operations. ”
Artificial intelligence used for the first time to improve decision-making during colorectal cancer surgery
Jeffrey Dalli et al, Digital dynamic discrimination of primary colorectal cancer using systemic indocyanine green with near infrared endoscopy, Scientific reports (2021). DOI: 10.1038 / s41598-021-90089-7
Quote: Artificial intelligence technique can detect cancerous tissue in real time (2021, June 1) retrieved on June 1, 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-artificial-intelligence-technique-cancerous-tissue .html
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