AI Predicts Lung Cancer Risk

An artificial intelligence (AI) program accurately predicts the risk that lung nodules detected on screening CT will become cancerous, according to a study published in the journal Radiology.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide, with an estimated 1.8 million deaths in 2020, according to the World Health Organization. Low-dose chest CT is used to screen people at a high risk of lung cancer, such as longtime smokers. It has been shown to significantly reduce lung cancer mortality, primarily by helping to detect cancers at an early stage when they are easier to treat successfully.

While lung cancer typically shows up as pulmonary nodules on CT images, most nodules are benign and do not require further clinical workup. Accurately distinguishing between benign and malignant nodules is therefore crucial to catch cancers early.

For the new study, researchers developed an algorithm for lung nodule assessment using deep learning, an AI application capable of finding certain patterns in imaging data. The researchers trained the algorithm on CT images of more than 16,000 nodules, including 1,249 malignancies, from the National Lung Screening Trial. They validated the algorithm on three large sets of imaging data of nodules from the Danish Lung Cancer Screening Trial.

The deep learning algorithm delivered excellent results, outperforming the established Pan-Canadian Early Detection of Lung Cancer model for lung nodule malignancy risk estimation. It performed comparably to 11 clinicians, including four thoracic radiologists, five radiology residents and two pulmonologists.

"The algorithm may aid radiologists in accurately estimating the malignancy risk of pulmonary nodules," said the study's first author, Kiran Vaidhya Venkadesh, a Ph.D. candidate with the Diagnostic Image Analysis Group at Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. "This may help in optimizing follow-up recommendations for lung cancer screening participants."

The algorithm potentially brings several additional benefits to the clinic, the researchers said.

"As it does not require manual interpretation of nodule imaging characteristics, the proposed algorithm may reduce the substantial interobserver variability in CT interpretation," said senior author Colin Jacobs, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Medical Imaging at Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen. "This may lead to fewer unnecessary diagnostic interventions, lower radiologists' workload and reduce costs of lung cancer screening."

The researchers plan to continue improving the algorithm by incorporating clinical parameters like age, sex and smoking history.

They are also working on a deep learning algorithm that takes multiple CT examinations as input. The current algorithm is highly suitable for analyzing nodules at the initial, or baseline, screening, but for nodules detected at subsequent screenings, growth and appearance in comparison to the previous CT are important.

Dr. Jacobs and colleagues have developed other algorithms to reliably extract imaging features from the chest CT related to chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and cardiovascular diseases. They will be investigating how to effectively integrate these imaging features into the current algorithm.

Kiran Vaidhya Venkadesh, Arnaud AA Setio, Anton Schreuder, Ernst T Scholten, Kaman Chung, Mathilde MW Wille, Zaigham Saghir, Bram van Ginneken, Mathias Prokop, Colin Jacobs.
Deep Learning for Malignancy Risk Estimation of Pulmonary Nodules Detected at Low-Dose Screening CT
Radiology, 2021. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2021204433

Most Popular Now

AI Helps Physicians Better Assess the Ef…

In a small but multi-institutional study, an artificial intelligence (AI)-based system improved providers' assessments of whether patients with bladder cancer had complete response to chemotherapy before a radical cystectomy (bladder...

Smartwatches and Fitness Bands Reveal In…

A new digital health study by researchers at Scripps Research shows how data from wearable sensors, such as smartwatches and fitness bands, can track a person’s physiological response to the...

AI may Detect Earliest Signs of Pancreat…

An artificial intelligence (AI) tool developed by Cedars-Sinai investigators accurately predicted who would develop pancreatic cancer based on what their CT scan images looked like years prior to being diagnosed...

Open Call U4H-2022-PJ2: Call for Proposa…

The Ukraine crisis has an unprecedented impact on the mental health of the displaced people in the EU coming from Ukraine. The conflict and experiences of people in war zones...

AI Reduces Miss Rate of Precancerous Pol…

Artificial intelligence reduced by twofold the rate at which precancerous polyps were missed in colorectal cancer screening, reported a team of international researchers led by Mayo Clinic. The study is...

Medical Valley EMN & Volitan Global …

The two healthcare innovation experts Medical Valley EMN and Volitan Global strengthen their existing inbound- and outbound activities through a strategic partnership. The aim is to offer companies access to...

DMEA - Connecting Digital Health Opens w…

26 - 28 April 2022, Berlin, Germany. What plans does the new federal government have concerning the digital transformation of the healthcare sector? What are the initial experiences of doctors regarding...

AI can Predict Probability of COVID-19 v…

Testing shortages, long waits for results, and an over-taxed health care system have made headlines throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. These issues can be further exacerbated in small or rural communities...

Using AI to Detect Cancer from Patient D…

A new way of using artificial intelligence to predict cancer from patient data without putting personal information at risk has been developed by a team including University of Leeds medical...

Oulu University Hospital Expands Partner…

Siemens Healthineers and Oulu University Hospital in Finland have entered a strategic partnership for the next ten years, adding to an existing radiotherapy collaboration to jointly expand and modernize the...

Positive Conclusion to DMEA - Connecting…

26 - 28 April 2022, Berlin, Germany. After three days DMEA, Europe's leading digital health event, came to a successful conclusion - with around 11,000 visitors, more than 500 exhibitors and...

AI-Enabled ECGs may Identify Patients at…

Atrial fibrillation, the most common cardiac rhythm abnormality, has been linked to one-third of ischemic strokes, the most common type of stroke. But atrial fibrillation is underdiagnosed, partly because many...