Saturday February 29, 2020

Researchers Develop New Method Based on Artificial Intelligence to Detect Prostate Cancer

To train and test the AI system, the researchers digitized more than 8,000 biopsies taken from some 1,200 Swedish men in the ages of 50-69

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Cancer
The AI-system has the potential to solve one of the bottlenecks in the modern prostate cancer histopathology by providing more accurate diagnosis and better treatment decisions. Pixabay

Researchers have developed a method based on artificial intelligence (AI) for diagnosis and grading of prostate cancer.

The AI-system has the potential to solve one of the bottlenecks in the modern prostate cancer histopathology by providing more accurate diagnosis and better treatment decisions, they said.

The study, published in the journal The Lancet Oncology, shows that the AI-system is as good at identifying and grading prostate cancer as world-leading uro-pathologists.

“Our results show that it is possible to train an AI-system to detect and grade prostate cancer on the same level as leading experts,” said study researcher Martin Eklund, Associate Professor at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. “This has the potential to significantly reduce the workload of uro-pathologists and allow them to focus on the most difficult cases,” Eklund added.

A problem in modern prostate pathology is that there is a certain degree of subjectivity in the assessments of the biopsies. Different pathologists can reach different conclusions even though they are studying the same samples.

This leads to a clinical problem where the doctors must pick treatment based on ambiguous information, the study said. In this context, the researchers see significant potential to use the AI-technology to increase the reproducibility of the pathological assessments.

To train and test the AI system, the researchers digitized more than 8,000 biopsies taken from some 1,200 Swedish men in the ages of 50-69 to high-resolution images using digital pathology scanners. About 6,600 of the samples were used to train the AI system to spot the difference between biopsies with or without cancer.

The remaining samples, and additional sets of samples collected from other labs, were used to test the AI system. Its results were also compared against the assessments of 23 world-leading uro-pathologists.

Cancer
Researchers have developed a method based on artificial intelligence (AI) for diagnosis and grading of prostate cancer. Pixabay

The findings showed that the AI-system was almost near-perfect in determining whether a sample contained cancer or not, as well as in estimating the length of the cancer tumor in the biopsy. When it comes to determining the severity of the prostate cancer, the so-called Gleason score, the AI system was on par with the international experts.

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The initial findings are promising but more validation is needed before the AI system may be rolled out broadly in clinical practice, according to the researchers. (IANS)

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People with Damaged Livers Can Continue Medication for Diabetes

Even damaged livers can handle medicines for diabetes, BP

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Diabetes
People with diabetes, hypertension and depression might be able to continue taking life saving medications in small doses even while they heal from drug-induced liver injuries. Pixabay

People with diabetes, hypertension and depression might be able to continue taking life saving medications in small doses even while they heal from drug-induced liver injuries, suggests new research.

The findings, published in the journal Drug Metabolism and Disposition, suggests that doctors need not always make patients with drug-induced liver injury stop taking all their medications until the liver healed.

Drug-induced liver injury — when a person accidentally harms their liver by taking medications prescribed by a doctor (or occasionally over the counter drugs) — affects about almost 1 million people globally. “Doctors give patients drugs to treat diseases. No one wants their liver damaged, but it happens all the time,” said Xiaobo Zhong from the University of Connecticut in the US.

When a person takes a medication by mouth, it goes into their stomach and then to the intestines, where it is absorbed into the blood. This blood, in turn, passes first through the liver before reaching the rest of the body. The liver has enzymes that break down medicines.

But different people naturally have more or less of these enzymes. Sometimes, what could be a safe and effective dose in one person is too much for someone else who has different enzyme levels. This is why some individuals are more vulnerable to liver damage, even when taking drugs just as a doctor prescribed.

Diabetes
If patients have chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, or depression, their conditions can run out of control if they do not take their medicines. Pixabay

There is no standard guidance for doctors when a patient gets drug-induced liver damage. Often times they tell the person to stop taking all medications immediately and wait for their liver to recover. But that can take weeks or months.

“But if patients have chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, or depression, their conditions can run out of control,” if they stop taking the medications, Zhong said. And that can be life threatening.

The researchers tested whether mice whose livers had been damaged by acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol) had lower levels of drug metabolising enzymes, called cytochrome P450 enzymes.

The researchers investigated whether mice with drug-induced liver damage can safely take medications for diabetes, hypertension and depression. It looks like they can, as long as the doses are much smaller than normal, said the study.

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Because the damaged liver does not break down the medications as efficiently, they are just as effective at these lower doses. The team still has to test whether these results hold in humans. (IANS)