AI can predict risk of pancreatic cancer before symptom appears


Scientists have found that artificial intelligence could be an effective tool in predicting pancreatic cancer before a single symptom appears, according to a study published in the journal Nature Medicine on May 8.

A team of researchers led by Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark and Harvard Medical School in Boston completed a sweeping study to determine whether AI could flag a person’s risk of developing the disease.

The results exceeded their expectations, with the model successfully predicting risk up to three years before diagnosis.
In 2023, about 64,050 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and about 50,550 will die from the aggressive disease, the American Cancer Society (ACS) says.

The five-year survival rate across all stages is just 12% in the U.S.


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While early screening and detection can improve outcomes, a vast majority of cases are diagnosed at advanced stages.

In the study, the researchers used no AI and machine learning methods to analyze medical data from six million patients in Denmark and three million patients in the U.S.

“AI is very good at learning from large databases, even if they’re somewhat noisy, but you need lots of data in order for it to be effective,” study co-author Dr. Chris Sander, PhD, professor of cell biology at Harvard Medical School, told Fox News Digital in an interview.

Only a very small portion of those patients ended up developing pancreatic cancer.
The researchers’ goal was to use AI to find the differences between the two paths — those who were ultimately diagnosed and those who remained disease-free.