Going Digital—How Artificial Intelligence Could Help Identify Breast Cancer

By Sara Bondell - October 22, 2018

Cancer researchers and doctors are always looking for technological advances to help them better diagnose and treat cancer. Now, Google Artificial Intelligence (AI) is providing a new tool to fight the disease.

Google AI wrote in a blog post that its deep-learning program called LYmph Node Assistant, or LYNA, can evaluate lymph node biopsies in breast cancer patients, sometimes even more accurately than humans. LYNA can tell the difference between cancer and non-cancer samples 99 percent of the time, even when looking for extremely small tumors a human pathologist may miss.

“Digital tools will improve efficiency and quality of pathology practice,” said Dr. Anthony Magliocco, Director of Moffitt’s Morsani Molecular Laboratories. “Pathology has been slow to adopt digital tools and the world is thought to be short as many as two million pathologists.”

Moffitt has a leading digital imaging pathology lab, which has developed new digital tests like one that helps determine if patients with bladder cancer need surgery. Magliocco says adding new technology like AI to the pathology practice will not only help diagnose cancer, but also help guide treatment decisions in the era of personalized medicine.

Google AI says LYNA requires more testing, but is a promising step in creating AI technology to assist doctors.

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