Monday, 22 July, 2019

Artificial Intelligence Algorithm Detects Cervical Precancers Better Than Experts, Study Shows

Guidelines recommend less frequent cervical cancer The Medical Minute: Screenings, vaccine prevent cervical cancer
Gustavo Carr | 13 January, 2019, 23:27

The AI tool, when identifying precancer, achieved an AUC of 0.91, about 1.3 times better than the review of human experts, which achieved an AUC of 0.69. Because of its convenience and low cost, VIA is widely used where more advanced screening methods are not available.

The human papillomavirus is the single greatest risk factor for cervical cancer, which is nearly completely preventable through regular routine screening, avoiding tobacco products, and obtaining the HPV vaccine.

More than 9400 women participated in that study, with follow-up that lasted 18 years.

'Cervical cancer has become a health disparity issue, ' said Dr Schiffman. In this form of approach, a health works apply the dilute acetic acid to the cervix, and the inspects the cervix with the help of a naked eye, looking for the "Aceto whitening";, which reveals the possible disease.

The AI approach, called automated visual evaluation, could revolutionise cervical cancer screening by allowing for the analysis of digital images of a woman's cervix to identify cervical precancer.

For the future, the researchers hope to put the program onto a cellphone so that any woman in any country would be able to take a photo of their cervix and get their results back quickly.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, cervical cancer is preventable and has declined over the last 40 years, yet almost 13,000 women are diagnosed each year.

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"Machine learning actually outperformed human experts by a considerable margin".

Sabera said that the administration of cervical cancer vaccine before their first sexual intercourse provides life-long protection to adolescent girls from cervical cancer. "Eventually, you'll just need a cellphone and you could put an app on it", Schiffman said.

"When this algorithm is combined with advances in HPV vaccination, emerging HPV detection technologies, and improvements in treatment, it is conceivable that cervical cancer could be brought under control, even in low-resource settings", the researchers said.

Dr. Jennifer Wu is an obstetrician-gynecologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "So visualization and treatment at the same visit are much better for the patients", Wu noted. He envisions it being used in areas where women need to be screened and treated on the same day if the tests show any areas of concern. "We are trying to find extremely affordable and easy, but very accurate methods to attack cancer by the vaccine or by simple techniques, such as a smartphone", he says.

As January marks Cervical Health Awareness Month, healthcare stakeholders are emphasizing the importance of screening for the disease, which has reduced the incidence of cervical cancer death by more than 60% since its introduction in the 1950s.

Once trained on this image basis, the algorithm visually detected precancerous cells in 91% of cases, according to the study published Thursday in the journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Kiplyn Primus talks about Cervical Cancer Awareness Month with Ian Fennell, Health Programs Manager for the Good Samaritan Health Center, on The Local Take On WCLK.