Mesothelioma is a notoriously difficult disease to diagnose. Often, its victims do not realize anything is wrong until the disease is at advanced stages, when it becomes difficult and painful to breathe. Even then, measuring the progression of the disease presents its own challenges.
The problem doctors face
The greatest challenge for doctors is the difficulty in measuring the growth of mesothelioma tumors within and around the lungs. This is a challenge both for diagnosing the disease in the first place and for monitoring its progression.
The tumor grows so slowly and in such a complex pattern that it is extremely time-consuming and difficult to measure accurately. As a result, it can be difficult to identify in its early stages. Even after a mesothelioma tumor is identified, it is very easy for a doctor to make mistakes in measurements, even for doctors who are trained specialists.
New tools are on the horizon
Researchers and scientists at a company in Scotland called Canon Medical Research Europe have been cooperating with the University of Glasgow to come up with a solution to this problem.
These researchers have been testing an artificial intelligence (AI) program that they designed to examine CT scans. The AI has proven itself capable of identifying mesothelioma tumors without any assistance from humans.
The truly amazing part of this development is that this AI can also provide an accurate measurement of the tumors – and in a tiny fraction of the time that it would take a human doctor to make the same measurement.
How doctors can use the information
This exciting new development brings hope to the thousands of people fighting against mesothelioma around the world. With this technology, not only will doctors be able to identify tumors sooner, but scientists will also be able to perform tests of new treatment procedures.