Artificial Intelligence in Mesothelioma Diagnosis, Prognosis, and Treatment Planning

Artificial Intelligence

Two newly-published studies highlight some of the ways that artificial intelligence may help with the diagnosis and treatment of malignant mesothelioma.  The first study focuses on machine learning algorithms for mesothelioma diagnosis. Researchers used data from Turkey, which has a high rate of mesothelioma among families.  A separate study from New York’s Mount Sinai Medical Center demonstrates the role that artificial intelligence can play in planning mesothelioma radiotherapy. Both studies suggest that machine learning may be a valuable tool to help doctors tackle asbestos cancer.  How Does Machine Learning Work? Artificial intelligence refers to intelligence generated by a computer. Like people, computers have to “learn” before they can provide intelligent answers to medical questions.  In both of the new studies, … Continue reading Artificial Intelligence in Mesothelioma Diagnosis, Prognosis, and Treatment Planning »

Exhaled Breath Analysis: Is it the Future of Mesothelioma Diagnosis?

exhaled breath analysis

A new report says there is much for the mesothelioma community to be excited about in the technology known as exhaled breath analysis.  Several studies suggest the method is as accurate at identifying mesothelioma as some more invasive tests.  Researchers at the University of Leuven in Belgium led the new study. They analyzed six other studies on exhaled breath analysis The goal was to see how accurate the method is for diagnosing mesothelioma and other asbestos diseases. The researchers conclude that things look good for exhaled breath analysis, but there is more to learn.  Searching for Signs of Mesothelioma Pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive lung-related cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. It can take decades to develop, but once it … Continue reading Exhaled Breath Analysis: Is it the Future of Mesothelioma Diagnosis? »

Asbestos and Lung Cancer: Study Highlights the Link

asbestos and lung cancer

A new report on asbestos and lung cancer says asbestos could be to blame for the cancer, even if the patient is a heavy smoker.  In smokers, lung cancer is usually attributed to tobacco use. But cancer researchers in Australia and Finland say that is not always right, especially if the patient has been exposed to asbestos. They propose new criteria for establishing the cause of lung cancer in asbestos-exposed people. The criteria would apply to both smokers and non-smokers. Mesothelioma is Not the Only Cancer Linked to Exposure Malignant mesothelioma is the cancer most often associated with asbestos exposure.  Mesothelioma is a rare but fast-growing and treatment-resistant cancer. Asbestos exposure is the only known cause of mesothelioma. Smoking increases … Continue reading Asbestos and Lung Cancer: Study Highlights the Link »

It May Be Possible to Predict Recurrence of Mesothelioma with Help from AI

predict recurrence of mesothelioma

A newly-published report suggests that artificial intelligence (AI) might help pathologists predict recurrence of mesothelioma. The report focuses on technology developed by the RIKEN Center for Advanced Intelligence Project (AIP) in Japan. The Center claims the computer program taught itself to recognize key features in images of cancer.  Some of the features were ones that even pathologists did not know about. The findings suggest that AI and pathologists could predict recurrence of mesothelioma better than pathologists alone.  How AI Might Predict Recurrence of Mesothelioma  A computer program usually has to be “taught” to perform a certain task. But this limits how far the learning can go. Instead of “teaching” it about cancer, researchers let the RIKEN technology learn on its … Continue reading It May Be Possible to Predict Recurrence of Mesothelioma with Help from AI »

Study Evaluates Breath Test to Detect Early Mesothelioma

detect early mesothelioma with breath test?

Doctors in Michigan have launched a study to determine if volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in exhaled breath can detect early mesothelioma. They are also looking for a correlation between participants’ VOCs and biomarkers in the blood. VOCs can give doctors vital information about cellular metabolism. Previous studies of VOCs show that they can sometimes indicate the presence of mesothelioma.  But no one knows yet if VOCs can really detect early mesothelioma. None of the previous studies have been big enough for the technique to be universally recommended.  How VOCs Can Detect Early Mesothelioma Cancer causes biochemical changes in the body. These biochemical changes produce VOCs that a person exhales. Different types of cancer produce different combinations of VOCs. Breath testing … Continue reading Study Evaluates Breath Test to Detect Early Mesothelioma »

Machine Learning Tool May Predict Mesothelioma Survival Better Than Pathologists

machine learning tool

The developers of a machine learning tool called MesoNet say the program can predict mesothelioma survival better than a pathologist. MesoNet is a deep convolutional neural network. It analyzes digitized images of mesothelioma cells to predict overall survival. In a new article in Nature Medicine, its creators compared the machine learning tool with pathologist-read slides. Then they validated MesoNet with two different sets of mesothelioma patients.  The result may offer a new, more accurate approach to mesothelioma treatment planning.  What is a Machine Learning Tool? A machine learning tool is a computer program that gets “smarter” the more it runs. A deep convolutional neural network is a type of machine learning tool that analyzes images. The more images it analyzes, … Continue reading Machine Learning Tool May Predict Mesothelioma Survival Better Than Pathologists »

MicroRNA Signature for Mesothelioma Could Lead to Earlier Diagnosis

microRNA signature for mesothelioma

Australian researchers believe they have identified what amounts to a microRNA signature for mesothelioma in pleural effusion.  Pleural effusion is the name for excess lung fluid. Up to 90 percent of pleural mesothelioma patients develop a pleural effusion. Researchers at the University of Western Australia say this fluid contains a wealth of information that could improve mesothelioma diagnosis. They have recently identified a trio of RNA molecules in fluid samples that could serve as a microRNA signature for mesothelioma. This “signature” could help doctors distinguish mesothelioma from other types of cancer. The Challenge of Mesothelioma Diagnosis Pleural mesothelioma is notoriously hard to diagnose. The early symptoms of mesothelioma are similar to the symptoms of many other lung conditions. They are … Continue reading MicroRNA Signature for Mesothelioma Could Lead to Earlier Diagnosis »

Minimally Invasive Lymph Node Staging May Prevent Unnecessary Mesothelioma Surgery

lymph node staging for mesothelioma

A minimally invasive procedure for lymph node staging may help some pleural mesothelioma patients avoid the pain and risk of surgery. That is the conclusion of a recent study on endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA).  EBUS-TBNA is a minimally invasive method for testing the lymph nodes deep in the chest (mediastinal lymph nodes). If lymph node staging shows evidence of pleural mesothelioma, surgery is less likely to be effective.  Mediastinal Lymph Node Staging and Mesothelioma Pleural mesothelioma is a rare cancer that starts on the membrane around the lungs. It can spread to the lungs and other organs and is usually fatal.  The mediastinal lymph nodes are located in the area between the lungs. When the body is fighting … Continue reading Minimally Invasive Lymph Node Staging May Prevent Unnecessary Mesothelioma Surgery »

Evaluating Mesothelioma Symptoms: New Tool Makes it Easier

evaluating mesothelioma symptoms

Evaluating mesothelioma symptoms is an important step in planning treatment for asbestos cancer. But researchers at a top US cancer center say it is hard to do a thorough job using current tools. That’s why doctors at MD Anderson have developed their own method for evaluating mesothelioma symptoms. They made some mesothelioma-specific additions to an existing cancer symptom evaluation system. Tests on more than 200 mesothelioma patients show the method works well and is easy to use. The developers hope doctors can use it to design better mesothelioma treatment plans. The Importance of Evaluating Mesothelioma Symptoms When a patient receives a mesothelioma diagnosis, the next step is evaluating mesothelioma symptoms. This process can help give the doctor valuable information about … Continue reading Evaluating Mesothelioma Symptoms: New Tool Makes it Easier »

Breath Testing for Mesothelioma: Not Yet Ready for Widespread Use?

breath testing for mesothelioma

Breath testing for mesothelioma may be a promising new way to catch asbestos cancer early. But Italian researchers are warning that there is not yet enough research to recommend widespread use of the technique. Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a virulent and hard-to-treat cancer. Researchers around the world continue to search for faster, easier ways to diagnose and treat it. Breath testing for mesothelioma is one proposed method. Special machines measure volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in patients’ exhaled breath. VOCs can give doctors important information about cellular metabolism and can indicate the presence of cancer. But researchers at Italy’s University of Bari analyzed all of the studies on breath testing for mesothelioma since 2000. They say none of the studies are … Continue reading Breath Testing for Mesothelioma: Not Yet Ready for Widespread Use? »

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