Prostate cancer is slow growing and is usually found incidentally, so it can go years without being diagnosed. However, early detection is key to successful treatment .
Now, an artificial intelligence program developed at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) could detect the disease earlier, allowing incidental detection through routine CT scans improving the diagnosis of human experts .
Better than human eyes
CT imaging is not suitable for regular cancer screening due to the high doses of radiation involved, but the AI solution could be used to perform a cancer screening every time the abdomen or pelvis of men is scanned in look for other problems .
For the study , published in Scientific Reports , researchers from RMIT and St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne studied CT scans of asymptomatic patients with and without prostate cancer. The team trained the artificial intelligence software to look for disease characteristics in a variety of scans and where exactly to look for them, avoiding the need to crop the images manually.
The AI performed better than radiologists who viewed the same images, detecting cancerous growths in just seconds. Furthermore, the AI got better with each scan, learning and adapting to read images from different machines to detect even the smallest irregularities .