Can Artificial Intelligence Be Used to Fight Colorectal Cancer

Mohd Sadiq   by Mohd Sadiq, MS, Bioinformatics    Last updated on November 18, 2020,


Colorectal cancer is the cancer of the colon or the rectum. Colorectal cancer, also referred to as bowel cancer, rectal cancer, or colon cancer, depending on where they start. It is one of the leading causes of death. On the other hand, due to advancements in screening technology and improved treatment methods, the death rate from colorectal cancer has declined. Colorectal cancer may be benign or malignant. Malignant cancer may spread to other body parts and may damage them. Most colorectal cancers start as an overgrowth on the colon or rectum's inner lining and are called polyps.

Role of Artificial Intelligence in Colorectal Cancer

Researchers claim that artificial intelligence can locate colorectal cancer in less than a second to advance patient diagnosis. The artificial intelligence system may identify potentially menacing cancers from endoscopy images with high clinical accuracy.

Researchers from Showa University in Yokohama, Japan, developed the computer-aided diagnostic system commonly known as artificial intelligence that uses an endocytoscopic image (magnified view of a colorectal polyp), to analyze about 300 features of the polyp after applying narrow-band imaging (NBI) technique or staining with methylene blue. Colorectal polyps are excess growths that appear on the surface of the colon.

Scientists have been trying to estimate how artificial intelligence can be used to determine the health risks with cancers, and it can be considered a boon for healthcare professionals to diagnose the diseases effectively so that effective treatment can be given to the patients. Dr. Yuichi Mori, a researcher from Showa University in Yokohama, Japan, suggests artificial intelligence might be used to detect colorectal tumors in their initial stages before they turn malignant and malignant cancer becomes difficult to treat. Actually, the computer-aided technology was able to detect cancer with 86% accuracy.

Dr. Mori presented the new data at the United European Gastroenterology conference in Barcelona. He collected high-resolution images of pre-cancerous and cancerous cells to fasten the machine learning process and to determine its efficiency. Artificial intelligence distinguished cancers from highly magnified pictures of colorectal polyps in less than a second.

The computer-aided machine learning predicted each polyp's pathology after using the final pathological reports taken from the various samples. The results were highly hopeful. It also helped in identifying the abnormal growth of the tissues.


What is Colorectal Cancer?

Prevention of Colorectal Cancer

Artificial Intelligence and Healthcare

 Artificial intelligence was able to identify the abnormal colon cell growths, which were most likely to be cancerous. An 86% accuracy figure of the machine learning process, if it embraces stability in future studies, could be a remarkable step in serving human ailments. According to Dr. Mori, "The most remarkable breakthrough with this system is that artificial intelligence enables real-time optical biopsy of colorectal polyps during colonoscopy, regardless of the endoscopists skills." Colorectal cancer can be life-threatening once it develops malignant tumors and can easily spread to the bloodstream or lymph nodes. With early diagnosis, the disease can be treated and prevented from its deteriorating effects on health. Moving ahead with innovation, researchers are working on an automatic polyp detection system. Dr. Mori stated that "Precise on-site identification of adenomas during colonoscopy contributes to the complete resection of neoplastic lesions." This could be an effective way to decrease the risk of colorectal cancer and may overcome cancer-related deaths. Artificial intelligence could serve as a useful tool to help healthcare professionals speed up diagnostics.

Mohd Sadiq

Mohd Sadiq is a bioinformaticist with a special interest in Nanotechnology. He completed his Master’s degree from Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi, followed by an internship in the Department of Plant Molecular Biology, University of Delhi, South Campus. Mohd Sadiq has also worked at Codon Biotech Pvt. Ltd. Noida.

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