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Friday 25 Aug 2017 01.17 PM

AI system to help detect skin cancer in early stages

Artificial intelligence, skin cancer,

Toronto : Scientists are developing an artificial intelligence based system to help detect melanoma - a deadly form of skin cancer - in its early stages. The system, built by researchers at University of Waterloo in Canada, analyses images of skin lesions and provides doctors with data on telltale biomarkers of melanoma, which is deadly if detected late, but highly treatable if caught early.

It deciphers levels of biomarker substances in lesions, adding consistent, quantitative information to assessments currently based on appearance alone, researchers said.In particular, changes in the concentration and distribution of eumelanin, a chemical that gives skin its colour, and hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells, are strong indicators of melanoma, they said.

The artificial intelligence (AI) system - trained using tens of thousands of skin images and their corresponding eumelanin and hemoglobin levels - could initially reduce the number of unnecessary biopsies, a significant health-care cost, researchers said. It gives doctors objective information on lesion characteristics to help them rule out melanoma before taking more invasive action. "This could be a very powerful tool for skin cancer clinical decision support. The more interpretable information there is, the better the decisions are," said Alexander Wong, a professor of systems design engineering at Waterloo. PTI

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Friday 25 Aug 2017 01.17 PM
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