UK Oncologists develop AI model to Predict Spread of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

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Researchers have had a test run of the AI model on more than 5000 lymph nodes donated by about 350 patients.

Oncologists in the United Kingdom have made a significant breakthrough in the fight against breast cancer with the development of a new artificial intelligence (AI) model. The innovative technology aims to predict whether triple-negative breast cancer, a particularly aggressive form of the disease, will affect other parts of the body based on changes observed in the lymph nodes of patients.

Funded by the esteemed King’s College of London, the groundbreaking research has recently been published in the Journal of Pathology by Breast Cancer Now, a renowned breast cancer research organization.

The study’s findings offer promising insights into the detection and treatment of secondary breast cancer, also known as metastatic breast cancer, which occurs when cancer cells spread beyond the breast to other organs. Although current treatments can help manage the disease, scientists have not discovered a definitive cure.

Research to stop metastasis of cancerous cells

The research team, led by Dr. Anita Grigoriadis, sought to determine the likelihood of breast cancer spreading by utilizing AI technology to analyze the immune system’s response within the lymph nodes of women diagnosed with aggressive forms of the disease. Lymph nodes, which are present throughout the body, play a crucial role in the body’s defense against diseases and infections.

Typically, if breast cancer metastasizes, patients require more intensive treatment. However, the researchers believe that by studying the immune system’s response, it may be possible to predict whether cancer cells will spread to other areas of the body.

To develop their AI model, the team also converted microscopic observations into a comprehensive framework. This AI-powered software has the potential to aid doctors in treating their patients and, more importantly, serve as an additional tool in preventing the development of metastatic breast cancer.

The AI model went through rigorous testing, utilizing over 5,000 lymph nodes from approximately 350 patients. Dr. Grigoriadis highlighted the team’s ability to build upon their understanding of the immune response’s role in predicting a patient’s prognosis. By demonstrating that changes in lymph nodes can determine the likelihood of triple-negative breast cancer spreading, the researchers have paved the way for a more targeted approach to treatment.

“We aim to harness these findings to develop AI-powered software based on our model, which can be utilized by pathologists to benefit women affected by this difficult-to-treat form of breast cancer”

Dr. Anita Grigoriadis, Head of Research Team, Breast Cancer Now

The development of this groundbreaking AI model marks a significant step forward in the fight against breast cancer. With further research and validation, this innovative technology holds the potential to revolutionize breast cancer treatment and enhance patient outcomes, bringing hope to countless women battling this devastating disease.

Photo Credit: Angio Harry