Researchers have recently developed an artificial intelligence (AI) software that reliably interprets mammograms, assisting doctors with a quick and accurate prediction of breast cancer risk.
According to the study, the computer software intuitively translates patient charts into diagnostic information at 30 times the human speed and with 99 per cent accuracy.
Professor Stephen T. Wong said, “This software intelligently reviews millions of records in a short amount of time, enabling us to determine breast cancer risk more efficiently using a patient’s mammogram. This has the potential to decrease unnecessary biopsies.”
The team led by Wong and Jenny C. Chang, M.D, used the AI software to evaluate mammograms and pathology reports of 500 breast cancer patients.
The software scanned patient charts, collected diagnostic features and correlated mammogram findings with breast cancer subtype.
Clinicians used results, like the expression of tumor proteins, to accurately predict each patient’s probability of breast cancer diagnosis.
In the United States, 12.1 million mammograms are performed annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Fifty per cent yield false positive results, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS), resulting in one in every two healthy women told they have cancer.
Currently, when mammograms fall into the suspicious category, a broad range of 3 to 95 per cent cancer risk, patients are recommended for biopsies.
Over 1.6 million breast biopsies are performed annually nationwide, and about 20 per cent are unnecessarily performed due to false-positive mammogram results of cancer free breasts, estimates the ACS.
The Houston Methodist team hopes this artificial intelligence software will help physicians better define the per cent risk requiring a biopsy, equipping doctors with a tool to decrease unnecessary breast biopsies.
Manual review of 50 charts took two clinicians 50-70 hours. AI reviewed 500 charts in a few hours, saving over 500 physician hours.
“Accurate review of this many charts would be practically impossible without AI,” says Wong.
The study is published in Cancer Journal.