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Finnish AI software improves cancer patient care

Finnish AI software improves cancer patient care

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Radiotherapy plays an important role in cancer treatment. For each cancer patient receiving radiation treatment, a detailed treatment plan is compiled to determine where and how radiotherapy is delivered. Factors to consider in a treatment plan include the size and location of the tumour, as well as possible metastases. Thus far, a physician has had to define the radiotherapy target by manually delineating structures onto multiple X-ray image slices of the patient. These images can range in the hundreds and the plotting of critical tissue structures in the dozens, leading to a time-consuming process that is prone to errors. MVision’s AI has been trained with image sets from hundreds of patients, allowing the software to delineate critical tissue structures automatically for a physician to review and approve.

“AI in radiation treatment planning benefits cancer patients all around the world,” said CEO of MVision, Mahmudul Hasan. “On January 23rd, we started with radiotherapy treatment planning using AI in two hospitals; the Department of Oncology and Radiotherapy at the Turku University Hospital (Tyks) and the Docrates Cancer Center in Helsinki. The initial deployment of the AI software is aimed at prostate cancer patients, but soon the software will accommodate other cancer sites as well, including head and neck cancers, and breast cancer.”

“AI enables a more personalised care for cancer patients. As the software takes care of the core process of radiation treatment planning, the physician can focus more on the individual needs of the patient such as taking the spread and aggressiveness of the cancer into consideration,” said Adjunct Professor and Medical Physicist, Timo Kiljunen from Docrates Cancer Center.

“AI speeds up a physician’s job and allows for repeated and uniform treatment plans on a hospital level, not only on an individual physician’s level. With a high number of cancer patients, having quick treatment planning can also help with waiting times,” stated Professor and Head of Tyks Department of Oncology and Radiotherapy, Heikki Minn.

For its next step, MVision is seeking to enter the global market. “As the number of cancer patients continues to grow, a critical shortage of skilled hospital staff continues to exist in many European countries. This problem can be alleviated with the help of our AI, while ensuring a high and uniform quality of radiation treatment for all patients, which also helps with the waiting times,” said Hasan.

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