Using AI to plan head and neck cancer treatments

Early results from our partnership with the Radiotherapy Department at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust suggest that we are well on our way to developing an artificial intelligence (AI) system that can analyse and segment medical scans of head and neck cancer to a similar standard as expert clinicians. This segmentation process is an essential but time-consuming step when planning radiotherapy treatment. The findingsalso show that our system can complete this process in a fraction of the time.Speeding up the segmentation processMore than half a million people are diagnosed each year with cancers of the head and neck worldwide. Radiotherapy is a key part of treatment, but clinical staff have to plan meticulously so that healthy tissue doesnt get damaged by radiation: a process which involves radiographers, oncologists and/or dosimetrists manually outlining the areas of anatomy that need radiotherapy, and those areas that should be avoided.Although our work is still at an early stage, we hope it could one day reduce the waiting time between diagnosis and treatment, which could potentially improve outcomes for cancer patients.Read More