by Allison Inserro, AJMC

Could artificial intelligence (AI) be used to identify patients with early-stage pancreatic cancer close to 2 years before the disease becomes apparent, and thus harder to treat?

A presentation at the ESMO World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer Thursday suggested that using AI to comb through electronic health records (EHRs) to look for the subtle signs that individuals often present with to their doctor in the years leading up to diagnosis is a possibility but will need a larger trial.

Pancreatic cancer is typically diagnosed in more advanced stages, with few treatment options and low survival rates; fewer than 1 in 10 patients live for 5 years or more after diagnosis. Globally, there were 458,918 new cases reported in 2018; in the United States, it affects nearly 57,000 Americans annually.

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