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Artificial Intelligence helps predict cancer symptoms

Artificial intelligence (AI) developed by the University of Surrey can help in predicting cancer symptoms in individual patients, according to new research published in the PLO One journal.

The researchers from the Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing (CVSSP) who worked on the study, believe it might be the first one of its kind.

They created two machine learning models that are able to accurately predict the progression of three common symptoms faced by cancer patients – depression, anxiety and sleep disturbance.  Being able to predict and monitor the three symptoms could lead to substantial improvements in their quality of life.

Scientists analysed existing data of the symptoms cancer patients experienced during the course of computed tomography x-ray treatment. They examined the data in different time periods to test whether the machine learning algorithms were able to accurately predict when and if symptoms surfaced.

What the result of the research revealed is that the symptoms predicted by the machine learning methods were very close to the real reported symptoms.

Payam Barnaghi, Professor of Machine Intelligence at the University of Surrey, said: “These exciting results show that there is an opportunity for machine learning techniques to make a real difference in the lives of people living with cancer.

“They can help clinicians identify high-risk patients, help and support their symptom experience and pre-emptively plan a way to manage those symptoms and improve quality of life.”

Nikos Papachristou, who worked on designing the machine learning algorithms for this project, added: “I am very excited to see how machine learning and AI can be used to create solutions that have a positive impact on the quality of life and well-being of patients.”

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