Artificial intelligence could help to plan radiotherapy treatment for head and neck cance

13 Sep 2018
An artificial intelligence (AI) system that could help to plan radiotherapy treatment for head and neck cancer patients has shown promising early results.

Clinicians and researchers from DeepMind Health and University College London Hospitals (UCLH) are developing an algorithm which initial testing suggests can perform to a similar standard as radiographers and oncologists but in a fraction of the time.

At present, it can take clinicians up to four hours to manually mark-up cancerous and healthy tissues on CT scans of head and neck cancer patients ahead of radiotherapy.

This process, known as segmentation, is particularly difficult for cancer of the head and neck, such as mouth cancer, because these tumours are situated extremely closely to healthy structures such as the eyes and salivary glands. Read more...

Students report performing sensitive examinations without patient consent, researchers say 'unacceptable practice'

New research has revealed University of Auckland student doctors are performing sensitive examinations such as breast and genitalia check ups without patients knowing they're in training.


New research has revealed some University of Auckland student doctors are performing sensitive examinations without patients knowing they're still in training.

More than 20 students - who had worked at general practices and hospitals around the country - told researchers they felt uncomfortable with the situation and said some senior clinicians responded by saying it was too difficult to explain to "uneducated" patients.

The University of Auckland study, published in the New Zealand Medical Journal today, received 100 reports from students about patient consent which raised ethical concerns. Read more ....


DNA vaccine leads to immune responses in HPV-related head and neck cancer


A therapeutic vaccine can boost antibodies and T cells, helping them infiltrate tumors and fight off human papillomavirus (HPV)-related head and neck cancer. Researchers from the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania tested the immunotherapy approach in two groups of patients with advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCCa) and found 86% showed elevated T-cell activity. It is also the first study to show that the vaccine can help immune cells infiltrate tumors. The study also describes one patient who received the vaccine on the trial, developed metastatic disease 7 months later, then was treated with anti-PD-1 immunotherapy and has been in remission for more than 2 years. Researchers published their findings in Clinical Cancer Research today. Read more...

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