AI System Spots Prostate Cancer During Routine CT Scans
Researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, created an AI system that can identify prostate cancer during routine CT scans. It is typically difficult to spot prostate cancer in CT images, and the radiation makes CT unsuitable as a screening modality. However, if men are undergoing abdominal or pelvic scans for other reasons, this latest system can help spot prostate cancer and let clinicians initiate early treatment.

Prostate cancer remains a significant cause of cancer mortality in men. In Australia, where this technology was developed, prostate cancer is responsible for approximately 12% of male cancer deaths. While prostate cancers typically grow fairly slowly, they often go unnoticed for years, which is unfortunate as early treatment is a significant factor in positive outcomes.

While men over a certain age are encouraged to undergo routine prostate exams with their doctor, many skip such visits, leading to undiagnosed cancer that can grow unchecked for years. While nothing can replace a prostate exam with a clinician, incidental discovery of prostate cancer could significantly help many men that would otherwise be oblivious to the reality within. The Aussie researchers trained their AI software to identify prostate cancer in CT scans using a dataset of scans of asymptomatic men with and without prostate cancer. Identifying prostate cancer in a CT scan is typically tricky, even for highly trained human observers, but the AI system handled it well.