Deccan Chronicle

AI aids early cancer detection, says expert

Deccan Chronicle.| Aarti Kashyap

Published on: April 17, 2023 | Updated on: April 17, 2023
Senior oncologist and chairperson of Omega Hospitals Dr Mohan Vamsy. (DC Image)

Senior oncologist and chairperson of Omega Hospitals Dr Mohan Vamsy. (DC Image)

HYDERABAD: Artificial intelligence (AI) is the future of medicine in general and oncology in particular, given its accuracy, says city-based senior oncologist Dr Mohan Vamsy.

Dr Vamsy, the chairperson of Omega Hospitals, was addressing a media meeting on Sunday about the newly introduced AI-driven digital PET MR and PET scan for detecting cancer. He said these were far more effective and efficient than analogue scans that have longer acquisition times, with increased exposure to radiation.

"As per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) estimates, there are 1.8-2 million cancer patients in India annually. Diagnosis of cancer is the most essential step in treatment, followed by the staging of cancer in the patient. We have introduced the first digital PET scan and PET MR, which are AI-driven, for faster and accurate detection of cancer," he said.

Dr Vamsi said that an AI-powered digital PET scan took three to four minutes, compared to the 12-15-minute radiation exposure in analogue mode.

"As the acquisition time in AI scan is much shorter, radiation exposure is very less — lesser than 10 millisieverts, one-third the dose of the analogue scan. Moreover, digitalisation improves the sensitivity of the scan where we can identify much smaller lesions," Dr Vamsy said.

He also stressed adaptive radiotherapy, saying it would cut the morbidity of radiation. In cases of brain tumours, where PET CT scan has its limitations, the PET MR technique has been introduced.

"In inaccessible locations of a brain, stereotactic biopsies have a possibility to hit a necrotic tissue. The PET MR will help identify the location for diagnosis and treatment and would enable neurologists and neurosurgeons to identify the viable tissues and the necrotic tissues," Dr Vamsy said.

The scan machine comes with a mechanism that adapts to the circumstance, as it sees the tumour size and position, and replans the radiation, thereby reducing the dose to neighbouring tissues, which is the concept of adaptive radiotherapy, the doctor said.

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