How AI and machine learning are tackling breast cancer
July 23, 2019
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are being used to improve the accuracy of breast cancer screening in a partnership between Dutch companies medical services provider Affidea and ScreenPoint Medical.
The partnership aims to streamline and improve the clinical performance of screening mammography and drive the earlier detection of breast cancer. The partnership will leverage Affidea's growing footprint in the European breast imaging marketplace and provide an opportunity for ScreenPoint Medical to implement its Transpara AI in another three European countries – Greece, Hungary and Spain.
Transpara is AI software for breast cancer screening. It uses deep learning algorithms to detect automatically lesions suspicious for breast cancer in 2D and 3D mammograms. The software categorises mammograms on a ten-point scale indicating the risk of cancer. Transpara Score can be used to triage examinations and prioritise patients for further investigation.
CAD marks for calcifications, soft tissue lesions and interactive decision support are provided to radiologists to interpret images with higher accuracy. Studies have shown that Transpara matches the performance of radiologists, thus acting as a second opinion increasing diagnostic confidence and accuracy.
"This is our second AI innovative project that we embed across our European network with the goal of expanding precision medicine, improving accuracy and driving a faster, more personalised breast care diagnosis with the help of advanced AI,” said Giuseppe Recchi, Affidea's CEO. “In this way, our doctors can take full advantage of the AI tools allowing them to foster diagnosis confidence and, ultimately, save more lives. We look forward to implementing this AI for the benefit of women across Europe and to working with our partners to develop the very best clinical solutions for patients and doctors."
Transpara is FDA cleared and CE marked for use with digital mammography and digital breast tomosynthesis.
"We are very excited about this strategic partnership, in which ScreenPoint will have a unique opportunity to work with the largest provider of advanced diagnostic imaging in Europe on implementation of AI in breast imaging practice,” said Nico Karssemeijer, CEO of ScreenPoint Medical. “With Affidea, we share the vision that innovative AI is needed to help radiologists deal with increasing demands on quality and efficiency, while diagnostic imaging procedures are getting more complex. We are proud that Transpara is among the first AI applications to be implemented by Affidea and look forward to the collaboration."
Breast cancer is the most frequent cancer among women, with an estimated incidence of 560,000 in 2018, in Europe. One in eight women in EU-28 will develop breast cancer. In 2018, the World Health Organisation estimated that 627,000 women worldwide, out of which 150,000 were in Europe, died from breast cancer.
"We are pushing the boundaries in terms of increased diagnostic accuracy, more personalised treatment and, ultimately, improved clinical outcomes with an outstanding patient experience,” said Rowland Illing, senior vice president of Affidea. “The new AI solution, Transpara, will provide our doctors with an automated clinical decision support to boost reading performance and faster distinguish between healthy and tumour tissue, increasing diagnostic accuracy."