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artificial intelligence used by UK firm to develop bowel cancer blood test

Artificial Intelligence Used by UK Firm to Develop Bowel Cancer Blood Test 

UK based firm, and Swansea University spin out, CanSense has spent the last 8 years utilising artificial intelligence to develop a blood test for bowel cancer.  Bowel cancer is one of the most invasive and expensive cancers to detect, currently requiring a colonoscopy to be performed. This not only puts people off reporting symptoms to their doctors, but also costs the NHS a huge amount of money every year. CanSense has developed a simple blood test that can be performed by the GP. 

CanSense develop AI blood test for bowel cancer

Here’s what CanSense says: ‘Bowel cancer (also known as colorectal cancer) is the third most common cancer and the fourth most common cause of deaths globally. It accounts for roughly 1.4 million new cases and 700,000 deaths annually. In Europe bowel cancer is the second most common cancer, with 450,000 new cases per year. Incidence is particularly high and is continuing to rise in developed countries.  It is well established that early detection is key to saving lives.

CanSense is developing a fast, inexpensive and scalable test for the early diagnosis of bowel cancer using artificial intelligence-based modelling (AI).  The test is a potential game changer in the approach to bowel cancer diagnosis and screening.  It is focused on patient acceptability and reduced mortality via early stage diagnosis. It has the additional benefit of reducing the demands on more invasive colonoscopy diagnosis and reducing the financial burden on the healthcare provider.

Our blood test can be used to inform healthcare professionals as to the necessity of further colonoscopy investigation. From the anxious symptomatic patient’s perspective this triage-type process for CRC offers great benefit and represents excellent news. The result will rapidly and accurately identify the patients requiring urgent priority treatment. For those patients given the all clear, it removes the need for a colonoscopy and quickly alleviates their anxiety.

The test can be applied to support clinical trials which are focused on resectable high-risk colorectal cancer. In that regard the purpose is to identify those most likely to benefit from the new treatment and support the regulatory drug approval process'

The Potential of Artificial Intelligence

AI artificial intelligence bowel cancer blood test

Seeing the power of artificial intelligence (AI) at work is inspiring. AI is creating huge jumps in medical knowledge and its ability to diagnose and treat serious illness. This is not the only recent advancement in cancer blood testing - see our earlier article about Girelli and its Grail cancer blood test here

The potential of artificial intelligence (AI) is inspiring. As with all great developments, there is some nervousness around the capability of AI and what its impact will be. It is so important that we educate people about the mechanics of AI, its potential and its limitations. AI has the power to improve lives, and save lives, if we embrace it. 

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