Integrating AI with other novel technologies to detect and prevent oesophageal cancer


In the innovative Project DELTA (integrateD diagnostic solution for EarLy deTection of oesophageal cAncer), the PHG Foundation led ethical, and legal research into personalised risk prediction and AI driven pathology to detect oesophageal cancer, and its pre-cursor, Barrett’s oesophagus. Through a collaboration funded by Innovate UK and Cancer Research UK, researchers from Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, King’s College London and Queen Mary’s, working with Cyted, established a new patient pathway, encompassing a novel risk algorithm to identify those at highest risk of developing oesophageal cancer, a novel, non-invasive, nurse administered non-endoscopic sampling device (Cytosponge™-TFF3 test ‘sponge on a string’) and the use of laboratory immunohistochemical assays and an AI digital pathology tool to interpret cellular samples at scale.

The PHG Foundation analysed the ethical, and legal implications potentially arising from these novel elements and from the pathway, through multidisciplinary workshops and cross-cutting research:

Personalised risk prediction

Read: Ethical and legal implications of implementing risk algorithms for early detection and screening for oesophageal cancer, now and in the future. Published in PLOS ONE 

Read the report: Adopting a risk tool for stratification and predictive prevention of oesophageal cancer 

Analysis of Cytosponge™ derived samples using AI digital pathology

Read:  Ethical and legal considerations influencing human involvement in the implementation of AI in a clinical pathway. Published in Frontiers in Digital Health 

Read the report: Human involvement in AI-driven digital pathology pathways ethical and legal considerations

Read the Position Statement: Policy recommendations for novel risk stratification, screening and surveillance for oesophageal cancer

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For more information about our work on project DELTA and the use of AI in oesophageal cancer prevention contact Dr Colin Mitchell.

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