2017 Researcher Phedias Diamandis

“The brAIn Project: biological rendering through Artificial Intelligence and neural networks”

Phedias Diamandis
Neuropathologist / Clinician Scientist / Assistant Professor, University Health Network / Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

Project Summary:

Phedias Diamandis - 2017 Research Grant Recipient

Brain tumours represent a diverse group of diseases with highly variable therapies and outcomes. A key way to predict how a tumour will behave is by analyzing its specific morphologic features under the microscope. The human eye, however, cannot reliably detect subtle differences. This may explain why patients with the same diagnoses can experience dramatically different outcomes. Although new “molecular” technologies can reliably differentiate between tumour types, molecular testing is oftentimes unavailable and doctors must still rely on microscopic findings to make important clinical decisions.

Recently, advances in “Artificial Intelligence (AI)” allow computers to excel at analyzing images to identify extremely subtle differences. Dr. Diamandis’ team aims to take advantage of AI, and train computers to differentiate between brain tumour types.

Training involves exposing computers to a large series of images with known clinical outcomes (survival, therapy response) to allow AI to “discover” microscopic patterns associated with these specific clinical events. Because computers can process larger amounts of information than humans, it is expected they will be better able to predict tumour behavior from their microscopic appearance. This AI-assisted approach will hopefully allow improved differentiation of brain tumour types and offer more accurate predictors of outcome and treatment response to patients.

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