Cancer is not an illness that anyone fights alone. Besides family and loved ones, patients also have several medical workers by their side. Even at the diagnostic phase, a team of professionals will often be involved, from radiologists and oncologists to geneticists and pathologists.
In the future, Sybil could be another member of this team.
Who – or what – is Sybil?
Researchers and investigators have built an artificial intelligence tool they are calling Sybil to improve lung cancer screening and prediction.
Sybil is a deep-learning model that analyzes low-dose chest computed tomography (LDCT) images to predict a person’s risk of developing cancer in the next one to six years.
The groups verified Sybil’s accuracy ratings against more than 27,000 scans from patients from three different hospitals.
On a scale where 1.0 is a perfect score, Sybil was able to accurately predict cancer within one year at a range of 0.86 to 0.94. Within six years, the range was 0.75 to 0.81. While more research and testing are necessary to measure and validate these findings, researchers are confident in Sybil’s ability to see things in scans that humans cannot.
What does this mean for mesothelioma patients?
This technological advancement is exciting. Screenings are a crucial component of early cancer diagnosis, as they can help find a disease when there are the most options for effective treatments available. With tools like Sybil, interpreting these screenings can be even more accurate, potentially improving a person’s prognosis.
Whether Sybil will be a standard tool for diagnosing cancer in the future remains to be seen.
In the meantime, the important takeaway for people worried about their risk of mesothelioma or lung cancer is that regular screenings can be crucial. Doctors may recommend these screenings if a patient smokes or has ever smoked or if they have a history of asbestos exposure.
This information can also serve as a reminder of all the professionals and tools that can be part of a person’s care team. When these resources improve, so can the treatment options available to cancer patients.