» Guerbet obtains one million euros from the BPI for its AI project in the early detection of pancreatic cancer MyPharma Editions

Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Guerbet obtains funding of one million euros from the State via France 2030 following its participation in a call for projects concerning the acceleration strategy in digital health. The presentation of the work of Guerbet’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) research team, which could potentially offer a promising response to a medical need, convinced the jury to support this project with public funding.

Pancreatic cancer accounts for 496,000 cases per year, including 14,500 in France and 56,700 in the USA1. The number of patients with this disease has doubled over the past 25 years. The patient mortality rate is high with a survival ranging from 1 to 5 years depending on the stage of the disease at the time of diagnosis2. It is expected to be the 3rd cause of cancer death in the EU3 and 4th in the USA4 by 2040. “Today, far too many patients are diagnosed late due to the silent progression of pancreatic cancer and the very great difficulty in distinguishing the early stages in routine medical imaging. Artificial Intelligence offers a new tool that could support radiologists in their mission,” says Professor Vuillerme, Hospital Practitioner, Associate Professor at the University of Paris-Cité, Radiologist.

Unfortunately, today there are few therapeutic options for treating pancreatic cancer. Surgery is the only potentially curative treatment but is only possible in the early stages of the disease5. However, less than 20% of patients are candidates, because of these detections which are often too late6.

The early stages are often asymptomatic and the discovery of this cancer is often fortuitous and late. “Earlier detection would allow more patients to be eligible for surgery, potentially leading to significantly higher survival rates.6,7”

The CT scan of the pancreas is an image that is difficult to interpret by radiologists who are not specialists in digestive diseases8. With high-performance algorithms and solutions already under development for the detection of liver and prostate cancer, Guerbet continues to innovate and will thus increase the chance of surviving this so-called “silent” cancer. The solution will allow the automatic analysis of scanners and will provide an alert of suspicion of pancreatic cancer to radiologists, from the early stages of the disease.

“Every year, the lives of thousands of families are turned upside down by the announcement of pancreatic cancer for which no one is prepared! Since 2016, Espoir Pancreas has been involved in the fight for the early detection of pancreatic cancer. We sincerely hope that Artificial Intelligence solutions will in the future be able to offer an improvement in the diagnosis and prognosis of patients suffering from these cancers. says Philippe François-Steininger, President of the Association Espoir Pancreas.

The links with the clinical partners of the project are already advanced and certain French and international partnerships are already under discussion. In addition, a large database has already been compiled. This financial support will allow an acceleration of the development of the solution as well as an important impetus for the project team.

“The financial support of the BPI is a great recognition of the quality of Guerbet’s work in the field of Artificial Intelligence in the service of health. This support will make it possible to accelerate the development of the project and give it the necessary dimension to make it a commercial product by 2025. We are convinced that these promising Artificial Intelligence solutions will contribute to improving the diagnosis of cancers at the cause of high mortality. Guerbet will thus once again demonstrate its ability to provide professionals with major innovation for the benefit of patients,” concludes François Nicolas, Vice-President in charge of R&D at Guerbet.


1 Globocan 2020
2 https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/pancreatic-cancer/pancreatic-cancer-prognosis
3 https://www.openaccessgovernment.org/tackling-the-burden-of-pancreatic-cancer-in-europe/98097/
4 Rahib, et al. JAMA Network Open. 2021;4(4):e214708
5 PanCAN’s Pancreatic Cancer Early Detection Initiative – Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
6 https://healthcare-in-europe.com/en/news/pancreatic-cancer-current-challenges-future-direction.html
7 Chari et al. Early Detection of Sporadic Pancreatic Cancer. Pancreas – Volume 44, Number 5, July 2015
8 Levy et al. A plea for pancreatology, HEPATO-GASTRO and digestive oncology. flight. 24 n8 4, April 2017

Source and visual: Guerbet

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» Guerbet obtains one million euros from the BPI for its AI project in the early detection of pancreatic cancer MyPharma Editions

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