Artificial intelligence | An extra pair of eyes for oncologists

The diagnostic aid tool developed by AFX Medical and its partners has just discovered small brain tumors that had not been identified by a team of radiation oncology researchers at the University Hospital Center Research Center of Montreal (CHUM). A fortuitous discovery, but which reinforces the arsenal of doctors against cancer.


“We are working in collaboration with three medical researchers from the CHUM to develop our algorithm, says Jérémi Lavoie, co-founder and CEO of AFX Medical. We showed them what we thought were two false positives that the algorithm found in the data and they said they weren’t false positives, but small tumors they hadn’t seen by eye. naked! In addition, these doctors are world leaders in brain metastases and since they are in a research setting, they can take a long time to analyze the images. In practice, doctors are more in a hurry, so the risk of not seeing everything is higher. »

A valuable tool

These small tumors are actually brain metastases that affect 30% of all people with cancer. “There has been a lot of improvement in cancer treatment in recent years, which means that people have a better chance of survival,” says Jérémi Lavoie. But they can develop metastases in the brain, so they must be discovered as quickly as possible to treat these tumors, adapt the course of care and, thus, improve the prognosis. »

Sometimes the tool developed by AFX spotted lesions that we hadn’t seen and sometimes we saw lesions that the tool hadn’t spotted: it’s an extra pair of eyes.

David Roberge, Full Clinical Professor in the Department of Radiology, Radiation Oncology and Nuclear Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal and Researcher at the CHUM

“And unlike us who have human limitations, this tool is bound to continually improve, so it’s worth investing in this technology designed here, taking our needs into consideration,” he adds.

Towards a commercialization

AFX Medical has developed its tool in partnership with Mila (the Quebec Institute of Artificial Intelligence) and the CHUM. “We really worked together, because we wanted to avoid the trap of developing a tool in silos and then trying to sell it, explains Jérémi Lavoie. Every two weeks, we therefore present our latest developments to doctors for their reactions and we adapt accordingly. »

The tool was recently presented at the world congress of the Society for Neuro-Oncology, in the United States.

We really want to revolutionize oncology practice and thus have an impact on millions of people and it is important to show doctors how much our tool has added value for them and patients.

Jérémi Lavoie, co-founder and CEO of AFX Medical

AFX Medical is now working to obtain approvals from Health Canada and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in the United States. “We expect to obtain them in 2023, specifies the CEO. Already, we have ISO 13485 certification for medical equipment. »

The start-up is supported by Centech, a non-profit organization created by the École de technologie supérieure (ETS) which supports high-tech companies and projects with high growth potential.

We want to say thanks to the author of this write-up for this remarkable material

Artificial intelligence | An extra pair of eyes for oncologists


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