A New AI Research Method Predicts Metastatic Risk in Skin Cancers Using A Generative Neural Network In Combination With Supervised Machine Learning

Researchers developed an Artificial Intelligence program that determines skin cancer which can be highly metastatic.

The study published in Cell Systems explores how AI systems can transform pathology for cancer and other diseases. Researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Center have developed a method that predicts skin cancer which can be highly metastatic, using artificial intelligence. They have reverse-engineered a conventional neural network autoencoder to recognise cellular properties which differentiate between aggressive with less aggressive metastatic melanoma using label-free images of living cells. This could only be possible by amplifying in silico cell images using cellular features which define metastatic efficiency, which was ultra-fine to find in raw images. The approach for predicting metastatic efficiency was validated by comparing predicted and probing the spread of new melanoma cell lines xenografted into mice.

Study leader and Professor and Chair of the Lyda Hill Department of Bioinformatics at UTSW Gaudenz Danuser, PhD said that now they have developed a general framework that allows them to pull out tissue samples and anticipate mechanisms inside cells that cause disease. Also, he added that the tools are currently inaccessible in any other way. 

AI technology has been remarkably newfangled in the last few years. Danuser stated that using deep learning-based tools or methods and AI can differentiate between the images invisible to the human eye.


AI technology can help to look for various disease properties to offer perception to diagnoses or guide for a treatment plan was recommended by researchers. Although, Danuser also said that the differences acclaimed by AI are generally not illustratable in particular cellular characters, which makes AI difficult for clinical use.

Danuser and his research team used AI to find the differences between melanoma cells with high and low metastatic potential images to concur with this problem. Researchers then reverse-engineered the findings from AI to track down the features in the image which were responsible for the differences.

The researchers filmed a video of about 12,000 random cells from tumour samples collected from seven patients with information on their disease progression, including metastasis in Petri dishes, which generated around 1,700,000 unprocessed images. After this, the researchers then used an AI algorithm to find 56 different conceptual numerical features from the images.

One feature that researchers accurately found differentiates between cells with high and low metastatic potential. The researchers developed artificial images that amplified visible quality inborn to metastasis invisible to the human eye by operating conceptual numerical features.

The extremely high metastatic cells formed marginally more pseudopodia wing and had an increased light scatting. This was an effect that might be due to ultrafine rearrangements of the cellular membrane.

To demonstrate the convenience of this tool further, the researchers primarily differentiate the probable metastatic cells from human melanomas, which were frozen and cultured in Petri dishes for 30 years, then implanted them into mice. Those forecasted to be extremely high metastatic developed tumours gladly spread all over the animals, while those indicated to have low metastatic potential spread minute or not at all.

Danuser suggested that this approach needs more examination before implementation into clinical care. Although, Danuser added that it could be possible to use AI to find differences between predominant features of cancer and other diseases. 

Research Paper: https://www.cell.com/cell-systems/pdf/S2405-4712(21)00158-7.pdf

Source: https://healthitanalytics.com/news/artificial-intelligence-predicts-metastatic-risk-in-skin-cancers

Prathamesh Ingle is a Mechanical Engineer and works as a Data Analyst. He is also an AI practitioner and certified Data Scientist with an interest in applications of AI. He is enthusiastic about exploring new technologies and advancements with their real-life applications

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