Researchers from the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre in Lahore, and the Department of Computer Science at the University of Warwick, have developed an algorithm that could predict oral cancer survival rates by measuring tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs). 70 patients with oral cancer who had been treated with radiation therapy and had undergone head and neck surgery were scanned, and the SKMCH&RC researchers sent tissue samples from these patients to the team at Warwick who used a state-of-the-art imaging machine to digitally produce high-resolution images of the samples on a microscopic scale. Their study showed that the level of TILs found in a scan indicate the patient’s immunity to the cancer and response to treatment, and the density and spatial arrangement of TILs correlate with the chances of overall survival and disease-free survival.
“Researchers use AI to predict oral cancer survival“
Lead researcher Prof. Nasir Rajpoot from the Department of Computer Science at UW, said: “We are only beginning to unravel the remarkable potential of wealth of information present in pathology image data. This pilot study shows that with the help of modern cancer image analytics algorithms, we can precisely calculate the score of abundance of TILs in oral cancers in an objective manner and then use that score for risk stratification in terms of disease-free survival.”