February 22, 2024

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Shanghai Scientists Use Artificial Intelligence to Predict Cancer

As featured recently in a special issue of Cancer Biomarkers, lead researchers from a series of Shanghai-based universities showed how Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms when analysing radiomics data can help better detect the formation and movement of cancer in a patient. Lead investigators were Shaoli Song, PhD, from Shanghai Medical College and Lisheng Wang, PhD, from Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

The challenge of detecting cancer, including its relapse and metastasis, is a monumental one as large sets of data need to be considered. But early detection is key. Early diagnosis of cancer can give the best chance for successful treatment. When cancer care is delayed or inaccessible there is a lower chance of survival, greater problems associated with treatment and higher costs of care.

To overcome such challenges, the Chinese team of scientists combined radiomic data from preoperative positron emission tomography (PET) and CT images in patients with early-stage uterine cervical squamous cell carcinoma. Then, they used AI algorithms to develop a prognostic signature capable of predicting disease-free survival. In short, by using AI, they can better predict to what extent the advances of cancer is halted.

In cancer, disease-free survival (DFS) is the length of time after primary treatment for cancer ends that the patient survives without any signs or symptoms of that cancer. In a clinical trial, measuring DFS is one way to see how well a new treatment works.

This model could provide more accurate information about potential relapse and metastasis, and could be helpful in decision-making. 

Radiomics is an emerging field where features are extracted from medical imaging using various techniques. In this sense, it uses Deep Learning (DL) and Machine Learning (ML). Radiomic features can quantify tumour intensity, shape, and heterogeneity and have been applied to oncologic detection, diagnosis, therapeutic response, and prognosis.

Indeed, the combination of  AI, DL and ML working together have transformed many industries and areas of science. Now, these tools are being applied to address the challenges of cancer biomarker discovery, where the analysis of vast amounts of imaging and molecular data is beyond the ability of traditional statistical analyses and tools.

The challenge of overwhelming data has been echoed by other scientists in the field of cancer biomarker discovery. Karin Roadlan, PhD, Oregon Health and Science University, USA, detailed that the biomarker field is blessed with a plethora of imaging and molecular-based data. But at the same time, it is plagued with so much data that no one individual can comprehend it all.

And that certainly looks like a job tailor-fit for AI. Roadlan affirmed saying that AI offers a solution to that problem, and has the potential to uncover novel interactions that more accurately reflect the biology of cancer and other diseases.

Already, the technology looks promising, and the Cancer Biomarkers noted that. ML, DL with AI has been instrumental in identifying early-stage cancers, inferring the site of specific cancer, and aiding in the assignment of appropriate therapeutic options for each patient. Further, such digital technologies have helped characterise the tumour microenvironment and predict the response to immunotherapy.

China is at the forefront of massive digital transformation. It is certainly is in the process of putting all the pieces together to move its digital economy forward. And its digital strengths as a nation have been showcased to the world.

As reported on OpenGov Asia, the 2022 Beijing Paralympics is a testament to this. Emerging digital technologies have allowed physically-challenged athletes and audiences to participate better in the event.


Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.


CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.


Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.


SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.


HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 


IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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