AI can lend a hand in diagnosis, prognosis of oral SCC

Source: Author: Erik L. Ridley, staff writer Radiology and pathology artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms can help in diagnosing and assessing the prognosis of oral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), according to a literature review published August 19 in JAMA Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery. After reviewing published studies in the literature on the use of AI with pathology and radiology images in patients with oral SCC, researchers from the University of Hong Kong concluded that the technology yielded good classification accuracy. "The successful use of deep learning in these areas has a high clinical translatability in the improvement of patient care," wrote the authors, led by first author Chui Shan Chu and senior author Dr. Peter Thomson, PhD. In radiology applications for oral SCC, a convolutional neural network (CNN) was able to predict disease-free survival with 80% accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity from PET images, the researchers reported. Another CNN showed lower performance -- 66.9% sensitivity, 89.7% specificity, and 84% accuracy -- when used on CT for predicting disease-free survival. A deep-learning algorithm also yielded 90% sensitivity for detecting lymph node metastasis from oral SCC on CT. In addition to providing prognosis predictions, AI could help facilitate personalized treatment from CT images, according to the researchers. One model was 76% accurate for predicting xerostomia, or dry mouth, an adverse effect of radiotherapy caused by toxicity. Another study determined that radiation dose distribution is the most crucial factor for predicting toxicity. The researchers noted that, to the best of their [...]

UAB adds personalized touch to cancer treatment with adaptive radiation

Source: Author: Bob Shepard They are calling it radiation oncology’s contribution to personalized medicine. — called by some the holy grail of radiation therapy — has come to the University of Alabama at Birmingham O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center in the form of the newest radiation delivering tool, a system called Ethos from Varian. Simply put, a linear accelerator is the machine that is used to deliver radiation therapy to destroy a tumor. In standard radiation therapy, the medical team uses sophisticated imaging to pinpoint the location of a tumor, then develops a precise approach to target that tumor with radiation. “Patients typically get a CT scan so the radiation team can map out their strategy, a process that can take one to two weeks,” said Dennis Stanley, Ph.D., an assistant professor and medical physicist in the UAB Department of Radiation Oncology. “Then, most patients get radiation for around six weeks, usually five days a week.” But in that time from initial CT screening to the end of treatment, things can change. “A patient’s anatomy can change over this time period,” Stanley said. “Weight gain or loss, shifting of tissues following eating and drinking. Anatomy can change as quickly as day-to-day.” Adaptive therapy simply means the radiation plan can adapt to those changes. The Ethos system is the first machine that can quickly scan a patient while they are on the treatment table prepping for their next treatment, and allow for fine-tuning of the already established treatment plan. Instead of [...]

The British start-up that’s given Val Kilmer his voice back

Source: Author: Jonathan Chadwick for MailOnLine A British artificial intelligence (AI) company has recreated Hollywood actor Val Kilmer's voice – with amazingly realistic results. London-based firm Sonantic used the actor's voice recordings from throughout his career, which were fed to their AI to create the lifelike yet artificial mock-up. Film producers could potentially use the tool – described as 'Photoshop for voice' – for voiceovers if they have a role in mind that would be suited to Kilmer's tones. Kilmer, whose career has spanned nearly four decades, has starred in blockbusters such as Top Gun, Willow, The Doors, Tombstone and Batman Forever. But after undergoing a tracheotomy in 2014 as part of his treatment for throat cancer, Kilmer's voice is now barely recognisable. Val Kilmer, pictured here in 2019, underwent a tracheotomy in 2014 as part of his treatment for throat cancer and now speaks with a voice box. Getty Images Luckily, Kilmer himself is also able to use the AI tool in his personal life, to help him communicate, rather than relying on a voice box to speak. The artificial voice, which speaks in the first person as Kilmer in Sonantic's video, could easily be mistaken for the real thing. Praising the results, the real Val Kilmer said: 'I’m grateful to the entire team at Sonantic who masterfully restored my voice in a way I’ve never imagined possible. As human beings, the ability to communicate is the core of our existence and the effects from throat [...]

Study explores the effect of graphic warning labels on cigarette packaging among US smokers

Source: Author: Reviewed by Emily Henderson, B.Sc Purchase a pack of cigarettes in Australia and be prepared to be accosted with graphic warning labels depicting the dangers of tobacco use - including images of gangrene of the foot, a newborn with a breathing tube and throat cancer. "Graphic warning labels are used in more than 120 countries to counter marketing that promotes cigarette smoking. We wanted to know what effect such cigarette packaging would have on United States smokers," said David Strong, professor at the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science at University of California San Diego. Graphic warning labels were mandated by the United States Congress in 2009 but implementation has been stopped pending the outcome of legal challenges to the law by the tobacco industry. In a paper published online in JAMA Network Open on Aug. 4, 2021, Strong and colleagues at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, California State University San Marcos, San Diego County Public Health Services, and San Diego State University, demonstrated that graphic warning labels are effective reminders of the negative health consequences of smoking. "Graphic warning labels caused daily smokers in the United States to perceive cigarettes to be less positive and it increased their concerns about the health effects of smoking on both themselves and their loved ones," said corresponding-author John P. Pierce, Distinguished Professor at the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health. The study manufactured special cigarette packs that incorporated the graphic warning labels used on [...]

Val Kilmer’s kids describe watching their father battle throat cancer in ‘Val’: ‘It’s incredibly difficult’

Source: Author: Ethan Alter·Senior Writer, Yahoo Entertainment It's not easy for any child to watch their parent battle a serious illness. But it can be an even bigger challenge when that parent is also a public figure with an innately curious fanbase. That's the situation that Jack and Mercedes Kilmer have lived with for the past few years as their father — Top Gun star Val Kilmer — has waged a public and private battle with throat cancer. Kilmer's health struggles, which have affected his ability to speak, are put on full view in the highly personal new documentary Val, premiering on Aug. 6 on Prime Video. His adult children associate produced and appear extensively in the film, which includes footage of the actor at some of the lowest moments in his illness. "It's incredibly difficult," Mercedes Kilmer tells Yahoo Entertainment about watching her father in those moments. "Especially for him because his work is his voice. [Because of] his training as an actor... he has such a natural faculty for speech, and I don't think he honestly would have survived... were it not for his dedication to developing that muscle of his voice." Since Kilmer now speaks with the aid of a voice box following his recent tracheotomy, Jack Kilmer acts as his father's voice in Val. The younger Kilmer narrates his dad's life story as it plays out via home movies shot by Kilmer on his various movie sets, alongside new footage filmed by directors Leo Scott [...]

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