NHS trust, Secondary Care

Cambridge University Hospitals highlight AI tool for preparing for scans

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS FT has highlighted the impact of an artificial intelligence tool, developed at Addenbrooke’s, in reducing the amount of preparation time for radiotherapy treatment.

The solution, OSAIRIS, is being used at Addenbrooke’s for prostate and head and neck cancers, and is said to “significantly reduce the amount of time a doctor needs to spend drawing around healthy organs on scans before radiotherapy”.

The tool helps by outlining the organs, known as ‘segmentation’, in order to protect the healthy tissue around the cancer from radiation, the trust added.

Dr Raj Jena, oncologist at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, led the research. Raj said: “OSAIRIS does much of the work in the background so that when the doctor sits down to start planning treatment, most of the heavy lifting is done. We’ve already started to work on a model that works in the chest, so that will work for lung cancer and breast cancer particularly.

“And also, from my perspective as a neuro-oncologist, I’m interested that we’re building the brain model as well so that we’ve got something that works for brain tumours as well.”

The trust added that “it can take a doctor between 20 minutes and three hours to perform this task, per patient” and the “routine task is ideally suited to AI with the oncologist in control, checking every scan after OSAIRIS has done the segmentation”.

A £500,000 grant from the NHS AI Lab was provided to support the team to develop the AI tool, using open-source software from Project InnerEye and data from patients who had previously been treated in the hospital and agreed to contribute to the research.  The tool builds on from the Project InnerEye toolkits, an open-source software.

Dr Raj Jena provides an overview of the project in the video below: