AI-powered imaging technique is pushing CRC risk management forward

A team at Washington University in St. Louis developed an imaging technique for rectal tissues to assess risk management of colorectal cancer.

Biomedical professor Quing Zhu, PhD, and her team created the imaging technique, acoustic resolution photoacoustic microscopy coregistered with ultrasound, and paired it with artificial intelligence, according to a March 26 news release. The imaging was better at identifying residual tumors in treated rectal bed tissues.

AR-PAM/US imaging was better at discerning residual cancer from scar tissue compared to other techniques such as an MRI. Results of the research were published in Radiology March 23.

"Our PAM/US system paired with the deep learning neural network has great potential to better identify patients suitable for nonoperative management and improve patient quality of life," Dr. Zhu said. "If we can tell after radiation and chemotherapy which patients may have a good response with no residual tumors, the patient may be able to avoid surgery."

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