Health Life

AI mark-up of cancer patient scans prior to radiotherapy could cut wait times

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

Doctors at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge aim to drastically cut cancer waiting times by using artificial intelligence (AI) to automate lengthy radiotherapy preparations.

The AI technology, known as InnerEye, is the result of an eight-year collaboration between researchers at Cambridge-based Microsoft Research, Addenbrooke’s Hospital and the University of Cambridge.

InnerEye aims to save clinicians many hours of time laboriously marking up patient scans prior to . The team has demonstrated how machine learning (ML) models built using the InnerEye open-source technology can cut this preparation time by up to 90% – meaning that waiting times for starting potentially life-saving radiotherapy treatment can be dramatically reduced.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “New innovations like this can make all the difference to patients and I am proud to see we are once again leading the way in new cancer treatments.

“Helping people receive treatment faster is incredibly important and will not only improve recovery rates but will save clinicians precious time so they can focus on caring for patients.

“Embracing new technologies will help save lives and is vital for the sustainability of the NHS, and our NHS Long Term Plan will continue to deliver the best possible care for patients so that we can offer faster, more personalized and effective cancer treatment for all.”

Dr. Raj Jena from the Department of Oncology at the University of Cambridge and an oncologist at Addenbrooke’s, who co-leads InnerEye, said: “These results are a game-changer. To be diagnosed with a tumor of any kind is an incredibly traumatic experience for patients. So as clinicians we want to start radiotherapy promptly to improve survival rates and reduce anxiety. Using tools can save time for busy clinicians and help get our patients onto treatment as quickly as

Health article

High-dose influenza vaccine shows no additional benefit for heart disease patients

News Release

Friday, December 4, 2020


NIH-funded study finds higher dose is not more effective at reducing serious flu complications in this high-risk group.

High-dose influenza (commonly known as flu) vaccines are no better than regular-dose influenza vaccines in reducing deaths and hospitalizations among patients with underlying heart disease, according to a large study publishing in JAMA. The results do not change well-established findings about the value of an annual influenza vaccine for persons with heart disease and other chronic illnesses, and do not change the recommendation for an annual influenza vaccine for most people. 

The study was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and appears online on December 4.

“Getting a vaccine is even more critical than usual this year, as people with COVID-19 who get the flu are at higher risk for more serious complications,” said Lawton S. Cooper, M.D., M.P.H., one of the study’s co-authors and a researcher with the Clinical Applications and Prevention Branch, Division of Cardiovascular Sciences, NHLBI. “People should follow the guidance of their healthcare provider as to which flu vaccine, high or low dose, is better for them, but getting the flu shot is more important than which dose.”

Researchers have known for some time that people with cardiovascular disease are at higher risk for developing serious complications from influenza, including heart attacks, hospitalizations for heart failure, and death. As a result, experts have strongly recommended that this group get an influenza vaccine, and at least one study has suggested that a high-dose version might help reduce these complications more than the regular-dose vaccine.

To determine if there is benefit in the higher dose, the NHLBI funded the Influenza Vaccine to Effectively Stop Cardio Thoracic Events and Decompensated heart failure (INVESTED)