AI technologies to improve cancer research

My Topol fellowship problem / project:

Patient records contain data that is essential for research to benefit future patients. In any single NHS organisation, various aspects of patient information may be stored across a large number of different types of computer programmes.

These unstructured data sources mean that obtaining real world information on huge patient datasets is often not feasible. Recent advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) open possibilities to tackle this problem and guide improved treatment of cancer patients.

My Topol Fellowship Project is to therefore address this issue using an application that uses AI to mine data sources containing information on head and neck cancer patients. I will train and optimise the software to identify patient risk factors, tumour characteristics, treatment modalities, toxicity and survival outcomes. I will then explore expanding the application’s use to other types of cancer. By doing this, we can therefore improve research capabilities and AI application to ultimately improve patient outcomes.

I am a Speciality Trainee in Clinical Oncology in South London, spending the last two years of my training working at Guy’s  and  St  Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. My clinical work involves caring for cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

I have previously undertaken a number of audit and research projects which have demonstrated to me the difficulties of efficiently accessing and utilising cancer patient data to enable service improvement and better patient experience. As a Topol Digital Fellow I hope to tackle this issue by applying and training a novel AI application.