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Biotech Innovations
February 11, 2020

Artificial Intelligence Improves Breast Cancer Screening in Study

JAMA. 2020;323(6):499. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.0370

An artificial intelligence (AI) system for breast cancer screening outperformed radiologists in a recent study in Nature. The technique spotted more cancers and raised fewer false alarms.

Researchers at Google Health and collaborators developed a deep-learning AI model for identifying breast cancer using screening mammograms from 2 large UK and US data sets. The test sets, which were not used to train or tune the system, included scans from 25 856 women at 2 screening centers in England and 3097 women at a US academic medical center.

The researchers evaluated the AI system’s cancer predictions and clinical radiologists’ original decisions based on biopsy-confirmed breast cancer outcomes. In the US data set, the system produced 5.7% fewer false-positives and 9.4% fewer false-negatives than radiologists. The system also performed better on average than 6 US board-certified radiologists in a separate comparison involving 500 randomly selected mammograms from the US test set. Notably, most of the cancers identified only by the AI system were invasive.