May. 7, 2020—by Tom Wilemon Computed tomography scans for people at risk for lung cancer lead to earlier diagnoses and improve survival rates, but they can also lead to overtreatment when suspicious nodules turn out to be benign. A study published in American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine indicates that an artificial intelligence strategy can correctly assess and categorize these indeterminate pulmonary nodules (IPNs). When compared to the conventional risk models clinicians currently use, the algorithm developed by the team of researchers in a very large dataset (15,693 nodules) reclassified IPNs into low-risk or high-risk categories in over a third of cancers and benign nodules. “These results suggest the potential clinical utility of this deep learning algorithm to revise the probability of cancer among IPNs aiming to decrease invasive procedures and shorten time to diagnosis,” said Pierre Massion, MD, Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair in Medicine at Vanderbilt University, the study’s lead author. Currently, clinicians refer to guidelines issued by the American College of Radiology and the American College of Chest Physicians. Adherence to these guidelines can be variable, and how patient cases are classified can be subjective. With the goal of providing clinicians with an unbiased assessment tool, the researchers developed an algorithm based on datasets from the National Lung Screening Trial, Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Oxford University Hospital. Their study is the first to validate a risk stratification tool on multiple independent cohorts and to show reclassification performance that is significantly superior to existing risk models. With IPNs, clinicians are often faced with the dilemma of weighing whether to advise a patient to undergo an invasive surgical procedure, which may be unnecessary, against a watch-and-wait strategy, which may result in delaying needed cancer treatment. A definitive diagnosis of an IPN can take up to two years. Better assessment tools are needed by clinicians as screenings for patients at risk for lung cancer increase. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States and globally. The overall five-year survival rate is 21.7%, but it is much greater (92%) for those patients who receive an early diagnosis of stage IA1 non-small cell cancer. n
Apr. 9, 2020—The NCI program project grant is supporting multiple projects that aim to define fundamental biological principles about extracellular RNA signaling and the development and aggressiveness of colorectal cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States.
Apr. 6, 2020—Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center are playing a key role in the development of a potential new antiviral drug to treat COVID-19.
Apr. 2, 2020—A Vanderbilt University Medical Center interim analysis shows that there appears to be a considerable length of time before a subset of people develop inflammatory, scarring lung diseases where there is radiologically detectable evidence they will develop lung disease.
Apr. 2, 2020—A Vanderbilt gastroenterologist is helping lead an effort to establish screening guidelines for gastric cancer in the United States, where the number of people at risk for the cancer is increasing as the nation’s population becomes more diverse.
Mar. 23, 2020—Vanderbilt University Medical Center is teaming up with academic, governmental and corporate partners in an unprecedented, fast-tracked global effort to develop antibody-based treatments to protect people exposed to the 2019 novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19.
Mar. 23, 2020—Vanderbilt researchers have identified haplotypes, ancestral fragments of DNA, that are associated with hereditary prostate cancer (HPC) in a first-of-its-kind genomic study made possible by the study of prostate cancer patients with family histories of the disease.
Mar. 18, 2020—Jennifer Doudna, PhD, who led development of the revolutionary genome editing technology known as CRISPR-Cas9, is the recipient of the 2020 Vanderbilt Prize in Biomedical Science, officials at Vanderbilt University Medical Center announced this week.
Mar. 12, 2020—Researchers from Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) discovered a role for MYCN in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), a particularly aggressive form of the disease, and identified a potential intervention for further clinical investigation.
Mar. 12, 2020—Five faculty members of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine are among 80 physician-scientists who will be inducted this year into the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), an elite honor society of physician-scientists from the upper ranks of academic medicine and industry. They are:
Feb. 27, 2020—A Polygenic Risk Score — a genetic assessment that doctors have hoped could predict coronary heart disease (CHD) in patients — has been found not to be a useful predictive biomarker for disease risk.