Smart software can detect oesophagal cancer

Smart software detect Esophagel Cancer
Photo credit: Catherina Hospital

It is now much easier to detect oesophagal cancer, thanks to new smart software. Catharina Hospital expects to save many lives with this discovery.

Research by the TU/e, the Amsterdam UMC, and Catharina Ziekenhuis shows that the software recognises 90% of cancer cases. The new technique is intended for patients suffering from Barrette’s oesophagus. This is a condition in which there is an abnormal change in the mucosal cells lining the lower portion of the oesophagus.

These people suffer from long-term acid reflux. This increases the risk of cancer. They, therefore, go for regular hospital check-ups. A thin tube with a small camera is inserted into the patient’s oesophagus and a doctor assesses this with the naked eye. 

Easy to cure if found early

Only a handful of doctors have extensive experience in recognising this form of cancer. “At an advanced stage, the survival rate after five years is less than 50%. Cancer found early on, on the other hand, is still easily curable,” says Dr Jacques Bergman of the UMC.

“That is why it is so important that we get to it sooner,”  “Our new system assists in the live assessment of the oesophagus,” he says. “The algorithm indicates a suspicious spot with red mark on a screen. The doctor can then investigate from there.”

The programme is expected to become available to all gastrointestinal and liver physicians in the Netherlands within two years.


Translator: Chaitali Sengupta, who gives Inburgering classes in Meerhoven. Click here for more info.

Editor: Melinda Walraven

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