By Chris King • 04 June 2022 • 18:43
Image from the Spanish Academy of Dermatology congress in Malaga.
The 49th congress of the Spanish Academy of Dermatology (AEDV) was held in Malaga this Saturday, June 4. Around 2,000 specialists attended the event, where one of the main topics was the use of Artificial intelligence (AI) as a fundamental tool for the early diagnosis of skin cancer.
This tool can be used for determining which patients are going to have a worse prognosis, with AI capable of establishing accurate diagnoses against common pathologies such as psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, or acne, and also helps to automate the diagnosis of skin tumours.
As reported by the group in a statement, AI makes it possible to differentiate between two groups of tumours, melanocytic and non-melanocytic lesions. This creates an advantage for the early diagnosis of skin cancer, and helps to generate screening systems capable of prioritising cases based on their severity.
Antonio Martorell, a dermatologist at the Manises Hospital in Valencia explained: “Artificial intelligence allows patients with skin cancer to arrive at our consultations earlier”, according to laopiniondemalaga.es.
Applications based on AI also make it possible to design models that generate prediction algorithms from anonymous patient data. These can predict metastatic progression of cutaneous melanoma from gene expression and microRNA1 data from the tumour itself.
According to Martorell, data intelligence and its analysis will allow dermatologists to “better segment patients and personalize treatments more”. Although the specialist does not believe that AI can rival the dermatologist.
“It has only come to help us, improving the experience in the consultation and patient care, but machines lack the capacity for intuition and innovation, contrary to the human brain, AI will hardly ever be able to replace us”.
Skin cancer represents one of every three cancers in the world, and in Spain, some 78,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. Of these, five per cent are melanomas -a more aggressive type and with a worse prognosis- and 95 per cent are non-melanoma cancers, fundamentally basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas.
Although the most widespread treatment for skin cancer continues to be surgery, there are patients for whom surgery is not an option, or who require additional procedures.
Works outside the oncology field were also presented at the event, such as the Skiana-care project, an application designed for mobile phones that allows the evaluation of the severity of patients suffering from juvenile acne from a photograph.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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