Artificial Intelligence for Brain Tumours


Artificial Intelligence or AI is an area of computer science that deals with giving machines the ability to mimic human intelligence through the power of coding.

The use of artificial intelligence is being trialled across the globe, particularly in scientific research. QEHB Charity is appealing for £113,000 to fund ground-breaking research into AI for brain tumours.

There are around 11,000 new brain tumour patients diagnosed in the UK alone each and every year, and sadly that number is rising. There are a number of treatments for aggressive brain tumours; however, there is more research to be done to improve the overall quality of a patient’s life. Vijay Sawlani, Consultant Neuroradiologist at QEHB along with PhD student Markand Patel are aiming to find out if AI can provide additional and more accurate information for doctors to understand what is happening to a patient’s brain tumour.

After surgery or chemo-radiation treatment, brain tumours initially appear to increase in size to the human eye. This gives the overall impression to the doctor that the treatment is not working. However, in a number of cases the increased size is temporary, and is down to the treatment itself, rather than the actual tumour growth. This temporary growth is known as ‘pseudoprogression’ and is thought to be related to dying tumour cells. MRI scans help to determine if the treatments are working however it not possible for doctors to differentiate pseudoprogression and an actual growth of a tumour. As a result of uncertainties, treatments will continue for patients for at least another three months. Ongoing treatments can take a huge toll both emotionally and physically on patient, it can also delay patients from entering clinical trials for newer therapies if the tumour is indeed growing.

Recent advances in technology means that AI can now be used to discover new information and patterns about brain tumours that are not visible to the human eye. In other words, computers will be able to recognise what is a dying tumour and what is a growing one.

This type of AI aims to provide information about tumours earlier and more accurately than is currently possible, as a result potentially saving countless lives in the process. As a charity, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity funds equipment, research and other ‘added extras’ that the NHS is unable to fund. Improving the overall quality of care and patient experience is what the Charity aims to achieve, and with the help of donations from generous people such as you, it will be possible to fund such a revolutionary treatment for brain tumour patients.

Cathryn Worth, Fundraising Manager for Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham said: “The hospital charity is committed to provide this outstanding artificial intelligence for our patients here at QEHB. Your donations will mean that cancer patients will receive the highest quality of care that is currently available as it will be at the forefront of modern scientific technology.

The hospital charity is continuing to provide ‘added extras’ for staff and patients, to donate to this ground-breaking appeal please donate here

© 2017 Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity is a working name of University Hospitals Birmingham Charity, a company limited by guarantee in England (No.10004003) and a charity registered in England and Wales (No.1165716).

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