symposium “how to enhance implementation of evidence-based innovations to improve quality of life of all prostate cancer patients?” – 11 November, 2020

The fight against cancer is brutal. It includes chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery, which often involves long hospital stays and a lot of pain. In the past, these treatments were mainly focused on primal life, how and with what consequences did not matter. Today the impact of quality of life is becoming increasingly prioritized (but still not enough!) and a shift has been taken place where open procedures are making way for minimally invasive treatments.

Many of such low-invasive treatment innovations have been developed to help maintain and improve the quality of life of people with cancer. Although a number of these interventions are evidence-based, implementation after the research phase often does not take place (or only on a limited scale). As a consequence, only a limited number of patients have access to those minimally invasive treatments. That’s not only unfair, it’s simply wrong and discriminating.

The very best treatment based on the very best possible diagnostics to become standard available for every patient. That should be the norm. The next step is to bring together those stakeholders that can provide access to the treatments and facilitate them so that these minimal invasive treatments become available for all patients.

That is why Inspire2Live and Surgery Without Incision organize a symposium on the 11th of November, 2020 with the central theme “how to enhance implementation of evidence-based innovations to improve quality of life of all prostate cancer patients?” This congress is meant to work towards a manifesto that brings us the answer to this important question and delivers us the way to go that every patient gets the best possible screening, diagnosis and treatment regardless of which hospital someone walks into. More information will follow.

DISCOVERY NETWORK ON ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND CANCER

The added value and even necessity of Artificial Intelligence (AI) becomes clearer every year. AI simulates what people already do well (like chess, driverless cars, recognizing patterns et cetera). In our initiative, The Discovery Network on AI and Cancer, we want it to contribute to health, biology and cancer in particular. That is a lot more complicated.

In healthcare AI is already pretty good in radiology. AI is exceptional in pattern recognition, therefore it enters the world of radiology. But the biology of patients is different and difficult. What can it contribute to this field of expertise? When we are looking for added value in this area we need to penetrate and understand the biology of patients. It is not sufficient to replace this black box by another one, namely the workings of the learned algorithms. Trey outlines this clearly in the 2018 article on Using Deep Learning to model the hierarchical structure and function of a cell.

We are looking for the integration of different datasets. Datasets with information on all the levels from molecular processes in the cell, about tumor cells, tissue, RNA, organoids, drug response and valuable other clinical data to population statistics and lifestyle data. We probably will also need information of citizens that do not have the disease (yet) and have similar lifestyles. Information about resilience. Analysis of these data requires very subtle and sparse patterns to be recognized, and to be biologically or medically relevant these discovered patterns need to be more or less “proved true or extremely likely” rather than just deemed 95% probable.

In this Discovery Network we aim to bring together biologists, mathematicians, experienced machine learning experts, epidemiologists, and perhaps others?

Expected date: Q3
Meeting place: to be decided.

Inspire2Live Annual Congress 2021 – 3 to 5 february, 2021

Our next Annual Congress will be held on 3, 4 and 5 February at The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in Amsterdam. Theme this year will be  “Incubating and replicating for the global patient”. More information will follow.