Assessing AI for early detection of oesophageal cancer


Read: Ethical and legal implications of implementing risk algorithms for early detection and screening for oesophageal cancer, now and in the future. Published in PLOS ONE 

Read the report: Adopting a risk tool for stratification and predictive prevention of oesophageal cancer 

As part of an Innovate UK funded research collaboration, PHG Foundation lead analysis of the ethical and legal implications of using artificial intelligence to help detect oesophageal cancer. 

Project DELTA (integrateD diagnostic solution for EarLy deTection of oesophageal cAncer) aims to identify up to 50% of cases of oesophageal cancer earlier, using the innovative Cytosponge™-TFF3 test - the ‘sponge on a string’ -  to diagnose Barratt’s oesophagus. 

This initiative includes the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, Kings College London, the PHG Foundation and Cyted.

The DELTA Project highlights the potential for personalised prevention of oesophageal cancer  using a novel pathway encompassing three key elements:

  • A novel risk algorithm to identify those at highest risk of developing oesophageal cancer
  • A novel, non-invasive, nurse administered non-endoscopic sampling device (Cytosponge™) 
  • A novel pathway to evaluate and interpret cellular samples at scale incorporating laboratory immunohistochemical assays and an AI digital pathology tool

Read:  Ethical and legal considerations influencing human involvement in the implementation of AI in a clinical pathway. Published in Frontiers in Digital Health 

PHG Foundation's work on the DELTA project is now complete. A second report from our work will be published November 2023. 

In July 2023, we published a position statement arising from the project, which makes recommendations for future practice regarding novel risk stratification, screening and surveillance for oesophageal cancer, which you can read here

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For more information about our work on project DELTA and the use of AI in oesophageal cancer prevention contact Dr Colin Mitchell.

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