By recognising characteristics that guide surgery, scientists have developed an artificial intelligence tool that may help doctors treat aggressive brain tumours.

This AI technique was created by Harvard Medical School (HMS) researchers for quick DNA decoding of brain tumours during surgery.

Other researchers can use the CHARM (Cryosection Histopathology Assessment and Review Machine) technology without charge. According to Kun-Hsing Yu, senior author of a study published on Friday in the journal Med, the new tool analyses photos to quickly identify the genetic profile of a particular type of tumour called a glioma, a process that currently requires days or weeks.

According to Yu, surgeons rely on precise diagnoses to direct them while they perform operations, thus having quick access to them could benefit patients.

Knowing a tumour’s molecular identity during surgery is also valuable because certain tumours benefit from on-the-spot treatment with drug-coated wafers placed directly into the brain at the time of the operation, Yu said.
“The ability to determine intraoperative molecular diagnosis in real time, during surgery, can propel the development of real-time precision oncology,” Yu added.

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