How can artificial intelligence improve cancer research?

Karliczek: Using Artificial Intelligence for Cancer Treatment

The use of artificial intelligence is already improving the diagnosis and treatment of diseases in numerous areas of medicine. On Thursday, Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek presented a new AI research project for cancer treatment in Berlin. It is operated by the University Hospital Göttingen and Siemens Healthineers and funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek explains:

“AI benefits people when it is used correctly. This is particularly evident in medicine. AI is already making a major contribution to improving diagnostics in medicine. At the Federal Ministry of Research, however, we are also aware that many of these approaches are still in their infancy and need to be researched. We are already investing 90 million euros in more than 60 projects that are dedicated to AI approaches in medicine. We want to expand these future investments as much as possible over the next few years.

Tumor diseases are an application area for AI in medicine that stands out in many research projects. With the National Decade Against Cancer, we once again declared war on these diseases. Given the wide variety of different types of cancer and
-formen we want to support scientists in using the opportunities offered by AI for better diagnostic methods and therapeutic treatments for cancer patients.

AI in medicine - what's the point?

Medical technology is also making increasing use of artificial intelligence. Where does Germany stand in an international comparison and what can AI achieve? Two experts provide the answers.
Copyright: BMBF / Fink

Cancer Scout is a special project. Digital biopsy with the help of AI is the goal. At its core, it is about a kind of pre-screening of tumor cells. With the help of AI, computers organize tumor cells into certain grids - so-called molecular subgroups. This allows cancer patients to be treated in a more targeted manner. These approaches are part of personalized cancer medicine. My ministry is funding this project with 10 million euros. It is a good example of how science and industry work together for the benefit of people. "

Professor Philipp Ströbel, Director of Pathology at the University Hospital Göttingen, emphasizes: “We are very happy that we were able to convince the BMBF of our idea. Thanks to the funding, we now have the unique opportunity, together with our strong industrial partner Siemens Healthineers, to extensively test the possibilities and limits of our process. We can develop a whole range of completely new methods for clinical routine. "

Christian Wolfrum, Head of “New Business Development and Planning” at Siemens Healthineers, adds: “This research project can help support clinical decisions by using and linking various data sources in order to make cancer diagnostics more precise and thus improve it. Our task in this project is, among other things, to train an artificial neural network using pathological, genomic and proteomic data in order to be able to predict therapy-relevant molecular changes in tumors with the help of artificial intelligence. "



Every year around half a million people in Germany develop malignant tumors. In recent years, the development of new, highly effective drugs has fundamentally changed the treatment of many tumors and opened up completely new opportunities in the fight against cancer. With “Cancer Scout”, the BMBF is now funding a large-scale joint research project that aims to provide medicine with a new tool in the fight against cancer.

The main goal of the project, which is funded with just under 10 million euros, is research into artificial intelligence, with the help of which a “digital biopsy” detects molecular changes in tumors. In this way, these could be treated in a targeted manner and in a much shorter time than before.