Doctors could get a head start treating cancer thanks to AI developed at the University of Surrey that is able to predict symptoms and their severity throughout the course of a patient's treatment.

In what is believed to be the first study of its kind, published in the  PLOS One  journal, researchers from the Center for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing (CVSSP) at the University of Surrey Able to accurately predict the severity of three common symptoms faced by cancer patients – depression, anxiety and sleep disturbance. All three symptoms are associated with severe reduction in cancer patients' quality of life.

Researchers analyzed existing data of the symptoms experienced by cancer patients during the course of computed tomography x-ray treatment. The team used different time periods during this data to test whether the machine learning algorithms are able to accurately predict when and if symptoms surfaced. The results found that the current reported symptoms were very close to those predicted by the machine learning methods.

Machine learning techniques 

Payam Barnaghi, Professor of Machine Intelligence at the University of Surrey, said: "These exciting results show that there is an opportunity for machine learning techniques to make a real difference in the lives of people living with cancer. risk patients, help and support their symptom experience and pre-emptively plan a way to manage those symptoms and improve quality of life. "

Nikos Papachristou, who worked on designing the machine learning algorithms for this project, said: "I am very excited to see how learning and AI can be used to create solutions that have a positive impact on the quality of life and well-being of patients. "