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PanCanAID is a philanthropic initiative that strives to enhance the early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of pancreatic cancer patients. This website provides comprehensive information about the PanCanAID team, its objective, and its ongoing projects. Furthermore, our monthly newsletter highlights the latest advancements in pancreatic cancer management. We are committed to broadening our collaboration with teams and institutes who share our vision of improving the diagnosis and prognosis of pancreatic cancer. Our ultimate goal is to develop or aid in developing machine learning-driven tools with a minimum cost for the patients. Join us in our mission to combat pancreatic cancer and positively impact people’s lives.

The current focus of PanCanAID is improving the accuracy of CT scan imaging and helping radiologists diagnose pancreatic cancer. We proudly announce that six leading institutes are involved in the PanCanAID data pipeline, providing us with a robust and diverse dataset. Our multidisciplinary team comprises experts from 10 institutes in Iran and the USA, including radiologists, oncologists, computer scientists, and data analysts. Join us in our efforts to make a real impact on the lives of those affected by this disease.

  • Automated pipeline for assigning segmentation tasks.
  • PanCanAID Education for segmentation

Three centers started their process for joining PanCanAID:

  • Milad Hospital
  • Mashhad Province
  • Ahvaz Province
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Special Thanks to Charity Sponsors:

for Providing Cloud Server for Segmentation

Pancreas Cancer

Pancreatic cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the pancreas, a gland located behind the stomach that produces enzymes to help digest food. Unfortunately, pancreatic cancer is often diagnosed at an advanced stage, making it difficult to treat. According to the American Cancer Society, pancreatic cancer accounts for about 3% of all cancers in the United States but is responsible for about 7% of all cancer deaths. The one-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer is less than 10%, mainly because symptoms often don’t appear until the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Risk factors for pancreatic cancer include smoking, obesity, and the family history of the disease. While treatments are available for pancreatic cancer, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, early detection is key to improving the chances of successful treatment.

The Challenge of Deadly but Relatively Rare Cancer

Collecting data on pancreatic cancer can be challenging for several reasons. One of the main difficulties is that pancreatic cancer is relatively rare compared to other types of cancer. This means that there are fewer cases to study, making it more challenging to gather enough data to draw meaningful conclusions. Additionally, pancreatic cancer is often diagnosed at a late stage, making it harder to identify the specific factors that contribute to the development of the disease. Besides, there is also a lack of funding for pancreatic cancer research, which can limit the amount of data available to researchers. Despite these challenges, efforts are ongoing to improve our understanding of pancreatic cancer.

Imaging Role: From Incidental Findings to Resectability Prediction

Imaging is a critical tool in the diagnosis and management of pancreatic cancer. It can detect pancreatic cancer at an early stage, including incidental cases that would have otherwise gone undetected. Imaging can also determine the extent of the cancer, guide surgical interventions, and monitor the response to treatment. This information is crucial in making decisions about appropriate treatment approaches and predicting outcomes for patients. Despite its usefulness, imaging can be challenging in pancreatic cancer due to the complex nature of the disease and the difficulty in distinguishing between cancerous and non-cancerous tissue. Nevertheless, imaging remains an important tool in the fight against pancreatic cancer, helping clinicians to diagnose the disease early and monitor progress over time.

Why We Can't Screen Pancreatic Cancer

Currently, there is no widely accepted screening test for pancreatic cancer. This is because pancreatic cancer is relatively rare, and no reliable biomarkers or imaging methods can detect the disease at an early stage. Additionally, the location of the pancreas deep in the abdomen makes it difficult to access with traditional screening methods. Another reason pancreatic cancer screening is not widely available is cost-effectiveness issues. Pancreatic cancer screening tests can be expensive, and the benefits of early detection must be weighed against the cost of testing and the potential harms of false positive results.

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At the core of our endeavors lies a profound commitment to serving people, with patients being our highest priority. Their data is not just a resource; it is a responsibility we hold with great reverence. We must ensure its ethical use, protecting their privacy and seeking their consent when commercial interests arise. Our purpose goes beyond scientific progress; it is about making a positive impact on lives. Let us embrace a philanthropic approach, using our knowledge and expertise to improve patient well-being and advance healthcare for the greater good.
SAA Safavi-Naini
Founder

PanCanAID Story

PanCanAID is a project focused on developing computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) models to manage pancreatic cancer. The project aims to create generalizable CAD systems that can help clinicians in the diagnosis and prognosis of pancreatic cancer using CT scan images. The CAD systems developed by PanCanAID can aid in the classification, segmentation, and detection of cancer subtypes, as well as in the determination of cancer resectability, survival, and staging. Pancreas protocol CT scan images from 8 medical centers were used to develop these systems. By leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques, PanCanAID can potentially improve the accuracy and efficiency of pancreatic cancer diagnosis and management, ultimately leading to better patient outcomes.

In addition to developing CAD models for pancreatic cancer management, the PanCanAID project also hypothesized that abdominopelvic CT scan imaging could be used to screen for pancreatic cancer as an add-on benefit. By doing so, patients requiring CT scans for other reasons could potentially benefit from screening for this deadly cancer. However, the cost-effectiveness of this approach needs to be evaluated in real-world scenarios to determine its feasibility. Nevertheless, the potential benefits of early detection and improved management of pancreatic cancer make the PanCanAID project an exciting development in the fight against this challenging disease.

PanCanAID Team

At our core, we believe that a culture of interdisciplinary collaboration and mutual respect is key to deploying AI successfully in healthcare practice. Our team is privileged to bring together senior experts and promising young researchers from diverse fields, all working together towards a common goal. With a positive culture that values each team member’s contributions and encourages ongoing learning, we’re able to tap into a wealth of collective experience and expertise to drive meaningful progress in healthcare innovation.

Seyed Amir Ahmad Safavi-Naini, MD-MBA

Research Fellow at RIGLD

Founder 🙂

Project Coordinators

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Zahra Tajabadi

BS Student of Psychology at RIGLD

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Elahe Meftah

MD student at TUMS

Model Development Team

Armin Behnamnia, PhD candidate

PhD Candidate at DML, SUT

Role: Lead ML developer

Abolfazl Malekahmadi, BSc

Bioinformatic MSc Student at SUT

Mohammad Taha Teimuri

Computer engineering MSc student at SUT

Advisory Committee and Senior Members

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Faezeh Khorasanizadeh, MD

Asst. Prof. Radiology at IKHC, TUMS

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Amir Sadeghi, MD

Assoc. Prof. Gastroenterology at RIGLD, SBMU

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Seyedmahdi Mirtajaddini, MD

Internist at TVH

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Farhad Zamani, MD

Assoc. Prof. Gastroenterology at GILDRC, IUMS

Ali Soroush, MD-MSc

Asst. Prof. Gastroenterology at D3M Division, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Ashkan Zandi, PhD

Research Faculty at School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

Fatemeh Shojaeian, MD

Postdoc Fellow at Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer center, Johns Hopkins University

Pardis Ketabi Moghadam, MD

Asst. Prof. Gastroenterology at RIGLD, SBMU

Reza Farjad, MD

Asst. Prof. Radiology at SBMU and Milad Hospital

Reza Nafisi Moghadam, MD

Assoc. Prof. Radiology, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences

Farahnaz Joukar, MSc, PhD

Assoc. Prof.  Epidemiology at GLDRC

Research Assistant, Associate, and Fellow

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Hamidreza Ghasemirad

Medical Sutdent at SSUMS

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Mohammad Mohammadi

Medical Student at SSUMS

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Abas Habibolahi

MD student at IUMS

Zahra Shahhoseini

Medical Student at SBMU

Parinaz Mellatdoust, MSc

Student at Dipartimento di elettronica informazione e bioingegneria, Politecnico di Milano

Alireza Mansour-Ghanaei, MD

Internal Medicine Resident at GUMS

Ghazale Sadeghi

Medical Student at SBMU

Aryan Salahy-Niri

BSc student Medical Labratory Science, SBMU

 

Mahsa Aghamohamadpor

Medical Student, SBMU

Mohammad Amin Tarighatpeima

Medical Student, SBMU

Server Maintenance

Maryam Saeedi, BSc

AI MSc Student at Islamic Azad University

Radiologists, Gastroenterologists, Surgeons, and Pathologists

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Pooneh Dehghan

Assoc. Prof. Radiology at TH, SBMU

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Faeze Salahshour, MD

Assoc. Prof. Radiology at IKHC, TUMS

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Kavoos Firooznia, MD

Prof. Radiology at IKHC, TUMS

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Shabnam Shahrokh, MD

Asst. Prof. Gastroentrology at RIGLD, SBMU

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Masoomeh Raofi, MD

Assoc. Prof. Radiology at IHH, SBMU

Abdolhamid Chavoshi Khamneh, MD

Asst. Prof. Surgery at IUMS

Alireza Rasekhi, MD

Assoc. Prof. at SUMS

Zhaleh Mohsenifar, MD

Assoc. Prof. Pathology at SBMU

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Farid Azmoudeh Ardalan, MD

Prof. Pathology at TUMS

MD Radiology Team

Elham Taghavi, MD

RIGLD

Sara Pourhemati, MD

RIGLD

Mahshad Sarikhani, MD

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Benyamin Mohammadzadeh, MD

Ramin Shahidi, MD

Narges Azizi, MD

Research Associate

Radiologists Team

Mahyar Daskareh, MD

Azade Ehsani, MD

Ahmad shoja, MD

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Hossein Salehzadeh, MD

Alireza salmanipour, MD

Mohamad Ghazanfari Hashemi, MD

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Mojdeh Gheysari, MD

Senior Advisor

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Mohammad Reza Zali, MD, FACG

Distinguished Professor of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at RIGLD, SBMU

Principial Investigator Core

Fariba Zarei, MD

Asst. Prof. Radiology at TUMS

Co-PI from SUMS

Amir Reza Radmard, MD

Assoc. Prof. Radiology at TUMS

Senior Advisor

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Hosein Ghanati, MD

Prof. Radiology at TUMS

Co-PI from TUMS

Fariborz Mansour-Ghanaei, MD, AGAF

Prof. Gastroentrology at GLDRC, GUMS

Co-PI from GUMS

Akram Pourshams MD,MPH , MSc

Prof. Gastroenterology at DDRI, TUMS

Co-PI from DDRI

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Masoudreza Sohrabi, MD-PhD

Senior Scientist at GILDRC, IUMS

Co-PI from IUMS

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Hamid Assadzadeh Aghdaei, MD, PhD,

Assoc. Prof. Gastroenterology at RIGLD, SBMU

Co-PI and Medical Supervisor

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Hamid R Rabiee, PhD

Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at DML, SUT

PI and ML Supervisor

This work has received support from multiple sources. The Research Institute for Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, provided funding for this project through Grant No. 0480/650 and Research No. 1224, which were granted to HAA and SAASN. HRR was partially supported by the IR National Science Foundation (INSF) through Grant No. 96006077. It is important to note that the funders did not and will not be involved in the study design, data collection, analysis, decision to publish, or manuscript preparation. Furthermore, SAASN provided additional funding for this project from personal funds in memory of Dr. Amanolah Safavi-Naini.

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Email: sdamirsa@gmail.com     Tel: +989120180209     Telegram: @PanCanAID