BDMS and AstraZeneca partner for AI-driven lung cancer battle in Thailand

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The Bangkok Dusit Medical Services Public Company Limited (BDMS) recently announced a partnership with AstraZeneca (Thailand) Co Ltd. The partnership aims to leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the fight against lung cancer, with the potential to significantly reduce mortality rates. The collaboration will initially be piloted at the Bangkok Cancer Hospital Wattanosoth, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two parties.

Cancer is currently the leading cause of death in 48 countries worldwide, including Thailand, as reported by Thiravud Khuhaprema, director of the Bangkok Cancer Hospital Wattanosoth. The nation records 190,000 cancer cases annually, with a devastating mortality rate of 120,000 deaths each year. This translates to 14 people succumbing to the disease every single hour.

Lung cancer is the deadliest form of the disease in Thailand, with approximately 19,000 out of 23,000 patients losing their lives to it annually, regardless of receiving treatment. Alarmingly, Thiravud noted that lung cancer has been detected in non-smokers, suggesting that other factors such as PM2.5 particles could be causing changes in the respiratory system cells, particularly in individuals carrying the EGFR or KRAS genes, reported Bangkok Post.

Currently, no screening guidelines exist for lung cancer in non-smokers, underscoring the urgent need for innovative technologies like AI, said Thiravud.

“AI will play a pivotal role in lung cancer diagnosis and treatment, which helps analyse images, providing a multi-cancer risk screening for early detection through blood tests that can identify circulating tumour DNA.”

Roman Ramos, the country president of AstraZeneca (Thailand), echoed these sentiments, stating that AI could assist doctors in identifying smaller lung nodules, potentially indicating early-stage lung cancer. The AI-enabled screening process takes a mere three minutes. If an abnormality is detected, patients can receive a diagnosis and commence treatment promptly, which could significantly increase survival chances.

In related news, remember the inspiring journey of 28 year old doctor Kritthai, who bravely faced terminal lung cancer. His book ‘Fight for It’ and heartfelt wedding moments leave a lasting impact.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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