State of NEW JERSEY A new health research initiative at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center, the Pancreatic Cyst Surveillance Program, seeks to identify life-saving answers as soon as possible.
CBS2’s John Elliott describes the program as “a cutting-edge blend of high-tech medical science and good old-fashioned medical investigation.”
Dr. Russell C. Langan expressed his delight at becoming “the first in the region and one of the first in the country to onboard artificial intelligence” for patients with pancreatic cysts.
Cysts in the pancreas are fluid-filled sacs that affect about 15% of the population. Most of them are discovered by chance when people are hunting for something else.
Dr. Brett Ecker explains that because “we know the cyst is the precursor lesion,” it serves as a “great model” for studying cancer’s origins.
Elliott must periodically get kidney CT scans due to his history of kidney stone formation.
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On one of those scans, a cyst on his pancreas was spotted by his doctors.
“The risk of cancer for a mucinous cyst can be as low as two percent over a patient’s lifetime, or it might be as high as 65 percent over a patient’s lifetime,” said Langan. For example: “The artificial intelligence software we’re utilizing in our program automatically recognizes patients if they have an anomaly in their pancreas.”
“Some of our research here is trying to uncover novel biomarkers that would assist us determine which are the high-risk lesions that we should be more aggressive with,” Ecker added.
Pancreatic cancer is extremely difficult to treat once it has spread, thus preventing it is a top priority for the pancreatic cyst population, as Langan put it.
Together with the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and the software company Eon Health, the medical professionals at Cooperman Barnabas are making great strides in cancer research and treatment.
Elliott claimed that the medical professionals who examined him discovered more than just a cyst on his pancreas. Later in January, he’ll get an endoscopic ultrasound.
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