Public Release: 

Artificial intelligence could predict spread of melanoma

Study conducted by Ben-Gurion University and Texas Southwestern Medical Center

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

BEER-SHEVA, Israel...February 26, 2019 - An interdisciplinary team of researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) in Israel and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW) in Dallas have developed groundbreaking technology to identify melanoma cells that are likely to metastasize to other parts of the body using artificial intelligence (AI).

The method, called "quantitative live cell histology," was presented recently at the American Society for Cell Biology/EMBO conference in San Diego by Dr. Assaf Zaritsky, of the BGU Department of Software and Information Systems Engineering, and UTSU Prof. Gaudenz Danuser.

The technology records video of cells using microscopic cameras and identifies the appearance and behavioral patterns of those cells that have metastatic potential.

The group demonstrated that their representation of the functional state of individual cells can predict the likelihood that a stage III melanoma, with malignancies limited to the lymphatic system, will progress to stage IV, in which the cancer has spread from the principal area to the rest of the patient's body.

"Beyond metastasis prediction potential, the computer models also allowed us to distinguish between cancer cells taken from different patients by quantifying factors that are not visible to the naked eye," says Dr. Zaritsky.

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About American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU) plays a vital role in sustaining David Ben-Gurion's vision: creating a world-class institution of education and research in the Israeli desert, nurturing the Negev community and sharing the University's expertise locally and around the globe. As Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) looks ahead to turning 50 in 2020, AABGU imagines a future that goes beyond the walls of academia. It is a future where BGU invents a new world and inspires a vision for a stronger Israel and its next generation of leaders. Together with supporters, AABGU will help the University foster excellence in teaching, research and outreach to the communities of the Negev for the next 50 years and beyond. Visit vision.aabgu.org to learn more.

AABGU, headquartered in Manhattan, has nine regional offices throughout the United States. For more information visit https://aabgu.org/.

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