The Lustgarten Foundation Announces Grants to Elliot Fishman, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine & Alan Yuille, PhD, Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering to Advance Pancreatic Cancer Detection Efforts
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WOODBURY, N.Y., Mar 01, 2023 — The Lustgarten Foundation announced today that two grants will be awarded to Elliot Fishman, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine for his study FELIX 2.0. The Integration of AI into the Early Detection and Management of Pancreatic Cancer with Novel AI Algorithms and Advanced Data Analysis and Alan Yuille, PhD, Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering for his study Felix Civitas. Both projects aim to develop novel methods to improve early detection of pancreatic cancer and build on the success of the FELIX Program, funded by Lustgarten since 2016. The FELIX Program uses data from thousands of Computer Tomography (CT) scans to teach computers to detect tumors small enough to be missed by even the most experienced radiologists.
“Pancreatic cancer is extremely dangerous because the chances of survival are very small unless it is detected early enough to enable effective treatment,” said Andrew Rakeman, PhD, Lustgarten Foundation Vice President, Research. “The FELIX Program is a hopeful step towards more effective, life-saving management of this difficult disease.”
The Lustgarten Foundation’s support of the FELIX Program exemplifies an innovative commitment to advancing early detection methods. Harnessing the power of AI to detect tiny, early-stage pancreatic cancer tumors has already shown promising results: FELIX research has demonstrated sensitivities of more than 90% and specificities of more than 85% on average-sized pancreatic cancer, indicating that it is highly effective in identifying individuals who have the disease and those who do not. These awards amount to more than $5 million and will be distributed among researchers over a period of three years.
Dr. Yuille’s FELIX CIVITAS specifically addresses the development of Artificial Intelligence algorithms, building upon the FELIX Program’s goal to automate pancreatic cancer detection from CT scans. This study’s collaboration between the City of Hope Cancer Center and Johns Hopkins University will increase the number and variety of scans that the team can test and analyze.
“We know creativity in pancreatic cancer research has and will continue to lead to breakthroughs,” said Linda Tantawi, Lustgarten Foundation CEO, “the FELIX Program offers encouraging progress, providing better outcomes for current and future patients.”