AI, Genome Sequencing and New Sensors Creates Pre-Cancer Management

Steve Hsu, the cofounder of Genomic Prediction, was interviewed by Scott Adams. He talked about using AI and genome sequencing to detect and predict disease. Predictors now exist for about 20 diseases.

Steve predicts that soon…DNA tests will be required for health insurance policies.

We have been able to detect single genes that substantially increased risks for disease. Now we can detect more complex situations that increase risks. This could be dozens of genes combining to increase risks. In breast cancer, one in a thousand women have genes that increase risk for breast cancer. Those people have been required to have far more frequent mammogram tests. Now Steve Hsu’s company will be able to identify ten times as many people who have more complex disease risks.

Brian Wang of Nextbigfuture had a prediction in 2006 that insurance companies would require regular tests to track biomarkers and biomarkers would have to be maintained in a prescribed range.

Pre-Cancer Management

Cancer in its late stages becomes an exponential explosion of bad cells. Pre-cancer management would be working to defuse the bomb before it explodes. If we can precisely determine that disease will occur in x years then we will have time to pre-empt the problems.

I believe that cancer medicine will change to exact forecasts of the type and timing of pre-cancer and management of pre-cancer. We will be able to decide the best time and method of pre-cancer interventions.

How much does early detection matter. If we could catch all cancers at stage 1, stage 0 or even just before cancer develops then over 90% of those with early breast cancer would survive vs 15% for late detection and similar numbers for most other cancer.

We have several problems with diagnosing cancer. Many people do not get the frequency of tests that can find cancers early. This can be for good reasons. The tests can be a painful hassle and expensive. Cancers can be missed in testing and their can over-diagnosis of 30% in some cases.

Right now, People have better health monitoring and more frequent inspections of their car than their own bodies.

There are 4 cancer medicine breakthroughs

1) You already know about Steve Hsu’s startup company called Genomic Prediction is combining AI with genetic sequencing. They provide a report with your top ten highest genetic risks for disease. Those with 5X or 10X higher likelihood for specific cancers can choose to have a stepped-up rate of testing and a lifestyle coaching app to attempt to prevent the actual emergence of the cancer.

2) AI is improving the analysis of X-ray and other diagnosis images. AI is already as good as or better than the best human medical specialists in the detection of cancer. AI imaging and tests will become frequent and cheap. An AI from South Korea called Lunit had a 97% detection rate for lung and breast cancer in a 2016 competition.

3) MIT SAIL can predict breast cancer 5 years before the disease starts with 99% accuracy. Getting an accurate near-term pre-cancer diagnosis for the deadliest cancers like lung and pancreatic cancer would be huge to rapidly improve beyond stage 1 survival rates. Pre-diabetes indicates that 50-70% of people can make the lifestyle changes to prevent the development of diabetes. Cancer medicine can make a big advance not just from aggressively working to prevent the disease but placing monitoring to catch all cancer cases in stage 0 or stage 1. There is also the need for cheap and accurate monitoring. Some tumors need to be watched for months to make sure a tumor actually requires treatment.

Stage 0 means there’s no cancer, only abnormal cells with the potential to become cancer. This is also called carcinoma in situ.
Stage I means the cancer is small and only in one area. This is also called early-stage cancer.

4) There is a new wave of new blood, saliva and urine tests which could become like today’s body thermometers for detecting a fever. Wearable devices have been tested which continuously capture cancer cells directly from the vein, screening patient’s blood.

AI analysis combined with accurate and more comprehensive monitoring will be far better than once a year checkups.

SOURCES – Steve Hsu, Scott Adams, American Cancer Society, MIT SAIL
Written By Brian Wang,