CBRC’s Alumni Dr. Somayah Abdullah Al-Baradei was recently featured in Al- Madina Arabic newspaper. Al-Baradei is an assistant professor at the King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah. She completed her PhD in Bioinformatics under the supervision of Prof. Xin Gao in May 2022.
The interview highlighted her recent research work for early prediction of the spread of malignant tumors using artificial intelligence, through genetic information and tracking of its potential transmission.
"The spread of cancer from one organ to another is the main cause of death in most cancer-related cases. Here we propose a tool that relies on artificial intelligence that predicts the possibility of a malignant tumor. This tool helps in early diagnosis using non-invasive techniques."
Importance of AI in Diagnostics
In Saudi Arabia, at the age of 75 there is an estimated cancer mortality rate of 6 in 100 males and 5 in 100 females. The cause of this high rate is the lack of early diagnosis. Her work proposes an artificial intelligence diagnostic tool to predict tumor spread through genetic information based on deep learning models, which in turn will help improve the quality of care provided to cancer patients.
She pointed out that with transition to the digital age, the increasing research in cancer genetics using artificial intelligence will provide great opportunities for early detection of tumor spread.
She explained that the current methods for detecting tumor spread depend on the use of expensive, dense radiation techniques that may not give reliable results. This proves to be a huge road block in early detection.
"Metastatic cancer and identification of the site of the metastasis is an obstacle to effective treatment of patients with advanced cancers. By deepening our knowledge of the underlying biology of malignancy at different sites, we are certain that early diagnosis of malignant tumor can increase the resilience of the health system as it can be treated more effectively and cost-effectively."
Al Baradei also extended her sincere appreciations to Prof Xin and Dr. Magbuba Essack for their support and assistance during her time at CBRC KAUST.