Mayo Clinic's clinical trial matching project sees higher enrollment in breast cancer trials through use of artificial intelligence

ROCHESTER, Minn. – Mayo Clinic and IBM Watson Health today unveiled results from early use of the Watson for Clinical Trial Matching, an IBM cognitive computing system. Use of this system in the Mayo Clinic oncology practice has been associated with more patients enrolled in Mayo’s breast cancer clinical trials.

The organizations also announced an agreement that aims to extend and expand training and use of the system. Training on trials for additional cancer types is already underway. Currently, the system is trained to support clinical trial matching for breast, lung and gastrointestinal cancers.

Clinical trials offer patients access to promising new and emerging treatments. But matching and enrolling patients in appropriate trials is a time-consuming, manual process. Only 5 percent of patients with cancers participate in clinical trials nationwide. With low enrollment, many clinical trials are slow to finish or not completed. This delays advances in research, access to better therapies and improvements in patient care.

“Novel solutions are necessary to address this unmet clinical need, advance cancer research and treatments, and, in turn, improve the health outcomes of patients,” says Tufia Haddad, M.D., a Mayo Clinic oncologist and physician leader for the Watson for Clinical Trial Matching


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