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Canadian AI Association Lifetime Achievement Award

goes to…APCaRI member Russ Greiner

Image of DREAM challenge winners, Russ Greiner pictured on far left.

Dr. Russ Greiner, Canada CIFAR AI Chair, Fellow-in-Residence at Amii, University of Alberta Professor, and APCaRI member, received the CAIAC Lifetime Achievement Award announced at the Canadian AI Conference on May 27, 2021. This the highest honour bestowed by CAIAC, given in recognition to researchers who have distinguished themselves through outstanding research excellence in AI during the course of their academic career. APCaRI congratulates Russ Greiner for his well-deserved CAIAC Lifetime Achievement Award!

“Using machine learning techniques to produce effective, evidence-based personalized treatment”

The main foci of Russ Greiner’s current work are (1) bioinformatics and medical informatics; (2) learning and using effective probabilistic models and (3) formal foundations of learnability. He has published over 200 refereed papers and patents, most in the areas of machine learning and knowledge representation, including 4 that have been awarded Best Paper prizes.

One of these four papers was an entry into an international machine learning competition hosted by DREAM, an open-science effort dedicated to improving health and health care through crowdsourcing problem-solving. DREAM’s challenge was to develop an algorithm to predict which prostate cancer patients would respond to certain treatments and which would follow the medication regimen. The algorithm could be used by clinicians to help chose the best treatment plans for the patient.

Greiner and a team of students tied for the top place in the competition against over 50 teams from around the world. Then the winners collaborated to create an even better solution to the problem!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Calgary Prostate Cancer Centre has the highest accrual for a novel ultrasound study in prostate cancer

“We have enrolled over 400 patients at our site, reaching our enrollment goal much faster than all other sites across North America. We are now planning on adding in 250 more patients to this trial because of the encouraging results found with the first arm of the trial. Our site tied with the highest accrual goal and surpassed all other sites to meet our enrollment goal.”

The study is a “Multi-Center trial of high-resolution transrectal ultrasound versus standard low-resolution transrectal ultrasound for the identification of clinically significant prostate cancer”

The only definitive method for diagnosing prostate cancer is through a prostate biopsy. This procedure includes the use of an ultrasound machine to guide both freezing needles and biopsy needles into the prostate. The ultrasound machine that is currently in use is a low-resolution ultrasound machine which means that although it is good at seeing the entire prostate gland to guide the needles, it is often unable to visualize the prostate in enough detail to be able to see different lesions and areas of concern within it. Thus, many biopsy samples are taken systematically with two samples from each section of the prostate. Recently a new ultrasound machine has been created that gives images of the prostate with much higher resolution, allowing the radiologist performing the biopsy to see details within the prostate that were previously inaccessible. A study using this new high-resolution ultrasound machine is being completed at the Prostate Cancer Centre to compare the adequacy of this new machine to detect prostate cancer over the standard low-resolution machine. Over 650 patients will be enrolled in this study!

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- Eric Hyndman