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Varian and Google Cloud Announce AI Collaboration

Varian has announced a collaboration with Google Cloud to build an advanced artificial intelligence (AI) based diagnostic platform to aid in the fight against cancer. Varian and Google Cloud AI embarked on a deployment journey, using Neural Architecture Search (NAS) technology via Google Cloud AI Platform, to create AI models for organ segmentation—a crucial and labor-intensive step in radiation oncology that can be a bottleneck in the cancer treatment clinical workflow.

Organ segmentation is the process of identifying the organs and tissues in diagnostic images that must be targeted or protected during a course of radiation therapy. These segmented images are then used to create radiotherapy treatment plans that specify where and how much dose will be deposited during treatment. This is a labor-intensive process that can take a clinician hours per patient. In some regions of the world, segmentation is a limiting factor in cancer patients’ access to advanced treatments like intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) that require accurate organ segmentation.

Varian is using Google Cloud AI Platform’s NAS technology to create an AI segmentation engine that is being “trained,” using Varian’s proprietary treatment planning image data, to create customized auto-segmentation models for organs in the body. Varian intends to incorporate these models into its treatment planning software tools for use in cancer centers around the world.

“At Varian, we are working towards a world without fear of cancer, where high-quality cancer care—personalized and optimized for each patient—is available everywhere. To that end, we have committed ourselves to Intelligent Cancer Care™, which seeks to automate routine or repetitive tasks in the radiation oncology workflow through the use of smart algorithms, machine learning, and AI,” said Corey Zankowski, Senior Vice President, Technology and Innovation Office, Varian. “This collaboration with Google Cloud will turbocharge our efforts in this area.”

“At Google Cloud, we believe AI technology has the power to impact a wide variety of industries, which is especially true in the field of medicine,” said Craig Wiley, Director of Product Management, Google Cloud. “We are excited to see how Varian accelerates AI innovation and segmentation quality to improve cancer care with radiation therapy using our state-of-the-art NAS technology. As Varian’s AI platform of choice, our teams are working closely to deliver best-in-class AI for cancer treatment to patients around the world.”

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