Frontiers in Oncology (2020-09-01)

Clinical Trials for Artificial Intelligence in Cancer Diagnosis: A Cross-Sectional Study of Registered Trials in

  • Jingsi Dong,
  • Yingcai Geng,
  • Dan Lu,
  • Bingjie Li,
  • Long Tian,
  • Dan Lin,
  • Yonggang Zhang,
  • Yonggang Zhang

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 10


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Objective: Clinical trials are the most effective way to judge the merits of diagnosis and treatment strategies. The in-depth mining of clinical trial data enables us to grasp the application trend of artificial intelligence (AI) for cancer diagnosis. The aim of this study was to analyze the characteristics of registered trials on AI for cancer diagnosis.Methods: Clinical trials on AI for cancer diagnosis registered on the database were searched and downloaded. Statistical analysis was performed by using SPSS 20.0 software.Results: A total of 97 registered trials were included. Of them, only 27 (27.8%) were interventional trials and 70 (72.1%) were observational trials. Fifteen (15.4%) trials had been completed. Fifty trials were in recruitment, and another 18 remained unrecruited. The number of cases included in the clinical trials tended to be large, 31 (32.0%) trials including samples ranging from 100 to 499 cases and 17 (17.5%) trials including samples ranging from 500 to 999 cases. Of the 27 interventional trials, only two trials reported trials' phase. Most (85.2%) interventional trials were for diagnosis, and a few (3.7%) were for the purpose of both the diagnosis and therapy of cancers. For the observational clinical trials, 46 (65.7%) were cohort studies, and 11 (15.7%) were case-only studies. Among the observational trials, 46 (65.7%) were prospective studies and 13 (18.6%) were retrospective studies. Among 97 trials, 37 (38.1%) involved colorectal cancer, 11 (11.3%) involved breast cancer, 43 (44.3%) were for imaging diagnosis, 33 (34.0%) were for endoscopic diagnosis, and 11 (11.3%) were for pathological diagnosis. For the interventional trials, 11 trials were parallel assignment (40.7%), and 14 were single group assignment (51.9%). Among the 27 interventional trials, 18 (66.7%) trials were performed without masking, 6 (22.2%) trials were performed with single masking, only 1 (3.7%) was performed with double masking, and 2 (7.4%) was performed with triple masking.Conclusion: It appears that most registered trials on AI for cancer diagnosis are observational design, and more trials are needed in this field.