Pharma Focus Asia

Artificial Intelligence in Oncology

A path to personalised cancer treatment

Nancy Kapila, Pharmaceutical Consultant

The integration of artificial intelligence in oncology holds a promising strides, revolutionizing the landscape of cancer diagnosis, treatment and research. This article explore the importance of AI in oncology, an in-depth on applications, current uses and potential future application along with key players as well as recent development.


Cancer is the most prevalent cause of death across the globe. According to the World Health Organization, there is an estimated 77% increase from the anticipated 20 million cases of cancer in 2022. It is predicted that more than 35 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in 2050. The rapid rise in cancer has put the burden on the healthcare industry to bring innovation in the diagnosis and treatment methodologies to cure patients. One of the promising approaches to deal with growing cases of cancer is early detection for effective treatment and preventing the spreading of cancerous cells to other body parts. In this context, artificial intelligence emerges as a revolutionary approach to diagnose cancer at an early stage and design a personalized treatment.

The pharmaceutical industry has leveraged artificial intelligence in clinical trials for real-time data analysis. In oncology, artificial intelligence plays a pivotal role in cancer detection, identification of advanced therapeutic targets, and cancer therapy design, thereby improving cancer surveillance. From cancer diagnostics to treatment plans, artificial intelligence in oncology is on the path to help healthcare experts improve patient outcomes. Furthermore, AI in oncology also helps to reduce diagnostic and treatment-related errors, hence reducing testing costs. According to the Roots Analysis the AI in oncology market is estimated to be worth $1.1 billion in 2023 and is expected to grow to $9.1 billion by 2035. Several pharmaceutical industrial leaders are emphasizing on advancing their efforts to develop technologies based on AI to treat cancer.

Artificial Intelligence in Oncology: Current Uses of AI

Artificial intelligence is the branch of computer science that operates with the simulation of intelligent behavior in computers. These data-based algorithms help evaluate vast amounts of data in real-time, allowing healthcare experts to diagnose cancer at an early stage. In October 2022, over 521 medical devices that utilize artificial intelligence and machine learning have been approved by the FDA, and the majority of these devices have been used in radiology. In cancer diagnosis and radiology, there are several applications of artificial intelligence, including deep learning algorithms for the analysis of imaging data. Some of the core uses of artificial intelligence in oncology include:

Applications of Artificial Intelligence in Oncology


Applications of AI in Oncology








AI assists radiologists in the classification of small lesions and organizing workflow.






AI helps to uncover disease characterization and patterns.





AI helps in the identification of cancerous lesions and determines lung nodules and brain metastases on magnetic resonance imaging readouts.





Detects a multitude of discriminative features in imaging.






AI helps clinicians classify individual pixels based on lesions and organs.







AI aids in obtaining screening results more easily and in more convenient ways.



Importance of Data Collection through AI in Oncology

Artificial intelligence in oncology has become more prevalent to collect data with a high precision rate. The ability of artificial intelligence algorithms to interpret data in real-time helps clinicians make treatment plans according to the patient's condition. Additionally, artificial intelligence helps in analyzing genetic and molecular data for the identification of specific biomarkers and mutations that result in different types of cancer. The information collected using artificial intelligence enables the development of targeted therapies, enabling precise treatment tailored according to the patient. AI also plays a critical role in analyzing large databases that can be used for the following purposes:

  • Clinicians will receive accurate data from artificial intelligence that helps in dosage adjustments, treatment options, and enhancing the decision-making process.
  • AI in oncology accelerates massive amounts of datasets and facilitates the discovery of advanced biomarkers, treatments, and drug targets.
  • Researchers are leveraging artificial intelligence for the identification of data, correlation, trends, and insights that are difficult to approach through traditional methodologies.
  • AI in oncology also supports the integration of data from a wide range of resources, such as electronic health records, genomic data, and imaging studies.
  • Interoperability assures a comprehensive understanding of patient data, enabling researchers to develop effective cancer care plans.

Future Applications of Artificial Intelligence in Oncology

Predictive modeling is a unique use of artificial intelligence in cancer diagnoses and detection. This capability allows for the analysis of large amounts of patient data to find patterns based on test results, medical and family health history, and other factors to suggest the likelihood of cancer, recurrence, and even sickness progression. The capacity to forecast outcomes based on age, general health, and individual characteristics aids in treatment planning for the future. Healthcare practitioners will be able to deliver more accurate diagnostics and build tailored programs that produce the best outcomes by leveraging the knowledge offered by artificial intelligence for cancer diagnosis.

  • Integration of Multi-Omics Data

Research on oncology requires the integration of diverse data types such as genomics, metabolomics, and proteomics. By using artificial intelligence, clinicians can easily integrate multi-omics data for a more comprehensive understanding of cancer to develop personalized treatment decisions. Artificial intelligence algorithms also help analyze multi-omics data for the identification of specific biomarkers associated with cancer subtypes and patient response to treatment. These biomarkers serve as prominent molecular signatures that help to guide clinicians in designing treatment for a cancer patient.

  • Immunotherapy Optimization

Immunotherapies have emerged as a promising approach for the treatment of cancer by harnessing the immune system of the body to target cancerous cells. Artificial intelligence plays a significant role in the optimization of immunotherapy regimens by analyzing patient responses. AI algorithms help analyze a variety of patient data, including genetic information, immune system status, tumor characterization, and responses against drugs, to predict how the patient will respond to immunotherapy. Immunotherapy success often relies on particular biomarkers that help to indicate the suitability of patients for a specific treatment. AI can integrate with multi-omics data to identify relevant biomarkers associated with immunotherapy response. Additionally, AI also plays a crucial role in determining potential combinations of immunotherapeutic agents to enhance the efficacy of treatment.

  • AI-Driven Drug Combinations

In the future, researchers may witness AI-driven drug combinations that involve the application of artificial intelligence for the analysis of complex biological and clinical data with the aim of predicting optimal combinations of existing therapies and identification of entirely new drug combinations to improve cancer treatment outcomes. The approach of artificial intelligence-driven drug combinations utilizes advanced computational techniques to examine large datasets, generate better insights, and uncover patterns that may not be achievable through the traditional approach. Moreover, the AI algorithm also integrates diverse datasets such as genomics, proteomics, clinical records, and drug response data. The detailed analysis helps to understand the intricate molecular and cellular characteristics of cancer and identify potential targets for drug intervention.

Top Players of AI in Oncology Industry

Artificial intelligence in oncology is growing at a steady rate owing to its ability to interpret huge amounts of data in real time. Owing to its significance in the oncology field, several AI in oncology market players have entered the industry for the development of innovative technologies using AI to accelerate the diagnosis, research, and treatment of cancer. Some of the top players currently engaged in this emerging market include:

  • Berg
  • CancerCenter.AI
  • Concert AI
  • GE Healthcare
  • IBM Watson Health
  • iCAD
  • JLK Inspection.
  • Median Technologies
  • Path AI
  • Roche Diagnostics

Current Developments in AI in Oncology Industry

Several developments that are taking place in artificial intelligence in the oncology market include:

  • In August 2023, Paige and Ohio State Wexner Medical Center collaborated with an aim to study artificial intelligence-based tools for accurate and efficient diagnosis of prostate cancer.
  • In July 2023, PathAI recently launched AIM-HER2 Breast Cancer (an AI-powered HER2 Scoring Algorithm) to be utilized by different biopharmaceutical research and clinical laboratories.
  • In May 2023, The University of Sydney and Pharos Therapeutics entered into a collaboration in order to leverage artificial intelligence for the enhancement of drug discoveries to treat cancer and rare diseases.

Artificial Intelligence in Oncology: Future Aspects

While AI is increasingly being integrated into oncologic research, more effort has to be made to transform these findings into real-world, therapeutically relevant applications. One of the most significant challenges is external validation and demonstrating the generalizability of deep learning applications. Given neural networks' complexity and an exceptionally large number of parameters, they have a significant potential to produce over-fitted models that do not generalize across various populations. Since there is a substantial level of variety in medical data among institutions, numerous external validation sets may be necessary to demonstrate the functionality of an application.

    Artificial Intelligence in Oncology


    Nancy Kapila

    Nancy Kapila is a seasoned pharmaceutical consultant with over 5 years of varied experience and a Master’s in Pharmaceutics from Panjab University. She excels in drug mechanisms and interactions. Her career highlights include collaborating with numerous pharmaceutical companies and offering strategic insights and guidance. Nancy stands out for her dedication to keeping abreast of pharmaceutical advancements, regulatory changes, and emerging trends. She believes in continuous learning to navigate the industry’s complexities and provide innovative client solutions. Fascinated by the role of data analytics in decision-making, Nancy delves into data to uncover patterns and opportunities, offering evidence-based recommendations for process optimization, product development, and operational efficiency. Her career is driven by a relentless pursuit of knowledge, passion for data insights, and commitment to leading pharmaceutical companies towards success in a dynamic industry.

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