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Neurosurgery publishes findings of 3 important studies in June issue
Date:6/19/2013

Philadelphia, Pa. (June 19, 2013) The results of three important studies have been published in the June issue of Neurosurgery, official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.

One study indicates that continuous "machine learning" using artificial neural networks (ANNs) may improve the ability to predict survival in patients with advanced brain cancers. Another study in the June Neurosurgery supports increased use of stereotactic biopsy for obtaining samples of brainstem tumors; while another calls for medical professionals and specialty societies to play an increased role in evaluating "off label" uses of medications.

Artificial Neural Networks Predict Brain Cancer Prognosis

Dr. Matthew Ewend of University of North Carolina and colleagues evaluated the use of ANNs to predict the chances of survival for patients with brain cancer. Based on the biological functioning of brain cells, ANNs are computer programs designed "to learn patterns within a data set and then apply that learning for recognition and prediction."

The researchers performed a pilot study of ANNs using data on patients treated for advanced brain cancer at several hospitals. The results showed that ANNs beat standard prediction models for predicting patient survival. "Pooled voting" of five ANNs correctly predicted the risk of death within one year in 84 percent of patients, compared to 78 percent with a single ANN and 74 percent using standard statistical techniques.

The predictive power of ANNs would likely increase over time, providing a "facile and powerful means or predicting survival" in pat
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Contact: Connie Hughes
connie.huges@wolterskluwer.com
646-674-6348
Wolters Kluwer Health
Source:Eurekalert

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