Artificial Intelligence and Early Detection of Pancreatic Cancer: 2020 Summative Review

Pancreas. 2021 Mar 1;50(3):251-279. doi: 10.1097/MPA.0000000000001762.


Despite considerable research efforts, pancreatic cancer is associated with a dire prognosis and a 5-year survival rate of only 10%. Early symptoms of the disease are mostly nonspecific. The premise of improved survival through early detection is that more individuals will benefit from potentially curative treatment. Artificial intelligence (AI) methodology has emerged as a successful tool for risk stratification and identification in general health care. In response to the maturity of AI, Kenner Family Research Fund conducted the 2020 AI and Early Detection of Pancreatic Cancer Virtual Summit ( in conjunction with the American Pancreatic Association, with a focus on the potential of AI to advance early detection efforts in this disease. This comprehensive presummit article was prepared based on information provided by each of the interdisciplinary participants on one of the 5 following topics: Progress, Problems, and Prospects for Early Detection; AI and Machine Learning; AI and Pancreatic Cancer-Current Efforts; Collaborative Opportunities; and Moving Forward-Reflections from Government, Industry, and Advocacy. The outcome from the robust Summit conversations, to be presented in a future white paper, indicate that significant progress must be the result of strategic collaboration among investigators and institutions from multidisciplinary backgrounds, supported by committed funders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Artificial Intelligence*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / therapy
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods*
  • Genomics / methods*
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / therapy
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Analysis


  • Biomarkers, Tumor