13-Year-Old Invented A Safer Way To Treat Cancer


(upbeat music) – It all started in the summer of 2017 when I went to visit my brother in Boston, and there I learned about some research that was happening, and the
surprisingly low statistics about pancreatic cancer,
like its survival rate. My name is Rishab Jain. I’m in 8th grade, 13 years
old, from Portland, Oregon, and I created an artificial
intelligence-based tool called PCDLS Net to
improve pancreas tracking during a treatment called radio therapy for pancreatic cancer. The five-year survival
rate of pancreatic cancer is around 9%, and the
10-year survival rate is around 1%, which is extremely low, and these survival rates have not improved significantly in the past 40 years, so currently, pancreatic
cancer is detected in a late stage, and by
then, doctors try to use radio therapy to help treat it, but most of the time,
it’s not effective enough, so I got inspired to do
some research on this because I’m a big programmer, and I like artificial intelligence, so I wondered if I could
combine my knowledge in the two areas to
help solve the problem, and I created an artificial
intelligence-based tool called PCDLS Net to
improve pancreas tracking during a treatment called radio therapy for pancreatic cancer. Well,
I contacted over 253 doctors, and got around 30 replies
from leading experts from institutions at cancer
centers and around the world. So as you can see in
the pancreas right here, there’s other organs such as the stomach and liver that may cover the area, and also, it’s right below the lungs causing it to move during
some of the treatments. It’s also very hard to reach in. It’s right in the center of the abdomen next to the spinal cord, so for surgery, biopsies, other things like that, it may be hard to find
where the pancreas is. It’s sometimes detailed
as a mushy or angry organ because of its position in the body. This right here is a
real patient’s CT scan, and as you can see
throughout its transforming, it’s very hard for the human eye to detect where the pancreas is, and
this is especially a problem in real time when
radiologists and oncologists have to find the pancreas and
apply radiation treatment. So over here on the left
side, my tool can be run to find where exactly the pancreas is in one of these CT or MRI slices and output this result instantaneously. So currently, doctors
have to apply sometimes a seven millimeter overlay
around the pancreas of radiation, and this can affect millions of healthy cells, so my tool
is able to reduce that area to around four millimeters, so that saves millions of healthy cells and can improve patient quality of care. So, I have a detailed five-year plan about how I wanna globally
commercialize my tool, PCDLS Net, and improve
pancreatic cancer survival rates. So I envision partnering with a hospital as well as 3M to work and create my tool as an add-on, and for
this, I’ll need to conduct clinical testing, so I want to gain FDA and IRB approval. (intense music) So I want to continue pursuing medicine and engineering as I grow up, so for my undergraduate degree, I’m
thinking about becoming a biomedical engineer, and later, I want to make a difference
in other people’s lives. I’ve gotten to see first-hand
some of my relatives who are doctors and how
they can perform surgery or make other treatments that improve the quality of care and solve problems for people in need, so I’m thinking about becoming a surgeon and
continuing medical research as I grow up.