13-Year-Old Innovates Pancreatic Cancer Treatment


Rishab Jain is only in the 8th grade, but he’s already made his mark on the world with his artificial intelligence algorithm, Pancreatic Cancer Deep Learning System (PCDLS), which can significantly boost radiation treatment. His contribution to the field of medicine could save countless lives and make a serious impact in the fight against this malignancy.

As soon as he entered the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, a national science competition which he eventually won, Jain’s project started getting a lot of attention. His tool for Improved Image-Guided Radiotherapy (IGRT) through Automated Pancreas Segmentation can accurately highlight the affected areas from CT and MRI scans. At the moment, doctors need to visually locate the pancreas, which can be obstructed by the lungs, liver or the stomach. To ensure radiotherapy success, oncologists typically blast a larger area (an “error circle”), thus affecting millions of healthy cells.

The software is compatible with existing therapy equipment found in hospitals or can be directly integrated into new machines. Furthermore, the young man pledged to use the $25,000 prize from the contest to advance his machine learning program and fund his own nonprofit dedicated to promoting STEM learning. This is a curriculum focused on teaching students technology science, engineering and mathematics through an interdisciplinary and applied approach.

Pancreatic cancer treatment has seen little progress over the last four decades. Statistics paint a harrowing picture: more than 55.000 new cases each year and approximately 44.000 deaths (about 7% of all cancer-related mortalities) in the United States alone.

In the future, Jain hopes to bea biomedical engineer or a doctor to keep developing technology to find a cure for cancer and improving people’s lives”.

Let’s all wish him good luck and hope that he succeeds!