A new machine learning tool being developed by Google could lead to earlier diagnosis of mesothelioma and better rates of survival. That is the word that comes from artificial intelligence experts at Google who recently presented research at a developer conference in San Francisco.

According to machine learning specialist Lily Peng, advanced AI can be used to detect lung cancers such as mesothelioma well before physicians can see them. Earlier diagnosis for mesothelioma would allow for earlier interventions, which could mean longer survival for patients afflicted with one of the most aggressive and difficult to treat cancers. (Survivingmesothelioma.com)

Diagnosis Frequently Comes Too Late

One of the most challenging aspects of mesothelioma is that it is difficult to detect early. Early pleural mesothelioma, for example, is hard to detect with regular imaging tools. By the time the tumors are big enough to be viewed on a CT scan, the cancer is usually in stage 3 or 4. Later stages of mesothelioma are highly resistant to most cancer treatments.

Earlier Diagnosis Possible With AI

The AI healthcare team at Google has devised a machine learning tool that can recognize early cancer signs on imaging scans. For patients with a higher risk of mesothelioma or lung cancer, some cancer centers are now using low dose CT scans to try to find tumors sooner.

But the new Google AI system adds onto this capability. The new tool has ‘learned’ how to find subtle signs of very early lung cancer by using scans from the NCI and Northwestern University.

During the conference, Peng offered examples of what the new machine learning tool can do. She pointed out the case of a patient who showed absolutely no signs of lung cancer on a regular CT scan. A year later, the patient was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer.

Five out of six radiologists said they could not see a sign of cancer on the early scans, but the AI tool did spot it. Using the tool to diagnose mesothelioma sooner has the possibility to increase survival rates. Peng believes it could cut the overall rate of lung cancer deaths by up to 40%.

Peng noted during the conference that this is a very promising result but it is still very early. She said Google is looking forward to partnering with professionals in the medical community to use the new technology to boost outcomes for mesothelioma patients.

About Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Dealing with a mesothelioma diagnosis can be devastating. Caring for your loved one and ensuring they get the best care are top priorities early on. But many of the most important financial decisions, such as paying for mounting medical bills, funeral costs, dealing with lost wages, and filing a legal claim for the loved one, are often delayed.

But family should remember that delaying these vital financial decisions is a major mistake. Keep in mind that you generally have 12 to 48 months to file a wrongful death lawsuit in most states.

If your loved one passes away from mesothelioma, any of the legal decisions made are by the estate representative. This person may be a direct member of the family. It also could be a child or spouse, but does not have to be a blood relative.

Determining who the estate representative is can be decided in one of two ways. A family friend or family member can be named by the victim before he passes away, or the civil court will appoint a representative after the death of the person.

How a Personal Injury Claim Changes If the Claimant Dies?

Frequently, the mesothelioma victim will file a personal injury action against the company that exposed them to products containing asbestos. But if the claimant dies due to mesothelioma, the awards from a successful claim will go to the estate. They do not go to the representative of the state. The damage award in a personal injury case after the claimant dies are often less. The reason is the plaintiff when living usually has large medical bills and various expenses to pay for going forward. But if the patient dies, those aspects of the claim are no longer relevant.

After the victim passes away, it is possible to file a wrongful death lawsuit after death on behalf of the estate of the deceased. The lawsuit may offset debt from the funeral costs, loss of wages and other expenses. Usually, people who file a wrongful death lawsuit in a case involving mesothelioma are spouses or partners of the deceased. Others who may file include children, parents, grandparents or a person who was at least 50% financially responsible on the person who died.

If a wrongful death lawsuit is going to be filed, your mesothelioma attorney will first conduct deep research on the sources of the possible asbestos exposure. He or she will need to interview people who knew the person who died. This legal process involves assembling a history of asbestos exposure for the person who passed away. Finding out when and where exposure occurred is vital to a successful wrongful death claim.

Just as with a personal injury action where the plaintiff passed away during legal proceedings, a wrongful death claim can be more difficult to prove because the individual is not there to provide information.

It is the responsibility of the plaintiff and their experienced mesothelioma lawyer to locate former coworkers and other witnesses to testify about the deceased’s exposure to asbestos.

If you have any questions about filing a wrongful death lawsuit on the behalf of your loved one, be sure to talk to an experienced asbestos cancer attorney in your state.


  • Earlier Mesothelioma Diagnosis. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://survivingmesothelioma.com/earlier-mesothelioma-diagnosis/