Zach Edgerton- 2019 Climb4KC Scholar
Zach grew up in Hermantown, MN, just outside of Duluth. He has two siblings, an older sister who is a doctor, and a younger brother who is going into law. He enjoys playing hockey, golfing, reading, camping, hiking, and hopelessly cheering for the Vikings.
He became interested in medicine while volunteering in a hospital while in college in Chicago. While in his gap year, he began working with a urologist in Duluth who inspired his interest in the kidney and its surgical treatments. The doctor helped show Zach the growing need for research into the often forgotten, growing issue of kidney cancer, and that interest has stuck with him.
As a C4KC scholar, Zach and the team imported individual CT scans and manually segmented the Abdominal kidney cancer and cysts. The computer could then overlay the two images to identify what healthy tissue looked like compared to a tumor. With this information, an artificial intelligence program was used to analyze several properties of the tumor, and then predict with growing accuracy the likely postoperative outcome based on the R.E.N.A.L. score. Thus far, their research has been published/presented at AUA, the Engineering in Urology Society, European Urology Society, Medical Imaging Analysis, and at the annual meeting of ASCO.
C4KC funding made the entire project possible. It was able to provide the resources it needed to make advancements in the field of artificial intelligence in the diagnosis and treatment of kidney cancers. It is their hope that the research that this funding has made possible will go on to help improve outcomes in patients around the world. Their research will help physicians determine the best course of action when it comes to patients with kidney cancer. This resource will help ensure to a greater degree that the plan for the care of kidney cancer patients is the right one for the individual patient, improving their outcomes and quality of life moving forward.
He cannot express enough how much your donations have meant to their program and to the field of medicine in general. Thanks to your generosity, they are developing software that can improve patient outcomes and extend life expectancy for countless people in the future. Thank you so much for your contribution to medical advancement.