Optimizing diagnosis of Rare Cancers

Histopathology review is fundamental for ensuring the validity of the diagnosis, and the implantation of clinical decisions by tumour boards of surgeons and oncologists. Histopathology and molecular data will inform the use of appropriate medicines in relevant patient subgroups, thus reducing undesirable toxicity in non-responding patients while justifying therapeutic intervention in responders, underpinning the best use of resources and promoting cost efficiencies. Thus, new health technologies need to be tested and validated against high quality clinical data and biological material. The investment required for improvement in the neglected area of rare cancer may not be as large as expected, as many technologies and services are either in the market already, or can be readily applied and close to this market, and can be re-purposed. The EIT Health innovation aims will go beyond the state of the art by adoption and implementation of close to market technologies currently poorly applied to the rare cancer PM pathway.

Philips will collaborate with the Rare Cancer Project to pilot their Tele- Pathology platform in Oxford University and establish a connection with Leiden University Medical Centre.

The idea is to create high analysis digital images from scanned histopathology slides and store them on computer servers. These images can be transmitted online to expert pathologists, who will be able to manipulate and annotate them as needed.

For safety and legal reasons, the Benefits include the immediate access for evaluation for offsite pathologists, the decrease of physical space needed for storage, the high quality maintenance.

Knowledge sharing and planned education events will galvanize the team to develop new analytic tools that will help the pathologists diagnose rare cancer patients. These technologies include machine learning, next generation sequencing and high-throughput biomarker localisation.