NEC provides a digital scanner to the Heidelberg University Hospital to accelerate joint research on cancer treatment
NEC Laboratories Europe GmbH (NEC) provided a very high-resolution digital scanner to the Department of Applied Tumor Biology at the Institute of Pathology of the Heidelberg University Hospital for digitizing images of cancer tissue samples.
The Department of Applied Tumor Biology (ATB) at the Institute of Pathology is investigating cancer tissues that arise through distinct molecular mechanisms. The new scanner, with a value of more than 100.000 Euro, will enable the Department to digitize these samples and link morphological patterns to molecular signatures by using artificial intelligence. NEC and ATB will use the images to jointly conduct research on tumor biology. The aim is to create artificial intelligence based on machine learning to predict the clinical biology and therapy responsiveness of human cancers. A very high scanner resolution is needed for making individual cancer cells visible in a digital image.
Prof. Dr. med. Magnus von Knebel Doeberitz, Medical Director of the department, commented that “Our goal is to develop digital techniques based on artificial intelligence that make it possible to understand more about the clinical biology of tumors. In our approach molecular and morphological criteria are linked by special algorithms.”
Digitization of cancer tissue probes allows for application of novel machine learning technologies, such as deep learning, to a wide range of challenges related to early diagnosis, prognosis and treatment selection for cancer patients. It is expected that digital pathology and machine learning technologies can together accelerate research in the field of Immuno-Oncology and strongly impact its clinical practice.
Dr. Jürgen Quittek, Managing Director of NEC Laboratories Europe GmbH stated: “We believe in the great potential of machine learning technologies for the healthcare sector, especially in crucial research fields such as cancer imaging for biomarker discovery. NEC is glad to support this research and looks forward to clinical applications that improve patient outcomes.”