11 November 2021

Chella van der Post and  Francesco Ciompi, theme Tumours of the digestive tract, received a grant from the Hanarth foundation for their research project to develop artificial intelligence (AI)  to improve histopathological detection of hereditary diffuse gastric cancer (DGC). 

Within this project ''Unmasking the invisible cancer: digital detection of diffuse-type gastric carcinomas'', they will develop AI methods to refine DGC diagnostics. Since DGC may be easily missed or hard to find on biopsies and prophylactic hereditary gastrectomy specimens, AI will aid the pathologist in the diagnostic work-up, improving the detection of relevant cell types among a very large set of slides, with high potential to improve cancer diagnostics. Furthermore, the automation in cell detection provided by AI algorithms will allow to quantitatively and objectively assess DGC patterns in large series of slides, potentially giving new insights in specific morphological  features of DGC, such as patterns of spatial cell distributions.

With this project, researchers aim at using AI to better identify and classify future patients with HDGC,  to increase detection of individual patients and families, that might eventually result in better patient stratification for therapeutic options and clinical decisions. This will give more insight into specific features of CDH1 mutated DGC, both in a hereditary as well as sporadic setting. In the end, researchers  aim to give public access to developed AI  technology for research purpose.

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