Addressing the critical challenge of cancer overdiagnosis

Proscia has announced that NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the National Cancer Institute Consortium for Molecular Characterization of Screen-Detected Lesions (MCL), have used Proscia’s Concentriq platform to advance biomedical research.

Through this collaborative programme, coordinated by Baylor College of Medicine, JPL is digitising a repository of valuable pathology data to make it readily accessible to researchers from across the seven sites of the MCL. Researchers will use the data to unlock new insights that combat the growing challenge of overdiagnosis, which results in unnecessary treatment of cancers that would have never caused medical problems for the patient.

While widening access to cancer screening often results in early detection and can increase the likelihood of successful outcomes, it also leads to a rise in the detection of asymptomatic cancers and overtreatment incurring physical and emotional harm to the patient. The MCL, which consists of independent, multidisciplinary teams, was established to address this issue by undertaking comprehensive molecular and cellular characterisations of tumour tissue, cell and microenvironment components to more accurately identify aggressive cancers and find minimally invasive methods of treatment. As this research is data-intensive, the MCL has partnered with JPL, which will translate its expertise in data analysis around planetary science to this initiative.

The collaborative programme requires a scalable, centralised data repository to provide easy access to researchers across the seven sites of the MCL. To create this database, JPL and the MCL have adopted digital pathology, whereby high-resolution images of pathology specimen are captured, and they have deployed Proscia’s Concentriq to serve as the foundational software infrastructure.

Concentriq is a singular image and data management platform that unifies pathology operations across the connected enterprise and accelerates workflows. JPL is using Concentriq to host and manage the data repository, driving consistency for improved visibility and providing intuitive, secure access for the MCL team of researchers. Additionally, researchers are using Concentriq to streamline sharing and collaboration so that they can fully capitalise on the collective strengths of the individual sites.