New pathology software improves cancer diagnosis
14 August 2014
New software developed jointly by the MedUni Vienna and the
Vienna-based firm Tissuegnostics helps pathologists to identify
cancerous tissue with greater accuracy and remove some of the
variability in current methods based on visual analysis of tissue
The software was tested by the Clinical Institute of
Pathology, at the Medical University of Vienna, the Ludwig Boltzmann
Institute for Cancer Research (LBI-CR) and the VetMedUni Vienna.
In the study, published in the journal PlosOne,
scientists analysed 30 liver cell carcinomas and were able to
classify them into categories ranging from 'negative' to 'strongly
positive' using the software .
This study measured the expression of the proteins STAT5AB and
JUNB in an aggressive T-cell lymphoma. STAT5 plays an important role
in the development of leukaemia and liver cancer. The JUNB gene is
involved in the development of tumours in lymph gland tissue. The
software uses certain algorithms and highly sensitive digital
photography, enabling it to represent the matrix of cells and the
cell nucleus better than under the microscope.
Researcher Lukas Kenner said, “The new program of course does not
make pathologists redundant, however it is a supplementary method
that considerably increases diagnostic certainty." The MedUni Vienna
expert also anticipates that the new technology will contribute to
the changes in cancer cells, which are currently classified into
four categories, being specified in much more detail in the future.
It may in future be possible to create much more detailed
categories, giving clinicians a further tool with which to choose
the correct and tailored therapy option.
“Cancer therapies are expensive. This new software will also help
us to assess more effectively where expensive therapy is justified,
but also which cases do not need it, thereby also sparing the
patient," added Kenner.
Schlederer M, et al. Reliable quantification of
protein expression and cellular localization in histological