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Information technologies used in a new system for the diagnosis of cancer

By 26 de January de 2006November 18th, 2020No Comments
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Information technologies used in a new system for the diagnosis of cancer

A European consortium coordinated by the enterprise , with its head-offices at the Parc Científic de Barcelona , will set up an innovative decision-support system (DSS) for the diagnosis of cancer. This new tool will allow the unification and classification of information available in hospitals around the world with the aim to improve the diagnosis and prognosis of brain tumours.

For three years, approximately twenty specialists from European universities, hospitals and SMEs will work together in the European project “Agent-based Distributed Decision Support System for Brain Tumour Diagnosis and Prognosis (HealthAgents)”, thereby bringing the know-how and technology required to build the new system. This project, which was launched today during a plenary session in the Antoni Caparrós Auditorium of the PCB, is included in the VI Framework Programme of the European Union and is supported by funding of 4 million euros. The director of MicroArt, Magí Lluch, has stated that “through this initiative, we will build a network through which to exchange worldwide clinical data with the objective to address one of the most pernicious diseases of our time, cancer”.

For the development of this system, to develop a global dataset, specialists will use local databases throughout Europe that hold information stored anonymously and securely. These data will include information such as the biochemical composition of tissues and the genomic profile, determined using DNA microarrays. To improve the results obtained by the DDS, the network will grant bona-fide access to organizations in return for their contributions of clinical data.

The project will be structured around “intelligent agents”. These are information processing tools that form part of the network and to which certain objectives are assigned. Each agent operates independently and establishes negotiations, thus achieving the objectives. The cooperation of these agents allows the most complex issues in brain tumour diagnosis to be addressed. To fulfil the goals, the system will apply advanced data mining techniques to extract information.

The distributed nature of these data will allow users to observe local policies of privacy and confidentiality regarding the sharing of information and will also allow them access to all the data provided by collaborating centres. The new grid of interconnected databases will allow the design of centres targeted at specific patient populations.

In addition to MicroArt, this project also involves the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, which, through professor Carles Arús, headed a previous and highly related project (INTERPRET); the Universitat de València, present leader of the eTumour project for the development of a system with medical objectives similar to HealthAgents and in which MicroArt also participates; the Instituto de Aplicaciones de las Tecnologías de la Información y de las Comunicaciones Avanzadas-ITACA, in Valencia; the enterprise Pharma Quality Europe, in Italy; the Catholic University of Leuven, in Belgium, and the Universities of Birmingham, Edinburgh and Southampton, in the UK.