Dr Fayyaz Minhas of the Tissue Image Analytics (TIA) lab at the Computer Science department is a co-PI on a £97K grant by Cancer Research UK’s Early Detection Committee to explore machine learning for discovery of pre-neoplastic signature in mesothelioma. He will be working closely with Dr Jan Lukas Robertus, who is a Senior Consultant Cardiothoracic Pathologist at the Royal Brompton Hospital. Dr Minhas will lead on the machine learning and computational pathology side of the project.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MM) is a highly aggressive cancer and has a five-year survival rate of less than 10% from diagnosis. The prognosis of patients with MM is poor since most of the patients are diagnosed at an advanced stage when MM is resistant to current treatment options. The aim of the PRISM project is to develop and use machine learning techniques to identify phenotype markers of pre-malignant change in mesothelial cells. This will create a basis for tool development for early cancer detection in mesothelioma.
Prof Nasir Rajpoot, Director of the TIA lab, remarked:
Early detection of cancer is a key focus area of research in the lab and this award by CRUK adds to the portfolio of research at the TIA lab on early detection of cancer. The pilot project will pave the way towards the development of a tool that can help identify pre-malignant changes in mesothelial cells, crucial for the early detection of mesothelioma cancer. Successful completion of this project carries significant potential of saving lives and improving patient healthcare provision.