IIIT Hyderabad researchers develop tools to detect renal cancer

The computational models developed by the IIIT-H researchers can also predict the survival chances of cancer patients using digital images

Published: 25th September 2019 05:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th September 2019 05:09 AM   |  A+A-


For representational purposes (File | EPS)

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: THE researchers at IIIT Hyderabad have started using machine learning for diagnosis and prognosis of cancer by analysing microscopic examination of tissue. According to information, the computational models developed by the IIIT can classify subtypes of renal cancer and also predict the survival chances of the patients using digital images. The study conducted by the researchers revealed that the models achieved over 90 per cent accuracy in determining whether the histopathological images represented a tumour or not and were 94 per cent accurate in determining its subtypes.

According to information, plans are afoot to expand the scope of research, starting with lung cancer which is most prevalent in the country.

“Analysis of these histopathological images (of sample tissues) is something we hadn’t done before. The aim was to see how a computer can interpret these images. Histological images contain markers of disease progression and phenotypic information that can have diagnostic and predictive values, “ said Dr Vinod PK of Centre for Computational Natural Sciences and Bioinformatics, IIIT-H.

Unlike manual microscopic analysis which takes a considerable amount of effort and time, the machine makes possible timely detection and diagnosis of cancer, he added. A machine can also step in where there are differing opinions among pathologists. “When the opinions are divided, there is a lot of subjectivity and it varies from pathologist to pathologist. A computer-aided interpretation can help in resolving these sorts of issues by aiding and not replacing the pathologist,” added Dr Vinod.

Another interesting aspect of the model is that it makes survival predictions on the basis of the tumour’s shape and nuclei features.   Apart from this, when a tissue sample is taken for biopsy, it’s known from where it is taken but the site of origin cannot be ascertained. IIT-H researchers have managed to show that there can be different sites of origin in renal cancer.

The IIIT-H research team has been able to classify 33 different types of cancers till now using histopathological images from the US government-funded, Cancer Genome Atlas Project.It now wants to work with Indian cancer data sets. “The team is in talks with pathologists of various hospitals in the city to popularise scanning and digitizing microscopic slides,” said Dr Vinod.


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