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Digital PATH Project looks to the future of oncology

Digital PATH Project looks to the future of oncology

Digital PATH Project

Artificial intelligence algorithms are being integrated into various aspects of cancer research and care, including applications in pathology and diagnostic testing.

Digital and computational pathology platforms have the potential to provide more precise and novel diagnostic insights to inform treatment decision making and, ultimately, improve patient outcomes. Friends of Cancer Research (Friends) is leading a new research partnership, the Digital and Computational Pathology Tool Harmonization (Digital PATH) Project, to support robust development of digital and computational pathology platforms for use in oncology drug development. Friends is currently working with project partners to assess variability in biomarker measurements across platforms.  

This new initiative is possible with the help of collaborators across academia, government, and industry, who recognize the vital need to better understand concordance between different platforms. Read our project launch announcement here.

As part of this research partnership, developers of computational pathology platforms will assess a common set of digitized breast cancer biopsies to determine human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) status. Results will be compared to assess consistency in HER2 measurements across different platforms and identify factors contributing to variability.

Digital pathology tools can be even more precise than some diagnostic tests currently used to determine biomarker status and are enabling the next generation of targeted therapies. For example, antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) are an emerging drug class for treating patients with cancer. These highly targeted agents carry a potent anti-cancer payload and can deliver it directly to specific targets. The use of digital pathology tools has great potential for determining the most appropriate patients to receive these novel therapies.

Digital Pathology Panel at the Friends Diagnostic Meeting, Feb. 1st, 2024

During Friends’ recent public meeting, “The Future of Diagnostic Tests: New Data & Modern Policy” project partners discussed the launch of the Digital PATH project and potential implications for the field. The session, “Supporting Digital and Computational Pathology: Launching a Demonstration Project,” focused on the project’s approach, including how collaborators will leverage data to generate an accessible digital pathology validation set.

Click to watch the full meeting.

The diverse panel of project partners highlighted the potential of the project to improve cancer care and the implications for oncologists and patients.

During the discussion, U.S. FDA’s Brandon Gallas highlighted the significance of providing templated reports to streamline decision-making processes, emphasizing the importance of regulatory clarity, accessibility, and the readiness of building a data pipeline.

Brandon Gallas, FDA, on digital pathology

AstraZeneca’s John Longshore discussed the transformative potential of digital imaging in analyzing patient samples.

John Longshore, AstraZeneca discussing digital pathology

This conversation emphasized the openness of partners to work collaboratively in order to help improve the quality of data and advance the field. 

The Digital PATH Project supports robust development of digital and computational pathology platforms for use in oncology drug development, assessing variability in biomarker measurements across platform developers to encourage alignment.

To learn more about the project visit:

Watch our recent Digital PATH meeting here.

Interested in staying up to date with the Digital PATH Project news?
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Project Partners 

Landscape Assessment: 4D Path Inc., Amgen, AstraZeneca, Bristol Myers Squibb, EMD Serono (Merck KGaA), FDA, GlaxoSmithKline, Kulig Consulting, Loxo@Lilly, Massachusetts General Hospital, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Merck & Co., Inc., Neomorph, Inc., Paige AI, PathAI, Sanofi, Tempus Labs, Inc., University Hospital of Antwerp, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

Digital PATH Project: 4D Path Inc., Amgen, AstraZeneca, BostonGene, Bristol Myers Squibb, Daiichi Sankyo, EMD Serono, Inc., Emory University, GA Green Consulting LLC, GSK, Indica Labs, Johnson and Johnson Innovative Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Kulig Consulting, Loxo@Lilly, Lunit, Molecular Characterization Laboratory (MoCha) at Frederick National Laboratory, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Merck and Co., National Cancer Institute (NCI), Nucleai, PathAI, Patient Advocates, Roche Diagnostics, Sanofi, Tempus AI, Inc., the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), University Hospital of Antwerp, University of North Carolina, and Verily 


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