Institute for Cancer Genetics and Informatics with a new, promising method for prognostication
The Institute for Cancer Genetics and Informatics (ICGI) is a department at Oslo University Hospital, located at the Norwegian Radium hospital. A joint team of researchers, developers and lab-personnel at ICGI have for more than 15 years been developing methods that can improve cancer diagnostics through combining biomedicine and informatics.
In recent years, we have focused on new technologies, often referred to as artificial intelligence (AI). Now we can proudly present a fully automated method for prognostication of colon cancer - one of the most common types of cancer in the western world.
Research at the ICGI
The number of cancer patients is steadily increasing, and successful cancer treatment requires a correct diagnosis, as well as biomarkers that predict prognosis and response to treatment. Prostate cancer, for example, is a disease with more than 1,3 million new cases each year, where about half of these patients would have been much better off if their cancer had not been diagnosed and treated, whereas the other half completely depend on proper treatment to survive. We have little, and no exact, knowledge about what distinguishes indolent cancer from a lethal one, and this is the overall research question at the Institute for Cancer Genetics and Informatics (ICGI).
The Institute combines the science of genetics and informatics to obtain new knowledge about cancer and to develop a new methodology for cancer diagnostics by focusing on the differences in DNA- and gene expression in tumour cells from indolent and lethal cancers. Whereas most genomic studies are performed on DNA or RNA isolated and extracted from the tumour tissue, due to the heterogenic nature of tumours, we prefer to perform our analysis directly in intact cells and tissues, which is where the informatics comes into play. We use artificial intelligence (AI) to analyse DNA, its organisation and expression through high-resolution image analysis of the cells and tissue of the tumour.
Although we belong to an organisation with a line structure and as such consist of three sections, our research is organised around our projects in a matrix structure. These projects are grouped according to their goal, which is either clinical use, mechanistic understanding, or new technology to support the first two groups.