The Institute for Cancer Genetics and Informatics receives funding from the Norwegian Cancer Society
Research funding from the Norwegian Cancer Society is raised by the Norwegian public and is an important contribution to Norwegian cancer research environments. The number of applications for the annual call for proposals was again numerous this year, and the competition is strong. Our project aims to use artificial intelligence (AI) to improve risk stratification in patients with colorectal cancer that has spread to the liver. We are grateful that the Norwegian Cancer Society has chosen to support our work and ambitions, which will enable the Institute to continue its work to guide in tailoring treatment options for patients with colorectal cancer.
About the project
An ageing population comes with an increase in cancer incidence. Despite the many advancements in diagnosis, surgical technique, screening, and molecular characterisation, colorectal cancer (CRC) remains a major global health problem, being the second most common cancer and the second most common cause of cancer death in Norway. About 20% of CRC patients are diagnosed with distant metastasis at primary diagnosis, and an additional 25% develop distant metastasis after surgery for localised colorectal cancer. Treatment of colorectal liver metastasis (CLRM) is inconsistent, but resection and chemotherapy are the standard treatment methods in patients who are eligible for surgery. Among patients undergoing liver resection, approximately 40% develop recurrences within one year after surgery, illustrating the need for better tools to identify the proper treatment for each patient.
Artificial intelligence (AI) radically transforms our society, including healthcare and medical diagnostics. Deep learning (DL) is a subfield of AI that is well-suited to perform complex visual recognition tasks and has proven particularly useful in medical image analysis. Based on long-term experience in digital pathology, the Institute for Cancer Genetics and Informatics (ICGI) at Oslo University Hospital has, over the last 8 years, built a competent computing environment for DL in medical image analysis. Deep learning has been used to predict patient outcomes from Whole Slide Images (WSIs) of routine haematoxylin and eosin (H&E)-stained tissue sections from cancers and similar methodology will be utilised in the current project. The project aims to develop deep learning models for predicting recurrence and survival in patients with colorectal liver metastases treated with surgery, to tailor adjuvant treatment and surveillance programmes which in turn will improve survival and quality of life. By linking these predictions with a characterisation of cells and tissue, including morphology and cell types, the project aims to reveal biological mechanisms involved in metastasis and poor patient outcomes. Overall, the project's objectives are to improve risk stratification and identify patients who will benefit from aggressive treatment or those who should not undergo surgery based on their frailty and treatment prospects.
Welcome to the 5th CRC Network Meeting in Oxford (UK), 30 - 31. March 2023
The themes at this years annual conference are on the biology and management of colorectal cancer. This is the 5th CRC Network meeting to be held in Queen’s College, Oxford.
We bring together scholars who enjoy the intimate atmosphere of an Oxford College, enabling discussion and potential collaboration between all attendees.
The CRC Network meeting is free, and open to all interested in advances in research and treatment options for patients suffering from colorectal cancer. Due to limited capacity, registration is required.
For more information, go to the website crcnetwork.net
By leveraging a deep learning marker, 1 of 3 colorectal cancer patients with local (lymph node) metastasis may safely avoid adjuvant chemotherapy.
New research shows how to reduce morbidity, mortality, and costs associated with treatment after surgery for colorectal cancer by using deep learning models!
We previously demonstrated that deep learning models can predict whether or not a patient will die of colorectal cancer after surgery by analysing images of tissue sections commonly used in routine histopathological examinations. The accuracy was high compared to other markers, but no marker is 100% accurate.
Our new study in The Lancet Oncology shows precisely how the deep learning marker should be integrated with the markers currently used in the clinic and that the clinical decision support system combining all markers allows a better and more individualised selection of adjuvant chemotherapy. In particular, 1 of 3 patients with local (lymph node) metastasis may safely avoid adjuvant chemotherapy. The current standard of care for these patients, double-agent chemotherapy, is associated with substantial side-effects and even causes some deaths.
Read our new paper here: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1fZcb5EIIgH-tC
Illustration: Decision tree combining DoMore-v1-CRC marker with T and N stage, and number of lymph nodes.
Institute Director Professor Håvard E. Danielsen awarded the Excellent Researcher prize 2022 from Oslo University Hospital
Three scientists received awards for their outstanding research at a ceremony at Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet, held on the 10th June 2022. Silje Fjellgård Jørgensen and Geir Ringstad both received the "Early career award", while Håvard E. Danielsen was awarded NOK 300.000 and the prestigious "Excellent Researcher prize". These annual prizes honour excellent scientific work at the hospital.
The awarding process is organized by the hospital's research committee, while an external Scientific Advisory Board has evaluated the candidates. Read about the award winners on the Oslo University Hospital's research-website: https://www.ous-research.no/home/ous/Homepage%20news/22909
Danielsen is this years recipient of the King Olav Vs Cancer Research Prize
We congratulate Håvard E. Danielsen as the recipient of King Olav V's Cancer Research Prize 2022. He has been awarded the prize for having developed methods using artificial intelligence (AI) giving cancer patients a more precise prognosis and counteract overtreatment.
Danielsen is considered a pioneer and a world-leading expert in digital pathology and artificial intelligence. At Oslo University Hospital, he heads the Institute of Cancer Genetics and Informatics (ICGI).
King Olav V’s Cancer Research Prize
In 1992, the year after King Olav’s death, King Harald of Norway established a new prize for cancer research in honour of his late father.
The King Olav V Cancer Research Foundation, established by King Harald and the Norwegian Cancer Society awards a prize of 1,000,000 Norwegian kroner each year to a Norwegian cancer researcher or researchers who have contributed to the promotion of Norwegian cancer research.
His Majesty the King is responsible for the solemn presentation of the award during a ceremony most often held in the university’s auditorium in Oslo during the month of May.
Professor Danielsen and the Institute for Cancer Genetics and Informatics are deeply honored to receive this Award.
Many years experience at the Norwegian Radium hospital
With funding from the Norwegian Cancer Society, the now 64-year-old Danielsen began his career at The Norwegian Radium Hospital in 1987, as a research fellow within the field of image analysis and electron microscopy. Since 1992, he has held various management positions at the hospital, which became part of Oslo University Hospital in 2005.
In 2004, the hospital (Radiumhospitalet-Rikshospitalet) established an integrated institute that linked IT and biology, Norway's first institute for medical informatics. The Institute has been headed by Danielsen since.
Employees describe Danielsen as an innovative, creative, and visionary leader who throughout his career has been good at challenging established ideas. In addition to leading the institute, Danielsen also holds a Professor II position at the University of Oslo's Department of Informatics, and a "Visiting Professor of Cancer Informatics" position at Oxford University in the UK.
His interests in culture and music, golf and boating occupy a lot of his time, but this has not stopped him in publishing over 160 articles so far, in leading medical journals. Not surprisingly, 15 patent applications have also been filed.
- With King Olav V's Cancer Research Prize awarded from the same organization that supported my doctorate degree, the circle is now complete, says Danielsen. We have just started using artificial intelligence within health care. I am very grateful for this recognition and the funding will give us the opportunity to further develop new methods for the benefit of cancer patients, he adds.
Please enjoy the Norwegian Cancer Society's interview with Håvard E. G. Danielsen
From Det norske kongehus:
Delte ut Kong Olav Vs kreftforskningspris
From Oslo Universitetssykehus:
Håvard Danielsen tildelt Kong Olav Vs kreftforskningspris
From Oslo Cancer Cluster:;
AI Researcher gets canceraward
From NRK (Norwegian public broadcaster):
Håvard Danielsen at NRK Nyhetsmorgen
From Dagens Medisin:
Håvard Danielsen får Kreftforeningens pris for kreftforskning
Finner diagnose og prognose med kunstig intelligens
Vil finne ny kunnskap om «gammelt» konsept
From University of Oslo, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
Håvard E.G. Danielsen årets vinner av Kreftforskningsprisen
Kunstig intelligens-forsker får kreftforskningsprisen
Kreftforskningsprisen 2022: Banebrytende bruk av KI
The Norwegian Cancer Society:
About King Olav V´s Cancer Research Award - including an overview of previous winners
Our Institute for Cancer Genetics and Informatics is so proud having now two employees who have been awarded the "Oscar for Norwegian Cancer Researchers" . In 2011 the head of the Section for Cancer Gynetics, Sverre Heim also received the award.
Artificial intelligence-based biomarkers in active surveillance of prostate cancer
Active surveillance of prostate cancer aims to avoid or delay treatment for patients with indolent tumours, without compromising survival and quality of life. The patients are monitored regularly and only treated if they show signs of disease progression.
The ICGI recently received funding from Helse Sør-Øst for the project titled "Artificial intelligence-based biomarkers in active surveillance of prostate cancer". The project is a collaboration between four institutions in the South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority; Oslo University Hospital, Vestfold HT, Vestre Viken HT and Telemark HT.
We aim to develop artificial intelligence-based biomarkers to be used with the above-mentioned patient group, as there is currently no prognostic marker recommended for routine clinical use. We will do this by combining both new and existing molecular and image markers using machine learning and make a fully automated system that analyses all available cells in all available tissue samples.
Our hypothesis is that previous attempts to improve clinical risk classification has failed because they did not properly include tumour heterogeneity, spatiality and cellular feature co-occurrences in their designs. In-house developed software allows us to spatially align and analyse different features within tissue sample.
Finally, these results will be combined with clinicopathological parameters currently used for risk stratification of prostate cancer patients, into a new risk stratification tool.
Welcome to the DoMore! event on 24th November 2021
DoMore! is a five-year-long project within cancer research, developing new diagnostic methods based on artificial intelligence. Since 2016 the purpose has been to utilise new technology to reduce over-and undertreatment of cancer by providing a new system for cancer prognosis. The lack of objective and precise methods for cancer prognosis is the most crucial cause behind the prevalence of over-and under treatment of cancer patients worldwide.
See the event program
Explore the results of the DoMore!-project (2016 - 2021)
The DoMore! project is led by Institute Director Håvard E. Greger Danielsen at the Institute for Cancer Genetics and Informatics at Oslo University Hospital.
New collaboration with dutch experts
From left: Manohar Pradhan, Tarjei Svensgjerd Hveem, Krishanti Gunatasan, Andrea Goa, Miangela M. Lacle (T1 CRC WG), Hanne A. Askautrud, Lisa van der Schee (T1 CRC WG), Marna Lill Kjæreng, Andreas Kleppe and Ole Johan Skrede.
In the first week of October 2021 we had the pleasure of having a visit from our new collaborators, Drs. Miangela M. Lacle and Lisa van der Schee in the Dutch T1 Colorectal Cancer Working Group . Together, we will explore the possibility of applying deep learning to better identify the patients with early-stage colon or rectum cancer who actually need a surgical resection, as well as identifying patients who could be spared from the morbidities and occasional mortalities associated with this surgery. This could have a tremendous impact on the success of the screening programs for colorectal cancer, which have recently started or will soon start in many Western countries.
We are looking forward to working with leading experts on early-stage colorectal cancer to improve the quality of life and survival of people with this disease.
Lifting prognostication to a higher level
The five-year-long DoMore! project is in it's final stages. Since 2016 the purpose has been to utilise new technology to reduce over-and undertreatment of cancer by providing a new system for cancer prognosis. Some of the results are presented in our latest video.
For more results from the NRC Lighthouse-funded project, click here.
Patent application submitted
Recently a patent application for the DoMore-v1-CRC-marker was submitted. The DoMore-v1-CRC-marker is a machine-learning algorithm assisting clinicians to decide which patients may benefit from additional drug therapy following surgery for colorectal cancer.
Improved markers of prognosis are needed to stratify patients with early-stage colorectal cancer to refine selection of adjuvant therapy. The new method, which detects the DoMore-v1-CRC marker, is called histotyping, and is a result of the DoMore! project. The project is lead by Håvard E. Danielsen, director of the ICGI, and was in 2016 selected as one of the Norwegian Research Council's Lighthouse projects to solve large societal challenges using cutting-edge technology.
"Dagens medisin" is Norway's largest independent news channel within health and medicine. Click here to read their article on the topic (in norwegian).