Carnegie Mellon University
June 10, 2012

Lane Center to Lead Two Year Research Project

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Carnegie Mellon University will lead a two-year research project sponsored by Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Universal Research Enhancement (CURE) program to develop digital image analysis tools that will guide physicians in identifying and treating aggressive prostate cancer tumors and pediatric liver tumors.

Lane Center Director Robert F. Murphy will direct the two-year project, which will bring together image analysis researchers at Carnegie Mellon with investigators at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Omnyx Corp.

Physicians treating prostate cancer and pediatric liver cancer currently have few, if any, tools to help them differentiate between tumors that demand aggressive treatment and those that don’t pose an immediate threat to patient survival.  The goal of the new project is to show that automated image analysis technology, developed by Dr. Murphy’s group and Dr. Gustavo Rohde’s group, can be used to detect certain subcellular changes that could help physicians identify those dangerous tumors and determine the best ways to treat them.

The team also includes Drs. Anil Parwani and John Ozolek from the Department of Pathology at UPMC.  If the technology proves useful, it will be marketed through Omnyx, a joint venture of UPMC and GE Healthcare that has created an integrated digital pathology system.

The CURE program is administered by the state Department of Health and funded by the Master Settlement Agreement with the tobacco industry. The new research project has a budget of $1.43 million, including $446,000 in matching funds from Omnyx.