The Department of Pathology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has established the Center for Computational and Systems Pathology to advance pathology practice.

Researchers at the new academic facility will use advanced computer science and mathematical techniques coupled with cutting-edge microscope technology and artificial intelligence, with the goal of more accurately classifying diseases and guiding treatment using computer vision and machine learning techniques.

The Center for Computational and Systems Pathology will be a hub for the development of new diagnostic, predictive, and prognostic tests, Mount Sinai executives say. It will partner with Mount Sinai-based “Precise Medical Diagnostics,” known as Precise MD, which has been under development for more than three years by a team of physicians, scientists, mathematicians, engineers and programmers.

Carlos Cordon-Cardo, MD, PhD, will oversee the new center, located at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s, and will continue his role as Chair of the Department of Pathology at the Mount Sinai Health System and Professor of Pathology, Genetics and Genomic Sciences, and Oncological Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine.

Gerardo Fernandez, MD, Associate Professor of Pathology, and Genetics and Genomic Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, will be the Center’s Medical Director. He will work closely with Michael Donovan, MD, PhD, Research Professor of Pathology at the Icahn School of Medicine, and Jack Zeineh, MD, Director of Technology for Precise MD.

“Our goal is to provide a precise mathematical approach to classifying and treating disease, which will assist our clinicians with information for effective patient care and health management,” says Carlos Cordon-Cardo, who will oversee the new center, located at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s. “By refining diagnoses, we can save patients from unnecessary treatments.”

Precise MD is developing new approaches to characterizing an individual’s cancer by combining multiple data sources and analyzing them with mathematical algorithms, offering a more sophisticated alternative to standard approaches. For example, Precise MD is developing an approach intended to improve on the Gleason score, a grading system that has been used since the 1960s to establish the prognosis for a prostate cancer and guide the patient’s treatment options.

“We’re characterizing tumors based on the combination of their architectural patterns and biomarkers,” says Gerardo Fernandez, MD, the new center’s medical director. “Computer vision analysis, leveraging multispectral fluorescence microscopic imaging, enables us to see what the human eye cannot.”

In its initial phase this summer, Precise MD will complete a test used for patients who have had prostatectomies at Mount Sinai Health System, to help determine which of them are more likely to have a recurrence of cancer and may need additional treatment such as chemotherapy.

In 2017, other efforts are expected to yield additional novel computer vision and machine learning tools to better characterize breast cancer. The organization says that the Center for Computational and Systems Pathology and the Precise MD platform could eventually be used to characterize any number of disease states, including melanoma, lung, and colon cancers as well as chronic inflammatory conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease.

(This article appears courtesy of our sister publication, Health Data Management)

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