Jan 12, 2021

Roche launches algorithms for breast cancer diagnosis

Breast cancer
gene mutation
precision diagnosis
Leila Hawkins
2 min
Roche launches algorithms for breast cancer diagnosis
Two new image analysis algorithms have been developed for precision diagnosis in breast cancer...

Roche has launched two AI-powered image analysis systems to help with breast cancer detection. 

The two new automated algorithms, uPath HER2 (4B5) image analysis and uPath Dual ISH image analysis, will help pathologists decide on the best treatment strategy for each patient. 

The uPath HER2 (4B5) image analysis helps pathologists quickly detect whether tumors are positive for the HER2 biomarker, highlighting positively stained tumor cell membranes with a clear visual overlay for easy reference. 

The second algorithm, uPath HER2 Dual ISH, assists the pathologist in the determination of HER2 gene amplification. A heatmap guides the clinicians to areas of interest where the algorithm can identify cells that need targeting. 

The algorithms are validated on Roche's VENTANA HER2 (4B5) and the VENTANA HER2 Dual ISH DNA Probe Cocktail launched in summer 2020. Both algorithms are ready-to-use and integrated within Roche uPath enterprise software.

Nearly 2.1 million women are diagnosed with breast cancer worldwide each year, out of which nearly a quarter have a mutation in the HER2 gene, which causes a more aggressive form of breast cancer compared to HER2-negative types. Identifying this gene mutation is key to determining which patients could benefit from targeted treatment.

“About 15 to 20 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer are HER2 positive, which makes fast and accurate diagnosis critical” Thomas Schinecker, CEO Roche Diagnostics explained. “Roche is continuing to innovate in HER2 diagnostics by providing precise information through image analysis algorithms for pathology decision support.”

The algorithms are part of Roche's growing breast cancer portfolio, which comprises end-to-end digital pathology solutions from tissue staining to producing high-quality digital images that can be assessed using automated clinical image analysis algorithms.

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Jun 17, 2021

Dexcom: changing the lives of people with type 1 diabetes

3 min
British actress Nina Wadia OBE tells us how her son's life has changed since using glucose monitoring system Dexcom

It is estimated that 9.3% of adults around the world are living with type 1 diabetes, which amounts to a total of 463 million people. A further 1.1 million children and adolescents under the age of 20 are living with the condition. 

Unlike the more prevalent type 2 diabetes, where the body still produces insulin and symptoms develop slowly, people with type 1 diabetes need regular insulin injections or pumps, and must monitor their sugar levels frequently. 

In recent years a number of remote glucose monitoring systems have become available that patients can use at home. These work with a sensor, usually placed under the skin, that measures glucose levels every few minutes. This information is then transmitted wirelessly to a device like a smartphone or tablet, which can then be shared with their clinician. 

British actress Nina Wadia's son Aidan, 14, has type 1 diabetes, and has been managing his condition using Dexcom, a glucose monitoring system used by patients all over the world. Here Wadia explains how Dexcom has improved their lives. 

As a parent of someone with type 1 diabetes, what is your day-to-day life like?
Being able to take a breath, think and pivot constantly without getting frustrated becomes an essential mindset because sometimes it feels like each day is determined to be different from the day before. Whatever worked yesterday is going to misfire today. 

Which areas of yours and Aidan’s life are most impacted by diabetes? 
The one thing that you have to fight hard to reclaim is spontaneity, especially when it comes to food and exercise. It’s only when this is taken do you realise how essential each one is. You can be flexible and there are no real limits, but only in the sense that a great athlete can be flexible without limits because they’ve trained super hard to be that way. So we’ve all had to become athletes when it comes to being spontaneous.

How has Dexcom helped you and Aidan? 
Dexcom has brought future science fiction to real life today. The continuous glucose monitoring system is tiny, sits discreetly on his body and gives him a ten-day breather between sensor changes, so it's goodbye finger-pricking seven times daily. 

Dexcom is totally active at a grass roots level and for Diabetes Awareness has pledged to donate £2,000 if #DexcomDiabetesStories and/or #DexcomWarriorStories is shared 200 times! I’ll be sharing more on social media and would love to hear how other families are winning their fights.

Maybe most importantly Dexcom is trying to introduce a reimbursement programme for type 1 diabetes  patients which will give greater access to modern, life changing hi-tech. I want to spread the word on the importance of accessing it through this campaign. 

If you compared your life today with how it was before Aidan was using Dexcom, what has changed? 
It's always working, which lets him take his mind off diabetes for longer stretches. It also lets me get off his back. We both receive alerts so I no longer have to pester him by asking him what his number is, and especially importantly, I don’t have to wake him at night to prick his finger if I’m worried. Dexcom gave us back our sleep!

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