Proscia is working with Samsung Medical Center on a big development - Baltimore


Feb. 22, 2017 12:21 pm

Proscia is working with Samsung Medical Center on a big development

The health IT startup is developing an algorithm to predict the spread of lung cancer.
Proscia’s team.

Proscia's team.

(Courtesy photo)

Proscia is developing an algorithm that would give doctors a new way to predict (and prevent) the spread of cancer.

The startup launched by Johns Hopkins grads has a new partnership with Samsung Medical Center. The aim is to develop an algorithm that could predict the likelihood of metastasis, which is when cancer cells break away from a lung tumor and grow in the lymph nodes, said Proscia CEO David West.

According to a statement from Dr. Insuk Sohn, chief senior researcher at Samsung Medical Center, there is currently no way to accurately determine whether metastasis is likely. With such a method, they could have a better sense for which patients would benefit the most from undergoing a procedure that removes cancer tissue.

West said specialists at the South Korean-based research institute will provide datasets and other clinical data, and Proscia’s team will look to train its system to the point where it can be used as a diagnostic test. The two teams hope to develop a pipeline with lung cancer, then continue working together to address other types of cancers, West said. Proscia has also worked on lymph node metastasis of breast cancer.

“There is a predictive aspect of this,” West said. “The algorithm is designed to look at the image and look at pattern and make a prediction about the cancer spreading.”

Work on the algorithm is part of Proscia’s wider effort to develop a platform that brings digital tools to the work of diagnosing cancer, which is known as pathology. It’s a big leap for a field that relies on doctors analyzing slides through microscopes.

The Spark-based company closed a $1 million seed round in June 2016, and quickly expanded its dev team. In October, the company released a trio of image analysis tools. Proscia recently earned a nod on our realLIST of local startups to watch.

“We very much believe that the use of not just computer based image analysis tools but the really intelligent machine learning-based, cancer-specific diagnostics is the future of digital pathology,” West said.



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