Grid technology in tissue-based diagnosis: Fundamentals and potential developments

IBM DeepComputing, Brussels, Belgium.
Diagnostic Pathology (Impact Factor: 2.6). 02/2006; 1(1):23. DOI: 10.1186/1746-1596-1-23
Source: PubMed


Tissue-based diagnosis still remains the most reliable and specific diagnostic medical procedure. It is involved in all technological developments in medicine and biology and incorporates tools of quite different applications. These range from molecular genetics to image acquisition and recognition algorithms (for image analysis), or from tissue culture to electronic communication services.
Grid technology seems to possess all features to efficiently target specific constellations of an individual patient in order to obtain a detailed and accurate diagnosis in providing all relevant information and references.
Grid technology can be briefly explained by so-called nodes that are linked together and share certain communication rules in using open standards. The number of nodes can vary as well as their functionality, depending on the needs of a specific user at a given point in time. In the beginning of grid technology, the nodes were used as supercomputers in combining and enhancing the computation power. At present, at least five different Grid functions can be distinguished, that comprise 1) computation services, 2) data services, 3) application services, 4) information services, and 5) knowledge services.
The general structures and functions of a Grid are described, and their potential implementation into virtual tissue-based diagnosis is analyzed. As a result Grid technology offers a new dimension to access distributed information and knowledge and to improving the quality in tissue-based diagnosis and therefore improving the medical quality.

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    • "A Grid is an open and dynamic communication system consisting of connected nodes (i.e. servers) that are linked together via Internet connections and share certain communication rules in using open standards [21]. The Grid technology will also have an impact on the quality in tissue-based diagnosis as such implementation will require appropriate standardization of legal, medical and technological aspects associated with virtual pathology [17]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Amplification of the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) is a prognostic marker for poor clinical outcome and a predictive marker for therapeutic response to targeted therapies in breast cancer patients. With the introduction of anti-HER2 therapies, accurate assessment of HER2 status has become essential. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) is a widely used technique for the determination of HER2 status in breast cancer. However, the manual signal enumeration is time-consuming. Therefore, several companies have developed automated image analysis software like MetaSystems. Some of these signal enumeration software employ the so called "tile-sampling classifier", a programming algorithm through which the software quantifies fluorescent signals in images on the basis of square tiles of fixed dimensions. Considering that the size of tile does not always correspond to the size of a single tumor cell nucleus, some users argue that this analysis method might not completely reflect the biology of cells. For that reason, MetaSystems has developed a new classifier which is able to recognize nuclei within tissue sections in order to determine the HER2 amplification status on nuclei basis. We call this new programming algorithm "nucleisampling classifier". In this study, we evaluated the accuracy of the "nuclei-sampling classifier" in determining HER2 gene amplification by FISH in nuclei of breast cancer cells. To this aim, we randomly selected from our cohort 64 breast cancer specimens (32 nonamplified and 32 amplified) and we compared results obtained through manual scoring and through this new classifier. The new classifier automatically recognized individual nuclei. The automated analysis was followed by an optional human correction, during which the user interacted with the software in order to improve the selection of cell nuclei automatically selected. Overall concordance between manual scoring and automated nucleisampling analysis was 98.4% (100% for nonamplified cases and 96.9% for amplified cases). However, after human correction, concordance between the two methods was 100%. We conclude that the nuclei-based classifier is a new available tool for automated quantitative HER2 FISH signals analysis in nuclei in breast cancer specimen and it can be used for clinical purposes. Virtual slides The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here:
    Diagnostic Pathology 02/2013; 8(1):17. DOI:10.1186/1746-1596-8-17 · 2.60 Impact Factor
    • "Our institution is currently evaluating newer approaches such as grid technology, open access forums, and mobile solutions to determine how they can be leveraged to enhance telepathology at our institution. Grid technology, which uses open standards to access distributed information, has been suggested by some authors as a way to improve quality in image-based diagnosis.[17] Cloud computing also has benefits for healthcare services.[18] "
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    ABSTRACT: Several modes of telepathology exist including static (store-and-forward), dynamic (live video streaming or robotic microscopy), and hybrid technology involving whole slide imaging (WSI). Telepathology has been employed at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) for over a decade at local, national, and international sites. All modes of telepathology have been successfully utilized to exploit our institutions subspecialty expertise and to compete for pathology services. This article discusses the experience garnered at UPMC with each of these teleconsultation methods. Static and WSI telepathology systems have been utilized for many years in transplant pathology using a private network and client-server architecture. Only minor clinically significant differences of opinion were documented. In hematopathology, the CellaVision(®) system is used to transmit, via email, static images of blood cells in peripheral blood smears for remote interpretation. While live video streaming has remained the mode of choice for providing immediate adequacy assessment of cytology specimens by telecytology, other methods such as robotic microscopy have been validated and shown to be effective. Robotic telepathology has been extensively used to remotely interpret intra-operative neuropathology consultations (frozen sections). Adoption of newer technology and increased pathologist experience has improved accuracy and deferral rates in teleneuropathology. A digital pathology consultation portal ( was recently created at our institution to facilitate digital pathology second opinion consults, especially for WSI. The success of this web-based tool is the ability to handle vendor agnostic, large image files of digitized slides, and ongoing user-friendly customization for clients and teleconsultants. It is evident that the practice of telepathology at our institution has evolved in concert with advances in technology and user experience. Early and continued adoption of telepathology has promoted additional digital pathology resources that are now being leveraged for other clinical, educational, and research purposes.
    12/2012; 3(1):45. DOI:10.4103/2153-3539.104907
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    • "The Medical Electronic Consultation Expert System (MECES) based on an open platform has performed in Europe [26]. This is an Internet communication service based on grid tehchnology [38]. "
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    Diagnostic Pathology 12/2012; 7(1):177. DOI:10.1186/1746-1596-7-177 · 2.60 Impact Factor
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