New Technology Will Improve the Accuracy and Speed of Cancer Diagnosis

Digital pathology technology allows patients to start potentially life-saving therapy sooner through expedited, computer-aided diagnostic tools

(Columbus, Ohio) Between our smartphones, computers and watches, many of us simply can’t imagine life without digital technology. And now it’s now changing the way the way doctors review many of our medical test results.

    Digital pathology is moving from promise to practice at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. “We’re talking about leaps in cancer diagnostics,” said Dr. Anil Parwani, Vice Chair and Director of Anatomic Pathology at Ohio State. “It has revolutionized cancer diagnostics, and this technology gives me the tools to answer questions in a way that simply wasn’t possible five years ago.”

    For decades, cancers have been diagnosed by carefully cutting thin layers of tissue taken from patients, putting those layers on glass slides and analyzing them under microscopes. It is a meticulous process and if the slides had to be sent off to be evaluated by specialists in another city or state, a diagnosis could take days or even weeks.

   With digital pathology, you take those same glass slides and you digitize them and create

millions of pixels, converting them into a large image,” Parwani says. “We can even create 3D models from the information and see cancers in an entirely new way.”

    The digital files are much easier to store, share and access. But most importantly, the information they provide allows doctors to more quickly and accurately stage and grade specific types of cancer.

    The technology has already paid off for 74-year old Mike Minshall. “I was told by one doctor that I had two months to live, and it was absolutely devastating,” he said.

    Then Minshall got a second opinion from doctors at The Ohio State University – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. “They didn’t think my case was that bad and took a whole different approach to treating me.”

    A year later, Minshall is now cancer-free.

Images

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Dr. Anil Parwani views a digital pathology slide at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. This advanced technology helps to provide patients with faster and more accurate diagnoses.

Pathology slides are created by placing a thin piece of tissue on glass, which is examined under a microscope. But with new technology at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, digital versions are created to give doctors more insight to accurately diagnose a patient’s type and stage of cancer.

Mike Minshall works on one of his antique cars at his home in Plain City, Ohio. He was told he only had months to live until his pathology slide was re-examined by doctors at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.

Pathology slides are placed into a machine that scans and digitizes them, creating an image with millions of pixels that can easily be viewed and shared by pathologists.

Traditional pathology slides can take days or even weeks to be prepared and reviewed by specialists. These slides are now being digitized, allowing pathologists to view images on their computer and share information in a matter of minutes – from anywhere, at any time of day.

Hospitals store hundreds of thousands of pathology slides, but new technology at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute digitizes these slides, making them much easier to store, share and access.