About the project

In Europe, prostate cancer (PCa) is the second most frequent type of cancer in men and the third most lethal. Current clinical practices, often leading to overdiagnosis and overtreatment of indolent tumors, suffer from a lack of precision calling for advanced AI models to go beyond SoA by deciphering non-intuitive, high-level medical image patterns and increase performance in discriminating indolent from aggressive disease, early predicting recurrence and detecting metastases or predicting the effectiveness of therapies. To date, efforts are fragmented, based on single–institution, size-limited, and vendor-specific datasets while available PCa public datasets are only a few hundred cases making model generalizability impossible.

The ProCAncer-I project brings together 20 partners, including PCa centers of reference, world leaders in AI, and innovative SMEs, with recognized expertise in their respective domains, with the objective to design, develop, and sustain a cloud-based, secure European Image Infrastructure with tools and services for data handling.

The platform hosts the largest collection of PCa multi-parametric (mp)MRI, anonymized image data worldwide (>17,000 cases), based on data donorship, in line with EU legislation (GDPR).

Robust AI models are developed, based on novel ensemble learning methodologies, leading to vendor-specific and -neutral AI models for addressing 8 PCa clinical scenarios. To accelerate the clinical translation of PCa AI models, we focus on improving the trust of the solutions with respect to fairness, safety, explainability, and reproducibility. Metrics to monitor model performance and a causal explainability functionality are developed to further increase clinical trust and inform on possible failures and errors. A roadmap for AI models certification is defined, interacting with regulatory authorities, thus contributing to a European regulatory roadmap for validating the effectiveness of AI-based models for clinical decision making.

Leadership

Manolis Tsiknakis

Manolis Tsiknakis
(Professor  of Biomedical Informatics and eHealth,
Department of Informatics Engineering,
Hellenic Mediterranean University)
Project Coordinator
tsiknaki@ics.forth.gr

Manolis Tsiknakis

Kostas Marias
(Associate Professor of Medical Image Processing,
Dept. of Electrical & Computer Engineering,
Hellenic Mediterranean University)
kmarias@ics.forth.gr

Manolis Tsiknakis

Nickolas Papanikolaou
(Principal Investigator in Oncologic Imaging at the Fundação Champalimaud)
nickolas.papanikolaou@research.fchampalimaud.org

Manolis Tsiknakis

Daniele Regge
(Director of Image Processing Lab & 
Director of Radiology Unit at the Fondazione del Piemonte per l’Oncologia, IRCCS)
daniele.regge@ircc.it

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