Presentation of the European Federation for Cancer Images Introducing EUCAIM: A Pan-European Initiative

Jul 5, 2023 | Newsletter #5

by Luis Bonmati, Scientific Coordinator of EUCAIM project

Presentation of the European Federation for Cancer Images Introducing EUCAIM: A Pan-European Initiative

The goal of EUropean Federation for CAncer IMages (EUCAIM) is to build a pan-European digital federated infrastructure of cancer-related radiological and nuclear medicine images and other related digital information, which will be used to develop Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools for Precision Medicine. Our mission is to facilitate seamless access to de-identified, high-quality real-world data, and to foster collaboration among clinicians, researchers and innovators. To allow this, EUCAIM will provide a comprehensive dashboard for data discovery, federated search, metadata harvesting, annotation and distributed processing, including federated and privacy-preserving learning.

EUCAIM will also build a central hub hosting the Atlas of Cancer Images as part of its infrastructure, which will be fully interoperable with the other European Health Data Space components while preserving the data sovereignty of providers. EUCAIM will also shape the legal grounds for  health data sharing on a pan-European scale, adapting to the particularities of different countries in the management of clinical data. To do so, EUCAIM will implement a federation of providers compliant with this legal ground, defining common data models, ontologies, quality standards, FAIR principles, and de-identification procedures.
As a European transborder health data repository, EUCAIM is aligned with the European Infrastructures for the secondary use of health data that will be promoted by the future European Health Data Space regulation. EUCAIM targets clinicians, researchers, and innovators, providing the means to build reproducible clinical decision-making systems supporting diagnosis, treatment, and predictive medicine. We aspire to become the leading European hub for cancer research communities by bringing together oncological data and AI innovation. Through unifying fragmented datasets into an extensive Atlas of Cancer Images and ensuring data sovereignty and ethical standards, EUCAIM will unlock the immense potential of imaging and big data in oncology, paving the way for a future where personalized and effective care is accessible to every patient.

EUCAIM as a mean for sustainability for ProCAncer-I results

Thanks to EUCAIM, datasets from other EU-funded projects, such as ProCAncer-I, that are intended for additional research will find a sustainable home within EUCAIM’s central hub collections. This integration guarantees not only the accessibility and availability of these datasets but also their long-term sustainability. Significantly, this alleviates the consortium partners from incurring additional costs for maintaining and managing the collections after the end of an EU-funded project.
Pilot deployment, sustainability and an invitation to participate This 4-year initiative started on January 1st 2023, co-funded by the European Union under the Digital Europe programme, DIGITAL-2022-CLOUD-AI-02-CAN-CER-IMAGE “Federated European infrastructure for cancer images data”. By the end of 2024, a pilot infrastructure with prototype federated learning will be made available, laying the groundwork for federation of new cancer image databases from additional sites and countries. The EUCAIM project will also launch an open call for new beneficiaries to join the consortium, who will receive funding under the same co-funding conditions as consortium partners. This open call will pursue:

i) the onboarding of new data providers, increasing the geographic dimensions, data modalities or cancer targets; and

ii) the uptake of new trustworthy AI algorithms trained on the repository’s data.

The ultimate goal is to target 30 distributed data providers in 15 countries by 2026. We invite clinicians, researchers, innovators, and stakeholders to join us in this endeavor. Your expertise and contribution can help in making the EUCAIM project a lighthouse for change, ultimately contributing to saving lives and improving the quality of healthcare across Europe.