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Star-Gazing Software Helps Fight Breast Cancer

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posted on Mar, 7 2013 @ 03:30 PM
This is an incredible example of crossover between two completely different disciplines giving us a new tool to fight cancer.


LONDON, Feb 20 (Reuters) - In an unlikely tie-up, astronomers and cancer researchers have joined forces to study breast tumours using image analysis software originally developed to explore the distant stars.

The automated system offers a speedy way to test if tumours are aggressive and may mean pathologists one day no longer have to peer down a microscope to spot subtle differences in tissue samples.

"It shows that we don't cross-communicate as much as we ought to," said lead researcher Raza Ali, a pathologist from Cancer Research UK's Cambridge Institute.

Ali and colleagues studied just over 2,000 tumour samples and found the astronomical algorithm system could process them in a day, compared to the week they would have taken to analyse manually.

They now plan a larger international study involving samples from more than 20,000 breast cancer patients to refine the approach.

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