Biopsies

I have had a breast biopsy taken. My doctor thinks it might be cancer. What kind of treatment options will be open to me?

Regular Process

Biopsies are performed on solid tissue in any part of the body. In breast tissue, for example, the aim is to identify whether cancer or precancerous lesions are present. If cancer is identified, the histopathologist will determine whether it is invasive, and identify its subtype and grade (i.e. how abnormal this appears under the microscope, which offers are measure of how aggressively it is likely to behave). Features, such as spread to the bloodstream and the presence of small calcium deposits are also reported (the latter allow correlation with mammography findings to ensure that the lesion has been appropriately sampled by the surgeon). If an invasive cancer is identified, immunohistochemistry is performed to establish the status of hormone and growth factor receptors on the cancer cells; these findings will guide the clinical care team’s choice of the most effective drug-based treatment after surgery. The entire process takes a number of days to complete and commands a significant time commitment by histopathologists.

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    Tissue sample collection
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    Diagnosis
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    Immunohistochemistry tests
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    Treatment guide

4D Path Process

4D Path’s technology offers an entirely automated solution to this challenge. In depth algorithm-based image analysis not only delivers the same diagnostic breadth as a histopathologist, it also determines the receptor status of cancers without the need for immunohistochemistry tests. Given that these processes can occur without human intervention, the histopathologist therefore receives a complete preliminary analysis that simply requires authorization. This dramatically reduces case turnaround times for patients and reduces histopathologist workload, all with significant associated cost savings.

Automated
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    Tissue sample collection
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    Automated image analysis
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    Treatment Guide
Biopsies are performed on solid tissue. In breast tissue, for example, histopathologists can identify whether cancer, premalignant or benign lesions are present. In the case cancer, it is necessary to determine whether the cancer is invasive or in situ (i.e. pre-invasive). The subtype of cancer is also determined, as well as its grade. Other features, such as the presence of vascular invasion and microcalcifications are highlighted, allowing histopathological findings to be correlated with surgical/radiology features and sampling. Where invasive cancers are identified, immunohistochemistry is typically used to assess estrogen/progesterone receptor (ER/PR) status as well as Her2 amplification. The results guide the clinical care team with regards to the choice of targeted therapy. Biopsies can therefore command a significant time commitment by histopathologists, as well as incurring delays associated with post-diagnostic immunohistochemistry (and in the case of Her2, subsequent FISH testing). 4D Path offers an automated solution to this challenge. The process delivers a comparable diagnostic breadth and accuracy to that of a histopathologist whilst obviating the needs for immunohistochemistry testing for ER, PR and Her2 status. The diagnostician thus receives a complete preliminary analysis with an allied report pre-populated with the diagnostic findings, which simply requires authorization. This dramatically reduces case turnaround times for patients, reduces histopathologist workload and maximizes cost savings.