Combating breast cancer by digital pathology
The results of analyses of tissue biopsies by pathologists are crucial for breast cancer patients. In particular, the precision of a patient's prognosis, and the ability to predict the consequences of various treatment opportunities before actually exposing the cancer patient, depend on the detection and quantification of biomarkers in tissue sections by microscopy.
The strive for optimal treatment of the individual breast cancer patient relies on the increasing availability of more specific and efficient chemotherapies. However, these medications are associated with companion biomarkers to select those patients who will actually benefit from a particular treatment, and to deselect those who would only experience side effects, and therefore rather should receive alternative treatment.
Experience from the last decade has revealed that manual detection and quantification of biomarkers by microscopy of tissue biopsies is highly dependent on the competencies and stamina of the individual pathologist.