Automatic Nuclei Segmentation and Tumour Cellularity Assessment in Breast Cancer Histopathological Slides

Status: Complete
Year: 2019
Funded: $5,000
Grant Type: Grant in Aid

Neoadjuvant therapy is a treatment option increasingly used for patients with invasive breast cancer. This project aims to develop digital pathology algorithms for automatically deriving quantitative measurements of cellularity of residual tumours from post-treatment specimens which pathologists could use as accurate prognostic indicators to assess the efficiency of the treatment.

Researcher // Associate Professor Ramakrishnan Mukundan – University of Canterbury


What is breast cancer?

Breast Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal breast cells. Breast Cancer is not caused by a bacteria or a virus and is not contagious. Normally cells are created, grow and die in a controlled way. However, when abnormal changes occur in the genes which usually regulate this orderly process, normal gene function can be turned on or off. Damaged cells are then able to keep growing and dividing and a tumour is formed. A tumour in the breast can be benign (usually not life-threatening) or malignant (cancerous). Although a benign tumour may cause problems as it grows, it does not spread to other parts of the body. On the other hand, a malignant tumour does have the potential to grow and spread to form secondary tumours. When this happens, it’s called advance, metastatic or secondary breast cancer.

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3,300 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in New Zealand.
Women diagnosed daily in New Zealand, 1 will be Maori.
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Will be aged 50+ at time of diagnosis.
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Survival rate if cancer detected by regular mammogram.

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