What will be the benefits of using the pan-European federated infrastructure for cancer images that EUCAIM is building?

Published on 05/10/2023


The EUCAIM project is working to establish and deploy a pan-European digital and federated infrastructure of FAIR pan-cancer anonymized images and provide a research platform for the development and benchmarking of AI tools toward precision medicine.

Coinciding with the upcoming event ‘AI and Cancer: Unleashing Opportunities, Overcoming Challenges’, co-organized by INCISIVE, the AI4HI cluster and the EUCAIM project, we interview the scientific director of EUCAIM, Luis Martí-Bonmatí. In this interview, you will learn more about the benefits of the infrastructure that EUCAIM is building, the advantages for clinical centers and other providers interested in sharing their clinical data, and the reasons why clinicians and computational researchers should consider joining the event.


What is EUCAIM in a nutshell?

EUCAIM project (acronym for EUropean Federation for CAncer Images) is the cornerstone of the European Cancer Imaging Initiative under the Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan and a major contributor to the European Health Data Space. EUCAIM is establishing the Cancer Image Europe infrastructure as a European reference platform for cancer image data, designed to facilitate and foster the development and benchmarking of AI-based cancer management tools towards personalized medicine. EUCAIM will provide AI tools to enhance cancer diagnosis and treatment. The project also fully serves the need for predictive medicine benefiting patients across Europe.

What will be the benefits for researchers and health care professionals of using the pan-European federated infrastructure for cancer images that EUCAIM is building?

Target users of EUCAIM will be clinicians, researchers and innovators willing to build reproducible AI-powered clinical decision-support systems supporting diagnosis, treatment and predictive medicine.  Registered users to the EUCAIM platform will be able to browse and search the datasets available in the federation. EUCAIM will make it possible for interested data reusers to access datasets suitable for their research in a GDPR-compliant way. This infrastructure will eventually benefit citizens by supporting improved healthcare provision and will stimulate innovation for the European market by enabling the development of new tools and services.

How is INCISIVE contributing to this infrastructure?

INCISIVE is one of the main contributors of data and technology to EUCAIM. EUCAIM will link and support interoperability of several existing big data repositories and research infrastructures. INCISIVE will contribute cancer image and accompanying clinical data to EUCAIM; the project will also contribute with its technical and operational know-how to making the INCISIVE data interoperable with data of other AI for Health Imaging (AI4HI) repositories and research infrastructures.

Why should clinical centers and other data providers consider sharing health data through the EUCAIM infrastructure?

EUCAIM offers a secure, GDPR-compliant, interoperable data infrastructure. By joining EUCAIM as a data provider, clinical centers and other data stakeholders have the opportunity to support innovative research and tools improving cancer care while, at the same time, improving the quality and interoperability of their data.  Stakeholders and relevant health care institutions are offered the opportunity to join the Stakeholder Advisory Board of EUCAIM, as well as to participate in EUCAIM’s mid-project open call for proposals on data sharing and AI tools. They also benefit from significant networking opportunities that may lead to joint applications to EU-funded calls, such as Horizon Europe and Innovative Health Initiative (IHI).  EUCAIM data contributors will also be able to make proposals and to vote on important topics related to their data, such as the development of appropriate ethical and legal considerations.

What are the major challenges of the project?

EUCAIM aims to address the fragmentation of the existing cancer image repositories by building a distributed Atlas of Cancer Images, which will include both common and rare types of cancer from pre-existing initiatives (related research infrastructures and five successful Horizon 2020 projects) as well as clinical images, pathology, molecular and laboratory data from multiple hospitals across Europe. This big variety of data raises data management and interoperability challenges, as well as legal and ethical challenges. EUCAIM is currently working on resolving all relevant issues in support of a seamless experience for stakeholders interested in sharing or reusing data.

Some of these challenges will be discussed in the event ‘AI and Cancer: Unleashing Opportunities, Overcoming Challenges’, on November 7th in Madrid, Spain. Why do you encourage clinicians and researchers to join the event?

Joining the event, clinicians and computational researchers will be able to know more about what The Cancer Image Europe platform (EUCAIM) is able to provide to them, the functionalities of the infrastructure, and all the benefits that EUCAIM offers under collaboration agreements. They will also have the opportunity to network with colleagues working on challenges related to health data sharing and reuse and contribute with their ideas and know-how to this collaborative effort.


If you are interested in attending the event in-person or remotely, please register here.

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