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Case Study-OCB

OXFORD CANCER BIOMARKERS Combining leading-edge diagnostics with AI technology to improve outcomes for cancer patients, with Meridian IT

  • Industry: Cancer diagnostics

  • Focus: Server, OCB accelerated analysis

  • Challenges

    Identifying which colorectal cancer patients with Stage II tumours require chemotherapy to improve survival rates • Sparing people with lower risk Stage II tumours from unnecessary chemotherapy and the consequent risks associated with toxicity • Improving speed and accuracy of the service delivery to enable scale up and tech transfer with potential to validate in other cancers


Predicting which patients with stage II colorectal cancer will suffer a recurrence after surgery is difficult.

However, many are routinely prescribed chemotherapy,
even though it may may be unencessary and cause severe side effects. In some patients these can be fatal. Oxford Cancer Biomarkers worked with Meridian IT to apply IBM® PowerAI Vision to identify novel  diagnostic biomarkers in tumor micro environments, with the potential to enhance early diagnosis and treatment decisions.

Business Challenge

Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide.

Tobacco use, alcohol consumption, unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity are key cancer risk factors, so undertaking lifestyle changes can prevent or mitigate the onset of the disease. Generally, the sooner cancer is diagnosed, the better the outcomes. As a result, identifying genetic predisposition to cancer or early signs of the disease is a priority in oncology research. Oxford Cancer Biomarkers (OCB) was established in 2012 to discover and develop biomarkers (a quantifiable biological parameter that provides insight into a patient’s clinical state) to advance personalized medicine within oncology, focusing on colorectal cancer and its treatments.

David Browning, CEO of Oxford Cancer Biomarkers, explains: “At OCB, we want to move away from a onesize- fits-all approach to cancer care by giving clinicians as much information about a patient’s condition as possible. We aim to develop screening tests that discover these insights more quickly and cost-effectively and less invasively than existing methods.”

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