Owkin's Aurélie Fugon shares her highlights from ESMO 2022

Duration:5 mins

Tags: AI / Cancer / Culture


Date:September 26th, 2022


Owkin's Aurélie Fugon shares her highlights from ESMO 2022

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September has been a big month for the oncology community, especially for the team at Owkin. Coming back from ESMO, our Director of Biomarkers Business Development, Aurélie Fugon, shared her thoughts on some of our highlights from the conference.

This year, ESMO was on Owkin’s home turf in Paris.

We were pleased to be able to send a large contingent to host our booth and relish in the excitement of face-to-face meetings.

The ESMO Congress is the most influential European oncology platform for clinicians, researchers, patient advocates, journalists, and healthcare industry representatives. ESMO presents the latest advances in cancer treatment and is an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas to tackle cancer across the world.

During ESMO, we launched Owkin Dx RlapsRisk™ BC and Owkin Dx MSIntuit™ CRC, our first two diagnostics solutions to be CE-IVD marked for use in the European Union. Using AI to analyse digital pathology images, Owkin designed these tools to help clinicians make precision medicine – diagnosis and treatment tailored to a patient's characteristics – more accessible to more patients at an earlier stage of their disease. Learn more about these tools.

With two oral presentations and three posters, Owkin was very proud to showcase our AI-enabled capabilities and deliver major scientific breakthroughs in cancer research.

Here are our highlights of the weekend:

The best session on AI

The road towards clinical implementation of AI in oncology - 8:30 AM on Sunday at Marseille Auditorium.

Even if we all hope that at next year’s ESMO conference, the organizers reserve more time for AI/ML-driven oncology, it was great to see the integration of AI into some radiology and pathology labs for routine detection and diagnosis.

In this session, Nathalie Lassau presented the results of PULS-AI, a three-year project to develop AI-biomarker tools that predict the survival of cancer patients from radiology and clinical data more accurately than clinical data alone. This project is published in the European Journal of Cancer. Learn more from Kathryn Schutte, our Senior Data Scientist and Biomarker & Target ID Solutions Manager.

Also, in this session, Jorge Reis-Filho presented the key challenges researchers face to deliver clinical impact with AI, including cultural, technical, regulatory, and financial challenges. He noted the technical challenge researchers face of developing models that can analyze H&E slides, irrespective of the stain color and the type and quality of the tissue fixation. This talk emphasizes why expertise in data curation, harmonization and multimodal AI – all core strengths of Owkin – best place us to help develop better solutions for the delivery of AI into daily practice. Our MSIntuit CRC test presented at ESMO for example was measured with a blind validation on 600 consecutive patients with double digitization (Roche and Phillips).

The best poster

Our poster showcasing a blind validation of RlapsRisk™ BC, an AI-based tool for predicting distant relapse from breast cancer HES stained slides, was crowned the best poster of the day for its session. This was developed in collaboration with Gustave Roussy and presented by Dr. Ingrid Garberis.

Best insights: NICHE-2 trial – a waterfall plot or a blue lake?

Neoadjuvant immunotherapy in non-meta dMMR colon cancer! The NICHE-2 trial has amazing results, with 99% pathologic response with nivolumab/ipilimumab in dMMR CRC and no disease recurrences. This again highlights that precision medicine and a deeper understanding of the disease provide better care for patients. 

Spatial transcriptomics

During ESMO, posters and oral presentations presented research using spatial transcriptomics. Spatial omics technologies are poised to deliver major scientific breakthroughs in the next few years, connecting the different cell types that coexist in the tumor microenvironment and bringing a new understanding of cancer. To realize this, we need high-quality patient data and access to samples. Owkin is working on an initiative to create the world’s largest spatial, multi-omics dataset in oncology. We believe the convergence of large-scale spatial omics data and AI will power the next revolution in cancer research. Learn more about spatial omics in this video with Professor Olivier Elemento of Weill Cornell, and stay tuned for more information coming soon.

See you at ESMO 2023 in Madrid next year.