Tata Medical Center, Kolkata, and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur on Monday announced that they have launched India’s first fully annotated, relational, de-identified cancer image bank – CHAVI. This research partnership between the two premiere institutions in India was inaugurated in Kolkata on the 24th of September.
According to the scientists, the launch of CHAVI – Comprehensive Archive of Imaging will boost to cancer research in India and enable scientists from across the world to have free access to de-identified patient images and requisite clinical information that can be utilized for research purposes.
The inaugural session also witnessed an enriching discussion chaired by experts including Dr. Arun P, Director Tata Medical Center, Kolkata, Dr Mammen Chandy, Ex-Director Tata Medical Center, Prof Partha Pratim Chakrabarty, Ex-Director and Professor of AI and Computer Sciences, IIT Kharagpur, Prof Jayanta Mukherjee, Dean Outreach of IIT Kharagpur along with the Heads of Departments of ACTREC Mumbai, Tata Memorial Hospital Mumbai, Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute Lucknow, Christian Medical College Vellore, amongst other specialists in the fields of cancer and artificial intelligence in Medicine. Dr. Sanjoy Chatterjee, Dr. Indranil Mallick, and Dr. Santam Chakrabarty from Tata Medical Center were also present at the launch.
“CHAVI is the first imaging biobank exclusively dedicated to oncological imaging from India. The project has been designed as a research collaboration between Tata Medical Center, Kolkata, and IIT Kharagpur, and developed as a part of the National Digital Library of India (NDLI),” the institute said in a statement on Monday.
The centre claims that the purpose of the institute is to develop an image biobank that is available across the country and to foster a foundation for future collaborative research efforts amongst major Indian cancer institutes. Reportedly, the project will encourage researchers, academicians, and industry experts to use the wealth of imaging data available in CHAVI.
“Data from digital imaging is critical to patient care, and with today’s technology, it also forms the substrate for future research to improve patient outcomes. It also allows evaluation of the efficacy of current treatment protocols. CHAVI from Tata Medical Center, developed in collaboration with IIT Kharagpur colleagues, gives us the platform to enhance AI-Radiomic research using freely available annotated digital oncological imaging,” Dr. P Arun, Director Tata Medical Center Kolkata said in a statement on Monday.
According to the researchers, CHAVI has a unified, relational, vast database of de-identified demographic, clinical, pathological, molecular biological, treatment, and outcome data for all patients. This database is reportedly a powerful tool for exploring image sets across cancer sites.
“This feature allows an interested researcher to potentially interrogate radiological images in a cancer site agonistic fashion. Oncology is a discipline that is heavily dependent on imaging not only for diagnosis but also for therapy and post-therapy follow-up. Through CHAVI, centers across the world can upload images for free to enhance radiomic research and improve collaborative research work, which will help cancer care and will lead the way for innovating better strategies to control cancers,” the scientists stated on Monday.