An Imaging Biobank to Precisely Prevent and Predict cancer, and facilitate the Participation of oncologic patients to Diagnosis and Treatment


Oncology may strongly benefit from a paradigm shift towards personalised medical solutions that account for the great heterogeneity and intra-variability of tumour biology, manifestation and treatment response. Quantitative imaging and imaging-guided interventions play a key role in this frame, as they provide, for individual patients, multi-parametric morphologic and functional information, precious to personalised predictions and prognoses, and new insights into the mechanisms underlying patient’s responses to therapy.

NAVIGATOR aims to boost precision medicine in oncology by advancing translational research based on quantitative imaging and multi-omics analyses, towards a better understanding of cancer biology, cancer care, and, more generally, cancer risk.

The project will deliver a technological solution relying on:

  • an open imaging Biobank, collecting and preserving large amount of quality, standardised imaging data and related omics data in a secure and privacy-preserving model. Data will include CT, MRI and PET data for various neoplasms, clinical data from regional healthcare services (i.e., from Azienda Regionale di Sanità - ARS), molecular and liquid biopsy data
  • an open-science oriented, Virtual Research Environment, available for medical researchers and general clinical stakeholders, to process the multi-omics data to (i) extract gold-standard and novel imaging biomarkers based on Radiomics analyses; and (ii) create and test digital patient models, through data analytics techniques, based on cancer phenotypes, stratified risks and responsiveness to therapy.

Three highly-impacting, solid neoplasms will be initially considered as use cases to populate the Biobank (>=1500 cases) and to advance clinical findings in their respect. Nonetheless, the Biobank data model will be highly flexible to ensure its scalability to integrate other tumour types.

NAVIGATOR relies on a strong regional network of Hospitals and University hospitals and Research Institutions in Pisa, Florence and Siena, which have partnered with European universities (i.e., Cambridge and Bournemouth) to grant an international grounding of the work. ISTI-CNR plays a key role in the project, as the three Labs involved (i.e., NeMIS, HPC and SI) will lead the design and deployment of the Virtual Research Environment as well as of the AI algorithms for the Radiomics analyses.


55 Months

Istituto finanziario

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