Dr. Maurice Loughrey

Dr. Mportrait-2016_mlaurice Loughrey MRCP FRCPath MD is a consultant gastrointestinal pathologist in the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, and honorary Senior Lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast.

He completed a Doctorate of Medicine degree in molecular pathology at the University of Melbourne in 2005. He has published widely in the field of gastrointestinal pathology and his main areas of expertise are in the pathology of colorectal cancer and precursor polyps and in bowel cancer screening. He is lead author on the Royal College of Pathologists (UK) dataset for reporting colorectal cancer.

Other interests include digital pathology, particularly in relation to research applications of digital image analysis. He has been involved in the development of the open source digital image analysis software QuPath.

Title: “Whole slide imaging analysis software in the research setting: a breakthrough in tissue-based biomarker analysis.”

Abstract:

Digital pathology or whole slide imaging offers an array of advantages over conventional glass slide imaging, spanning clinical diagnostics to research applications. Understandably, most of the focus on digital pathology relates to its integration into clinical diagnostic practice. Benefits apply equally, if not more so, to tissue-based research, with fewer regulatory obstacles to surmount before advantages of the digital technology can be realized.

The focus of this presentation is the application to high throughput biomarker expression research, of novel, open source digital image analysis software, QuPath (https://qupath.github.io). Applied to tumour tissue microarray sections, immunostained for biomarkers of interest, QuPath provides a powerful and flexible tool for robust, precise and reproducible immunoscoring. The software allows a variety of approaches to image analysis, tailored to address specific biological questions of relevance to a range of tumour cell and immune cell markers. Considering the current alternative of time-consuming and expensive manual methods of biomarker scoring, such image analysis platforms offer a potential breakthrough in resolving a major bottleneck in biomarker discovery research, of particular relevance to the large numbers of new clinical trials examining the role of novel immunotherapeutic approaches to cancer treatment.

Major developments in pathology raise many questions. Be part of the discussion on the way forward.