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Aiforia Technologies Partner with Mayo Clinic on Colorectal Cancer Recurrence AI

The company entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with the clinic to globally commercialize an AI model that helps predict colorectal cancer recurrence.

Katie Hobbins

January 2, 2024

2 Min Read
artificial intelligence
Shutthiphong Chandaeng / iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

Aiforia Technologies, an artificial intelligence (AI) company focused on pathology solutions, today announced it has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, to globally commercialize a bespoke AI model to improve prediction of colorectal cancer recurrence.

The AI model, which was developed in collaboration with the healthcare giant, identifies important histological features of colorectal cancer and “provides a recurrence prediction estimate useful for colorectal cancer treatment decisions,” according to the company.

“This is the first example of an AI model developed with the Aiforia platform, which is used to assess the risk of cancer recurrence,” said Jukka Tapaninen, CEO of Aiforia, in the press release announcing the agreement. “It is also the first clinically relevant AI model developed with a customer and commercialized by Aiforia. The licensing agreement with the Mayo Clinic enables us to market and sell this AI model for colorectal cancer recurrence risk evaluation globally. This is an example of many similar AI model co-development projects, which are ongoing with the Mayo Clinic and other partners. These will enable us to significantly enrich our product portfolio.”

Aiforia’s platform, called the Aiforia Clinical Suites, contains a portfolio of some of the world's most prevalent cancers, like prostate, breast, and lung cancer, and includes tools such as a clinical viewer, a platform for quality control (QC) and adaptation, and an AI model for diagnostic support.

According to the company, the implementation of its platform improves diagnostic accuracy, accelerates sample review, optimizes QC and auditing, automates case prioritization, boosts confidence and precision, and enhances patient outcomes. Specifically for the prognostic AI model designed with Mayo Clinic, Aiforia reported that it identifies 15 different tissue characteristics in colorectal cancer patient samples and, combined with two additional clinical parameters, produces a colorectal cancer recurrence risk score.

“For example, an AI model can identify patients who may not need chemotherapy because the probability of cancer recurrence is low,” according to the press release. “It may also help to identify those patients who are at high risk of relapse and may benefit from more intensive treatment or follow-up.”

Using the AI model for these patients, according to the company, could save money on treatment costs, as expensive chemotherapy drugs could be targeted more efficiently. This, from a patient perspective, would reduce chemo without worsening treatment results as it would better identify recurrence risk.

The collaboration with the Mayo clinic began in 2020 through the implementation of Aiforia’s AI-assisted image analysis software in pathology research. Now, more than 70 Mayo Clinic pathologists use the Aiforia Create tool for creating AI models for their research studies. Additionally, there are more than 30 ongoing research projects utilizing the technology at the Mayo Clinic.

In spring of 2023, the collaboration hit an important milestone when the clinic began diagnosing clinical patient samples using Aiforia’s software.

About the Author(s)

Katie Hobbins

Managing Editor, MD+DI

Katie Hobbins is managing editor for MD+DI and joined the team in July 2022. She boasts multiple previous editorial roles in print and multimedia medical journalism, including dermatology, medical aesthetics, and pediatric medicine. She graduated from Cleveland State University in 2018 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and promotional communications. She enjoys yoga, hand embroidery, and anything DIY. You can reach her at [email protected].

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