Digestive pathology and especially digestive cancers are a major health problem in the world, being on the 1st place in the tumor pathology, with more than 3 million new found cancers annually and more than 2.2 million deaths annually. The persistent localizations in order of their incidence in Romania are represented by colorectal, gastric, esophageal, hepatic and pancreatic cancers, most of them being curable in an early stage. The use of modern imaging devices in the digestive endoscopy field has revolutionized the management of the patients that have digestive disorders, as well as the early detection of digestive cancers through screening programs for the risk patients groups. Therefore, digestive endoscopy has benefited from the introduction of new image processing methods, with the increase of the diagnostic accuracy for the last 2 years (endoscopic autofluorescence, optical coherence tomography, respectively laser confocal endo-microscopy
Currently, digestive cancers are defined by identifying the morphologic characteristics detected through endoscopy or microscopy. Although the accuracy and precision of the diagnosis may be increased through a better practice in recognizing the lesions pattern, the target will be the development of some „optical biopsies”, meaning some recognizing systems that can detect cancers in real time. The endoscopic methods of high performance mentioned above determine the improvement of the images, and the progressive „computerization” of the endoscopy will definetely increase the physicians’ diagnosis abilities. The computerized simulation will become an essential study element and abilities assessment. The integration of the research efforts through the patterns of this project will allow the accomplishment of „intelligent endoscopic systems” with high dimensioned database memory that will automatize many of the aspects of the endoscopic diagnosis. Moreover, the accomplishment of the early diagnosis through complex genomic and proteomic techniques that allow the detection of molecular modifications (for example the level of the DNA mutations and genetic expressions, respectively the coded proteins expression), will allow the change of health politics and the management of the digestive cancers patients.
The general objective of the PYRAMID project proposes the creation of the infrastructure necessary for the development of the researches in the early diagnosis within the digestive malignant pathology. The project proposes to use last generation imaging devices (endoscopic autoflourescence, optical coherence tomography, respectively laser confocal endo-microscopy) by generating the creation of a unifying movement by involving the young researchers into the objective and research area FP7. The bioptic fragments drawn during these complex imaging explorations will be further assessed through molecular pathological complex techniques, including in situ hybridization, computerized analysis of microscopic images, laser microdissection, virtual microscopy and monolayer liquid cytology. The molecular biology techniques used will include macro- / microarray systems, double by real-time PCR and DNA sequencing .