ESDIP Newsletter – Winter 2021 edition A word from the Presidentby Catarina EloyDear Members of ESDIP, Almost two years have passed by since the COVID-19 pandemic started to dominate the news. Now, the hope on renovation of the social activities is expressed by new and old style live events on the agenda.

At ESDIP, we are also living these moments with joy and hope.

The cruise is navigating at good and stable speed, valuable members keep joining the active structure, contributing to renovation (see below), industry partners maintain their trust in the leading role of ESDIP and the allied societies keep inspiring us.We are anticipating 2022 with a balanced calendar of events (see below), including live (ECDP2022, Berlin – Germany, June 15th-18th) and online (Town Square Meeting, March & ESDIP Workshop, November) events.

With this gift, I wish you all great festivities and a magnificent 2022.Best regards,
Catarina Eloy, MD, PhD
President of ESDIPGreetings from the Editorby Rasmus KiehlDear members and friends of ESDIP,Welcome to the Winter 2021 edition of the ESDIP Newsletter – here is an overview of the contents:Letter of invitation to ECDP2022 from our Congress President Frederick Klauschen, head of the Institute of Pathology at Munich’s Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Recap of the III ESDIP workshop on Nov. 24th by Filippo Fraggetta (Chair of ESDIP Science Committee)Article by our partner Leica Biosystems: “Artificial Intelligence in Pathology: Challenges and Considerations” Article: “Digital Pathology In Russia” by Artyom Borbat (ESDIP Communication Committee)Article: “Report from JSDP 2021 Meeting” by Andrey Bychkov of the Japanese Society of Digital PathologyBrief descriptions of ECDP2021-award-winning contributions (oral and poster) by the awardeesSocial Media Report by Luca Cima (ESDIP Communication Committee)Calendar 2022Events of Digital Pathology Association (DPA)Japanese Society of Digital Pathology (JSDP), and European Society of Pathology (ESP) that became our allied societies over the last yearAs in the past, we encourage contributions from our members: your ideas, suggestions, and feedback.

I wish you and your loved ones peace and health during this holiday season and the coming year.Rasmus Kiehl 
ESDIP Editor and member of Communication CommitteeECDP2022: welcome letter from the Congress President by Frederick KlauschenDear Colleague,

We are pleased to announce the 18th European Congress on Digital Pathology (ECDP), to be held 15-18th June 2022 in Berlin. After the need to cancel ECDP2020 in Porto and the virtual ECDP2021, the Board of ESDIP – European Society of Digital and Integrative Pathology is confident that we will be able to all meet in person in Berlin next June.

Our goal is to have, again, the usual friendly and exciting interdisciplinary environment, with pathologists, computer scientists, biologists, technicians, students, and last but not least, clinicians, as well as industry partners, discussing the latest topics on digital and computational pathology. This year’s focus will be on the integration of histology, molecular pathology, and clinical data through machine learning/artificial intelligence.After the need to cancel ECDP2020 in Porto and the virtual ECDP2021, the next edition of ECDP will be live.While the diagnosis of pathological alterations in tissues will continue in the future to be based on histomorphology, novel imaging techniques such as multiplex immunofluorescence or imaging mass spectrometry will gain influence in complementing conventional approaches. Moreover, novel molecular methods, such as spatial transcriptomics or single-cell proteomics, offer new opportunities to combine histology with spatially-resolved deep molecular profiling. ESDIP’s mission is closely aligned with these developments, where computational pathology is key to analyzing and interpreting the resulting complex data.

ESDIP is gaining new energy and is evolving fast to the benefit of its members, offering novel scientific, diagnostic, and educational opportunities, increasing communication and ideas for innovative paths.

We hope that you will enjoy ECDP2022.

Please keep following the ESDIP announcements.

With our best regards, and on behalf of the ECDP2022 Organizing Committee,

Frederick Klauschen
Congress PresidentHighlights from the III ESDIP workshopby Filippo FraggettaThe most recent and III ESDIP workshop took place on the 24th of November 2021.

It hosted international speakers with consolidated expertise in digital and integrative pathology, and special guests that provided their forward-thinking points of view on the so-called “fourth” revolution in pathology. This was the main theme of the entire workshop, with a first session focused on practical examples of the implementation of digital pathology in highly specialized fields, stressing the need for standardization of all the processes that comprise the digital transition.

This represents the essential premise for the second crucial point faced during the meeting, namely the integration of digital pathology with different investigative topics, aiding our discipline to play a pivotal role in the coordination of molecular biology, immuno-oncology and radiology. Although being just an overview of how digital pathology is progressively transforming our work, this meeting was an opportunity to discuss how this transition is happening in a fast and tumultuous fashion. We can definitely affirm that nowadays DIGITAL PATHOLOGY IS PATHOLOGY.

The future is now!

Filippo Fraggetta  
Chair of ESDIP Scientific Committee[Partner Content: Leica Biosystems] – Artificial Intelligence in pathology: challenges and considerationsby Chad SalinasArtificial Intelligence is exponentially increasing its impact on healthcare. As deep learning is mastering computer vision tasks, its application to digital pathology is natural, with the promise of aiding in routine reporting and standardizing results across trials.

Physicians recognize the potential of AI in pathology, with one global survey documenting nearly 75% of respondents reporting interest or excitement in AI as a diagnostic tool to facilitate improvements in workflow efficiency and quality assurance in pathology. This finding is, in part, a recognition of the increasing complexity associated with practicing pathology: complicated workflows coupled with global pathology workforce shortages impact pathologist workloads.

These factors – individually and in concert – create opportunities that AI is well-suited to address, such as:a) distinction of benign and malignant
b) grading of dysplasia and in situ lesions
c) evidence and extent of invasion
d) identification of micrometastases in lymph node resections
d) IHC/ISH scoring of multiple biomarkers and topography of the immune response
f) percentage of tumor and overall cellular content
g) extracting new patterns from the digital images and clinical correlates (next-generation morphology)
h) automated management and prioritization of pathology workflow

For more than 150 years, Leica Biosystems has worked with the pathology community to introduce innovations that span the workflow, from biopsy through diagnosis.

As with all we do at Leica Biosystems, we are guided by our mission: Advancing Cancer Diagnostics, Improving Lives. Now, we are accelerating our work to realize the potential of AI in pathology.As the pathology ecosystem moves forward, bringing AI into clinical practice, it is vital we do so collectively. It is in that spirit that I share some thoughts on four areas of consideration when evaluating how AI may become a valuable aid to the pathologist: Empowerment, Ethics, Ecosystem, and Transparency.Read the full article, here

Chad Salinas  
Vice President, AI and Machine Learning Leica BiosystemsDigital pathology in Russiaby Artyom Borbat1. Overcoming distances and helping oncology patients.A flight from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok will take more than 10 hours and will cover the whole country. Keeping in mind that Russia suffers from the same pathologist workforce shortage as Europe – that’s the place for digital pathology to serve patients! Oncology service in Russia is set up on a regional basis – each of 85 regions has its own oncology hospital serving patients. And several national centers, mostly in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, provide support to regional hospitals and deal with the most complicated cases.Telemedicine was always a promising technology for the Ministry of Health, and several years ago, it was launched inside an oncology service. For pathology, it took more time to roll out due to scanner prices, but nowadays, we can conclude that there is a working system. It still lacks an appropriate infrastructure: pathologists use non-specialized file-sharing systems, and consulting pathologists need to have a list of viewers to be able to work with different proprietary file formats. But the core of the information system is held by the government and allows patient data exchange with hospital information systems. It is just a few steps to finalize the system with a server and a file browser.Starting pathology consultations this year, the biggest oncology hospital in Russia, the N.N.Blokhin Oncology Center (, with more than 1000 beds, serves about ten digital consultations per week with three days from request to dispatch by an expert pathologist within a dedicated field.2. From awareness to expertise: the first in Russia digital pathology CME course Like in any other country, pathologists in Russia are the most conservative professionals, keeping “this doubtful innovation things” away from routine medical practice. To overcome this issue and to bring confidence to pathologists, a CME course on digital pathology and AI implementation was launched in October at the Medical University of the Burnasyan Federal Medical Biophysical Center.40+ pathologists from 17 regions took part in the five-day online course. Three foreign Russian-speaking lecturers from Germany (Sergey Benyaminov, Sergey Kostel) and Japan (Andrey Bychkov) supported the course. To demonstrate that digital pathology is not a topic of tomorrow in Russia, local examples were presented and discussed.Pathologists from 17 regions took part in the five-day online courseFully digital private pathology lab, fully digital IHC with computer-assisted quantitative evaluation government lab, departments of pathology and normal histology serving fully digital courses for students from the first to the third grade at a medical university are the most outstanding, but not the only examples.”We don’t have a scanner, but I understand what to speak about with hospital managers!” stated Dmitry Dyakonov, head of the pathology department from Kirov, 790 km from Moscow, at Haematology Hospital serving 26 regions with several million inhabitants.It is still a long way to go both for educators and industry representatives, this time the project was supported by a local affiliate of a scanner manufacturer, but it gave a sense of the right direction and confidence to go on.

Artyom Borbat  
Member of ESDIP Communication CommitteeReport from JSDP 2021 meeting, featuring a joint JSDP-ESDIP sessionby Andrey BychkovThe Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society of Digital Pathology (JSDP) took place on August 20-22, 2021, in virtual format. There was originally a meeting scheduled for August 2020 in Nagasaki that had to be postponed.The Annual Meeting of JSDP took place on August 20-22. Prof. Junya Fukuoka (Nagasaki University), Chairman of JSDP, was also the Conference Chair for this meeting.

A significant part of the content was in the English language. Day 1 started with a look at digital pathology in the USA, followed by a number of industry-sponsored workshops and oral presentations. The day concluded with a session on “Large-scale DP/AI initiatives in Europe”.

The JSDP has a long-lasting partnership with the Digital Pathology Association (DPA), and so day 2 began with a joint JSDP-DPA session and panel discussion titled “Digital and computational pathology: 2021 and beyond”.

A joint JSDP-ESDIP session commemorated a newly established partnership between the JSDP and ESDIP.ESDIP and JSDP are Allied SocietiesJunya Fukuoka and Andrey Bychkov chaired the session headlined by the ESDIP president Catarina Eloy (“Europe unites for the digital transformation of pathology: the role of the new ESDIP”), ESDIP vice president Norman Zerbe (“ESDIP’s mission in standardization and knowledge dissemination”), and chair of scientific committee Filippo Fraggetta (“Ten practical points to go digital: Suggestions from real-world experience”).

The following panel discussion (“Experience with implementing DP in Europe and Asia”) engaged ESDIP team with the Asian pioneers of digital pathology Wen-Yu Chuang (Chang Gung University, Taiwan) and Chan Kwon Jung (Seoul St. Mary Hospital, Korea), leading to a lively exchange of experience.

Day 3 was dedicated to AI and computational pathology, and sessions spanned from “Progress of computational pathology and AI in North America” to “AI in Japan”.

To sum it up, JSDP2021 was a successful annual meeting with strong international participation and joint sessions with partnering societies.

Andrey Bychkov 
Chair, International Committee, JSDPAwards at ECDP2021 As usual, ESDIP awarded outstanding submissions to its annual meeting, ECDP. Here are this year’s awardees, describing their submissions:
 The award for best poster went to Beatriz Neves and colleagues at IPATIMUP (Institute of Pathology and Immunology of Porto University, Portugal) for the abstract: “INKING CELLBLOCKS IMPROVES SCANNER DETECTION FOR PRIMARY DIAGNOSIS” Awardee’s comment: The project demonstrates how to adapt the production of a cellblock after a cytological specimen for better detection by the scanner during the production of a whole slide image (WSI), avoiding the presence of un-scanned and/or out of focus areas. Inking cellblocks allows for the production of quality WSIs for primary diagnosis.  The award for best oral presentation went to Kimmo Kartasalo (Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden) for the abstract: “CROWDSOURCING OF DEEP LEARNING ALGORITHMS FOR DIAGNOSIS AND GRADING OF PROSTATE CANCER IN BIOPSIES” Awardee’s comment: Competitions for algorithm development are a powerful way to accelerate medical innovation. By organizing the largest competition to date in digital pathology, PANDA (“Prostate cANcer graDe Assessment”), we brought together more than 1000 teams from across the globe to work on artificial intelligence solutions for Gleason grading of prostate biopsies. Rigorous international validation showed that diverse AI algorithms match or outperform pathologists, suggesting that time is ripe for evaluating this technology in clinical trials. The algorithmic insights gained from the competition will benefit developers working on further improved solutions, and the openly available dataset of over 10,000 whole slide images provides the community with a platform for future studies.” – (Editor’s Note: publication in Eur Urol Focus 2021 Jul;7(4):687-691) Social media reportby Luca CimaOver the past six months, the Communication Committee has carried out numerous activities on all three platforms where we are active: Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. The Committee has seen changes to its staff with the exit of Dr. Aurélien Morini, whom we thank for his excellent work, and the joining of two new members: Dr. Luca Cima (Italy) and Dr. Artyom Borbat (Russia). 

During this period, the number of followers rose from 941 to 1013 (7.7%). The top 5 countries that our followers are from are: U.S. (21.8%), UK (15%), India (7.8%), Spain (7.2%), and Germany (5.8%). Most of the followers are persons (90.8%), the remainder companies (9.2%). Between Jun. 1st and Nov. 28th we produced 65 tweets, generating 66700 views (avg. 368/d). The most frequent hashtags/words were: #DigitalPathology and #ECDP2021. There were several peaks of views, interactions, likes and retweets: linked to ECDP2021 (Jun. 1th – Jun. 18th)promotion of the 2nd Town Square Meeting (TSM2; Aug. 18th – Aug. 30th)2nd TSM2 (Sep. 13th – Sep. 20th)promotion of Leica Digital Pathology Summit (Sep. 24th – Sep. 29th) advertising of the 3nd ESDIP Workshop (Nov. 15th – Nov. 25th) The most popular tweet was the following on Aug. 18th (2925 impressions):