The NHS long-term plan and several Sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) identify earlier, faster cancer diagnosis as a priority area. Many Trusts already struggle to meet turnaround targets and this number will grow with implementation of the 28 day “Faster Diagnosis Standard”. Pathology is a key barrier with workforce shortages and lab-related issues (RCPath, CRUK) leading to approximately 41% of delays in cancer diagnosis (CRUK). For breast cancers alone, there are over 55,000 cases per year (CRUK), costing the NHS £450 per case for standard ER/PR/HER2 testing, rising to £700 per case in the 20% who require FISH testing.
Panakeia’s first product offering is for breast cancers. Their UKCA-certified and CE marked AI software instantly provides pathologists the same information as lab-based tests by analysing H and E biopsy images during initial examination. By significantly reducing the need for additional lab-tests, this solution can lower costs and reduce turnaround times to one day by streamlining workflows.
By reducing the need for multiple lab-tests, Panakeia’s first Breast Cancer (BC) product provides the following benefits:
- Patients are offered rapid molecular (biomarker) prediction which enables faster one-day turnaround for patient diagnosis, expedited access to treatment and contribution to the reduction of socioeconomic inequality in cancer outcomes by improving accessibility to ER/PR/HER2 testing.
- Pathologists can make decisions for a case in just one step, when they first analyse H and E images. This can reduce time per case from between eleven and 20 minutes, to five minutes, freeing up approximately 9000 hours of pathologist time annually (for more than 55,000 new BC diagnoses per year).
- Potential £23.5 million per year cost savings for BC via fewer lab tests needed (89% fewer ER tests, 79% HER2 and 49% PR), freeing up over 600 biomedical scientist hours and 5500 pathologist hours per year
- Faster, earlier diagnosis can reduce the more than £1.2 billion per year impact of BC on the UK economy (BreastCancerUK). Lost UK productivity is estimated at over £700 million per year (Int J of Cancer, 136, 136-145, 2015).