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Japanese firm Hitachi has signed an agreement with France-based Centre Léon Bérard(CLB) for research and development (R&D) collaboration to improve diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Earlier this week, the two entities also established a research laboratory, Hitachi Lyon Lab, on the CLB site.

This collaboration will see R&D of technologies to detect and diagnose cancers using medical images such as CT / MRI medical images by leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

Through the collaboration, the entities will also use tumour genomic and transcriptomic data to predict response to radiation therapy.

A statistics report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development indicates that Japan has the highest number of CTs and MRIs per million people.

Due to advancements in diagnostic imaging equipment, the number of images read by radiologists is growing, which in turn is leading to the development of advanced AI-powered technologies to reduce the burden on radiologists.

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The Hitachi Lyon lab will combine CLB’s clinical expertise and patient data on cancer treatment with Hitachi’s expertise in IT and AI and diagnostic imaging.

They will jointly develop diagnostic imaging solutions to detect potential tumour locations and help radiologists to diagnose the image data using AI.

Furthermore, the lab aims to work on identifying biomarkers leveraging genomic data concerning resistance to predict responses and prognoses upon radiation treatment.

CLB is a comprehensive cancer centre in Lyon, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France, affiliated to UNICANCER, the French comprehensive cancer centres federation.

Hitachi offers solutions such as diagnostic imaging equipment, particle therapy systems, as well as informatics fields such as IT and AI.

The firm delivers particle therapy systems to several hospitals. So far, more than 60,000 people have been treated with its systems, claimed the company.