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An Imaging Biobank to Precisely Prevent and Predict cancer, and facilitate the Participation of oncologic patients to Diagnosis and Treatment

Programme: Bando Salute Regione Toscana 2018 

Duration: 2020 – 2023

Coordinator/Beneficiary: Università di Pisa 

Academic Coordinator: Prof. Emanuele Neri (UNIPI) 

Partners:  University of Pisa ISTI-CNR Institute of Information Science and Technologies of the National Research Partner Council – IFAC-CNR “Nello Carrara” Institute of Applied Physics of the Partner National Research Council – AUSL-TC Azienda USL Toscana Centro – AOUS Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Senese – AOUC Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Careggi External partecipants – Azienda Regionale di Sanità – Department of Computer Science and Technology of the University of Cambridge – Centre for Intellectual Property Policy & Management of Bournemouth University – Fondazione SIRM


NAVIGATOR project aims to boost 4P precision medicine in oncology by advancing translational research based on quantitative imaging and multi-omics analyses, towards a better understanding of cancer biology, cancer care, and, more generally, cancer risk. The project will deliver a technological solution relying on:

an open imaging Biobank, collecting and preserving large amount of quality, standardised imaging data and related omics data in a secure and privacy-preserving model. Data will include CT, MRI and PET data for various tumour settings, clinical data from regional healthcare services, molecular and liquid biopsy data

an open-science oriented Virtual Research Environment, available for medical researchers and general clinical stakeholders, to process the multi-omics data to (i) extract gold-standard and novel imaging biomarkers based on Radiomics analyses; and (ii) create and test digital patient models, through Big data analytics and Artificial Intelligence techniques, mining cancer phenotypes, stratified risks and responsivity to therapy.


  1. Coordination and dissemination of the overall project activities.
  2. Design and operation of a Biobank containing standardised imaging data and related omics data.
  3. Design and operation of VRE that offer web access to a digital laboratory where are available data analytics tools based on Radiomics and IA algorithms to test and validate novel or known biomarker.
  4. Collection of quantitative imaging data (CT, MRI and PET) for three relevant tumour cases: colorectal, prostate and gastric cancer.
  5. The extraction and storage of imaging biomarkers with the definition of digital patient models.
  6. Definition of policies for operating the NAVIGATOR service infrastructure ensuring: privacy and security preserving and its sustainability after the project closure.