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Finding the needle in the haystack: Using artificial intelligence to identify histogenomic biomarkers for metastatic cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma.

Project summary

The project closely examines tumor tissues from hundreds of skin cancer patients. We are looking for biomarkers that can predict which skin cancers are most likely to metastasize. This concerns tissue from patients with squamous cell carcinomas (PCC). Of the 12,000 patients who receive PCC every year, 1 to 2 percent develop metastasis of the tumor over time. We use artificial intelligence in their study. Advanced computers will search the cells of the tissue sections for differences and similarities between people who did get metastases and people who didn’t.


Approximately 20 percent of people whose PCC metastasizes die from these metastases. ‘But a metastatic PCC also often requires a very major operation, which can be mutilating. We could hopefully prevent this by properly monitoring high-risk patients or by providing additional treatment at an early stage.’

More detailed information

Principal Investigator:

dr. Marlies Wakkee

Role Erasmus MC:




Project website:

Funding Agency:

Stichting Hanarth Fonds