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Project description

A pioneering screening tool for early detection of bladder cancer could save millions

The difference between early and late diagnosis of cancer can mean the difference between life and death. Unlike a routine PAP test for cervical cancer or a colonoscopy for colon cancer, there is currently no effective screening tool for bladder cancer and late diagnosis can have lethal consequences. VISIOCYT has developed a simple software solution that evaluates standard clinical cytology slides. A proprietary method for preparation, staining and observation of cells is coupled with an image processing algorithm to detect the presence of localised fluorescence associated with malignancy. Deep learning algorithms allow the software to learn from the data without being explicitly programmed. EU funding is supporting commercialisation of this reproducible and high throughput technology for early bladder cancer detection.


Bladder cancer is the 5th most common cancer in Europe, with almost 200,000 new cases and 65,000 deaths estimated in 2018. People at high risk for developing this disease include smokers, former smokers, people living in polluted areas, and workers exposed to certain chemicals. The risk of dying from bladder cancer depends on the time of diagnosis and the tumour’s grade: the 5-year survival rate is >95% in early stage cancer, but it drops to <5% in late stage tumours. Besides increased survival, the identification of bladder cancer at its early stages is also associated with easier, less invasive, and cheaper treatment.
Given the importance of early detection and the high incidence of bladder cancer, screening programs for this disease are needed. However, there is no screening tool currently available for bladder cancer. As a solution, VitaDX is developing VisioCyt Screening: a software that combines artificial intelligence algorithms with standard cytology analysis to predict with high accuracy the presence of bladder cancer in patients, even before symptoms appear. Being a software that analyses images obtained through regular clinical procedures, VisioCyt Screening can be readily implemented in centralized labs, resulting in a fast, easy-to-use, reproducible, automated, and high-throughput solution at a low price.
VisioCyt Screening can be classified as an in-vitro diagnostic (IVD) medical device. The global IVD market was estimated at €58 billion in 2018, and is expected to reach €75.2 billion by 2023, with a CAGR rate of 5.2%. In this market, centralized laboratories, which perform large numbers of analyses in few locations and are equipped with the automated systems required by the VisioCyt solution, represent the most relevant target users and customers for VitaDX.
VitaDX is a French SME that combines a strong scientific and clinical background with software and image processing skills and business expertise to develop new diagnostic solutions for cancer.

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Net EU contribution
€ 50 000,00
74 f rue de paris
35000 Rennes

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Bretagne Bretagne Ille-et-Vilaine
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Other funding
€ 21 429,00