These projects also aim to study the disease’s psychological effects, by seeking to improve patient follow-up, increasing their comfort, and providing tools for better quality of life. There are currently these research projects in progress at IPO-Porto.

Project: ODISSEIA – Oncology Disease Information SystemProject: Early-Stage Cancer Treatment in The Context of Molecular Imaging (ESTIMA)

The project “Early stage cancer treatment, driven by context of molecular imaging (ESTIMA)” (NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-000027) seeks to develop a predictive multidisciplinary model for complete response after patients with oesophageal cancer have received neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy. Although this study does not modify the treatment’s current approach, understanding individual response may allow a personalized approach for each patient in the future, avoiding unnecessary surgical interventions in patients with a complete response and all the comorbidities and loss of quality of life involved. The project includes the participation of several researchers from the institution as well as several groups associated with the Research Centre from Instituto Português de Oncologia do Porto Francisco Gentil (CI-IPOP), in addition to a direct collaboration with the Centre for Informatics and Systems of the University of Coimbra. The project consists of two main lines of action: One for diagnosis, where images obtained by positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) are examined through the use of advanced algorithms (data mining, neural network, deep learning); a second line intends to investigate the various types of biomarkers that condition response to therapy. As a fundamental aspect of the project, it also intends to optimize deposition of radiation doses in these tumours through the new Varian TrueBeam linear accelerator, for which volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) treatments have been simulated by advanced Monte Carlo methods. Several communications in national and international conferences have been presented or have been accepted for presentation.

Published and submitted articles:

  • Nogeira M. Abreu P., Martins P., Machado P., Duarte H., Santos J.A.M., “An artificial neural networks approach for assessment treatment response in oncological patients using PET/CT images”, BMC Medical Imaging, (2017) 17:13 (published)
  • Santos M.S., Soares J.P., Henriques Abreu P., Araújo H., Santos J. (2017) Influence of Data Distribution in Missing Data Imputation. In: ten Teije A., Popow C., Holmes J., Sacchi L. (eds) Artificial Intelligence in Medicine. AIME 2017. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 10259. Springer, Cham (presented at AIME 2017 and published article)
  • Amorim J.P., Ines Domingues, I. P.H. Abreu, J. Santos “Interpreting Deep Learning Models for Ordinal Problems”, ESANN 2018 (article accepted to be published at the “Neurocomputing” magazine)
  • Oliveira J., Esposito A., Santos, J., Configuration of volumetric arc radiotherapy simulations using PRIMO software: a feasibility study, 2018 World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, Praga 2018 (presentation accepted and submitted article)
  • Natália R. Costa, Rui M. Gil da Costa, Rui Medeiros, “A viral map of gastrointestinal cancers”, Life Sciences (available online 21 February 2018)

Other disclosure actions:

  • “Early-stage cancer treatment, driven by context of molecular imaging (ESTIMA)” J.A.M.Santos. CI/EPOP Scientific Meeting from IPO-Porto, 28 October 2016
  • Simpósio Satélite Projeto Estima: IPO Porto – Early-stage Cancer treatment Driven by Context of Molecular imaging – Carcinoma do Trato Gastrointestinal, Palestrante: Olga Pinto, VI Congresso da Sociedade Portuguesa Radioterapia Oncologia, IPO PORTO, 2 and 3 June 2017

Project Datasheet


Project ODISSEIA – Oncology Disease Information System forms the basis of support for all the agents involved in cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and research in the North of the Country to collaborate and share knowledge – RORENO scope, as well as to collect, process, and provide information to multiple “clients” from the entire network.

The institutional responsibility of being a centre for gathering, transforming, and disseminating advanced knowledge about cancer, in addition to guaranteeing adequate treatment and the freedom to an informed choice are subjacent values in the creation of the ODISSEIA project.

The project has an estimated period of two years and 2 million euros in funding. The ODISSEIA project aims to create an infrastructure that establishes basic governing tools for oncology at the regional level, in order to benefit patients, optimize the National Healthcare Service’s (SNS) response, and sustainability.

PROJECT: MindGap-Bridging the gap between Mind, Brain and Body: exosome role and monitoring

This study is funded by European commission: H2020-FETOPEN-01-2018-2019-2020 – FET-Open Challenging Current Thinking; RIA, Research and Innovation action; Proposal number 829040.

MindGAP aims to bridge the gap between MIND/BODY interactions and to develop a novel portable device to monitor the biomolecules involved in these interactions. MindGAP looks for sensitive health indicators among exosomes that circulated throughout the body and that may change under disease/health installation. To this end, the possibility of using MINDFULNESS meditation as a mind-related tool to control the cargo of exosomes is explored. If meditation is successful in changing the behaviour and attitudes of many people, it means that the exosomes cargo may be changed through this process. The obtained knowledge opens doors to an innovative device that may be used by everyone to understand his/her health status. To this end, MindGAP shall create an innovative and portable device that tracks exosomes

The project includes the participation of several researchers from the IPO-Porto ISEP (Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto, Portugal), VTT (Teknologian Tutkimuskeskus, Finland), UOULU (Oulu University, Finland), LNU (Linnaeus University, Sweden). IPO-Porto will be responsible for recruiting all participants for this study (patients who had cancer and blood donors), as well as to collect liquid biopsies/ blood and assess the effect of the psychological interventions on exosomes.