Technologies developed by Dr. Guillaud and his team have particular utility for the study of precancerous tissues. For example, to date they have been applied to the review of thousands of cervical and bronchial precancers lesions.
Dr. Martial Guillaud Laboratory is focused in part on developing three dimensional computer models that will help determine how populations of malignant cells progress through different disease stages and become aggressive, invasive tumours. Healthy human tissue is typically ordered and arranged in a very specific fashion, while cancerous and precancerous tissues show radical changes to this order that increase in severity as disease progresses. Dr. Guillaud’s models and simulations – and other platforms that assess the spatial arrangement of cells – are yielding new insights into how populations of cancer cells evolve and progress, helping researchers and physicians better understand cancer biology and behavior.
The lab is also focused on creating automated methods for reading clinical histopathology results. A cancer or precancer diagnosis typically depends on review of tissue cross sections by an expert pathologist. This process can be time consuming and costly. Further, for precancers, it is not always easy to accurately stage disease. Programs developed by Dr. Guillaud and his team work to objectively quantify histopathology results, rapidly measuring over 100 different features of individual cells on any tissue cross-section. The goal of these efforts is to provide more accurate and consistent diagnoses, but it also may reduce health care costs and the amount of time needed to give a diagnosis.