Why is it named The D-lab?
We are named "The D-Lab" because "D" stands for:
- "Dry" since we do not use "wet" biological material, so we are a dry lab
- "Data": we work by using large amounts of data preferably from many centres
- "Deep Learning": we believe that Deep Learning is a breakthrough in artificial intelligence and we are investing in it by having a GPU farm in our lab.
- "Decision Support": Decision Support Systems used in the clinic are our end-products
Where is The D-lab?
The D-lab is located in at the University of Maastricht in the fourth floor of building UNS 40. Philippe’s office is number 4.549.
Why did The D-lab move outside MAASTRO CLINIC?
Most of the grants of The D-Lab (previously named the CAT group) were already managed by UM. The scientist of The D-Lab have the ambition to work beyond Radiation Oncology and even beyond Oncology. MAASTRO clinic is an world –class, outstanding patient care foundation but doing exclusively radiotherapy: modern systemic treatments like immunotherapy, targeted treatment can not be administered by MAASTRO clinic Doctors, they are given by second line specialists such as medical oncologists or lung specialists. MAASTRO clinic is a patient care foundation, not registered as an academic hospital. Therefore the move to an academic multidisciplinary environment was logical. The move to the UM is an exciting challenge with possibilities to work with other people, in a new environment with new types of data (radiology, pathology, medical oncology, the new institute of data sciences…) and do things differently and better.
Is The D-lab still part of MAASTRO?
No, not anymore. However, the work of the MAASTRO Clinic, University of Maastricht (UM), and academic hospital (azM), will fall under the same umbrella of “capgroep Radiotherapie UM” which is part of the same School for Oncology and Developmental Biology (GROW Research Institute). All scientific output will be pooled yearly for a bibliometric/output analysis, so the successes of the scientists at MAASTRO clinic also be successes for the UM/azM/GROW scientists and vice versa. We are also maintaining collaboration with the MAASTRO clinic.
Is The D-lab managing other scientific websites?
Does The D-lab works exclusively in the field of Radiation Oncology or Oncology?
Oncology in general is the focus but The D-lab has also collaboration outside the field of oncology e.g. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease; idiopathic lung fibrosis, cardiology, etc. The concepts of Decision Support Radiomics and Deep learning are widely applicable.
Does The D-lab collaborate with industry?
Yes, since a Decision Support Systems needs to be certified (CE marked or FDA approved) to be used in the clinic and this usually has to be done by companies. We also have formal Public Private Partnership with the industry.
Does The D-lab has already success stories? Products used in the clinic outside the Maastricht environment?
Absolutely! PRODECIS is a decision support system for protons and prostate spacers, and RadiomiX is a clinical grade radiomics software. Furthermore, the distributed learning concept pioneered in the euroCAT grant led by Prof. Lambin is internationally recognized as being the best method for using Big Data in healthcare.
Does The D-lab follow the MUMC+ strategy?
Yes, The D-lab follows the Maastricht University Medical Center+ (MUMC+) / School for Oncology and Developmental Biology (GROW) strategy “functie behouden” (“functioning normally”). We are part of the “Maastricht Comprehensive Cancer Center” of MUMC+. The focus is Decision Support Systems and individualized patienst Decision Aids using artificial intelligence techniques (in particular Deep learning with a GPU farm), radiomics and mitochondrial DNA sequencing.
What are the main assets of The D-lab?
The main value of The D-lab is in his human capital: driven people with unique skills. We also have however a rather exceptional GPU farm allowing fast computation, a picture archiving and communication system, a large amount of curated data, several clinical grade and research softwares and a unique local national and international network.
Does UM have any group with experience in Data Sciences?
Yes, several groups have an international reputation on this field. There is also a new institute in systems biology that could give a new dimension to your research. In 2017, Maastricht University recruited Prof. Michel Dumontier from Standford, a world expert in data sciences who started the Institute of Data Science at UM. The D-lab will be part of it.
What is the formal affiliation on The D-lab scientist on the scientific papers ?
Department of Radiation Oncology (The D-lab), GROW School for Oncology and Developmental Biology, Maastricht University Medical Centre+, Universiteitssingel 40, 6229 ER Maastricht, The Netherlands.
Are you working with animals?
Yes, although we do we do not design specific experiments, we reanalyzed past experiments e.g. with tissue analysis or radiomics.