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AstraZeneca Challenge: Automated Detection and Quantitation of Bone Marrow Cells

Posted September 30, 2019

Many oncology therapeutics have dose limiting toxicities due to adverse effects in the bone marrow. Safety evaluation in preclinical species typically relies on histopathology evaluation, which can miss subtle shifts in hematopoietic cell populations due to high cell density and tissue complexity. AstraZeneca is seeking an automated tool for the detection and quantitation of hematopoietic cells in bone marrow tissue sections.

Image credit: Blausen Medical /Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 4.0

This is a Reduction-to-Practice Challenge that requires written documentation, output from the proposed algorithm, and submission of the source code and/or an executable for validation, if requested by the Seeker.


Hematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow give rise to other cells such as red blood cells. The hematopoietic compartment of the bone marrow is composed of a heterogeneous population of cells in various stages of development, which presents a challenge for pathologists to identify and quantify the specific cell types (lineages) and developmental stages preferentially affected by different types of oncology therapeutics. AstraZeneca is seeking an automated tool to accurately detect and quantify the 3 major lineages of hematopoietic cells from scanned images of bone marrow. Please refer to the attached slides in the Detailed Description & Requirements section for more details and annotated images.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on January 3, 2020.

About the Seeker

AstraZeneca is a global, science-led, biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of disease in three main therapy areas – Oncology, Cardiovascular & Metabolic Diseases and Respiratory. AstraZeneca also is selectively active in the areas of autoimmunity, neuroscience and infection.

Source: InnoCentive

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