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Synthetic generation of hematological data over federated computing frameworks

Over 70% of hematological diseases are considered rare, and despite the existence of several collaborative research groups at national and European level, current clinical approaches are often ineffective due to the relatively low number of patients and the prevalence of data silos in unconnected clinical sites and registries. Rare hematological diseases inherently suffer from data scarcity and fragmentation, but there is also the dilemma of data privacy and protection.

The SYNTHEMA (Synthetic generation of hematological data over federated computing frameworks) project, under the call  HORIZON-HLTH-2022-IND-13: A competitive health-related industry, aims to increase the number of existing samples in this disease space (with a focus on two highly representative use cases: Sickle cell disease (SCD) and Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)), thus fighting off the critical issues of data scarcity and fragmentation and pushing the boundaries of patient-centric, GDPR-compliant research.

To this purpose, during the following 4 years, the project will be dedicated to generate reliable, high-quality synthetic data that can shape new "virtual patients" to further enhance diagnostic capacity, assess treatment options and predict outcomes in rare hematological diseases. To achieve this goal, SYNTHEMA will develop a novel Federated Learning infrastructure, equipped with secure multiparty computation and differential privacy protocols to effectively connect clinical sites with computing centres, academia and subject matter experts across Europe

To accomplish the objectives, SYNTHEMA has involved clinical partners from ERN-EuroBloodNet, including the following institution and ERN-EuroBloodNet experts:

  1. Humanitas Mirasole - Matteo Giovanni Della Porta
  2. Universitair Medisch Centrum Utrecht – Eduard van Beers  
  3. Vall d'Hebron Institut de Recerca - María del Mar Mañú Pereira 
  4. Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris - Pablo Bartolucci
  5. Charité - Universitaetsmedizin Berlin –  Lars Bullinger and Anna Dolink
  6. Universita Degli Studi di Padova - Raffaella Colombatti, Gianni Bisogno, Marta Tremoleda and Renzo Manara

SYNTHEMA is coordinated by Dr. Federico Álvarez from Universidad Politecnica Madrid (Spain) and counts on the participation of 15 partners from 10 countries (Spain, Italy, Austria, United Kingdom, Belgium, Netherlands, France, Germany, Portugal and Luxembourg).

Euro Blood Net