In a collaboration with EPL, the leading GLP pathology peer review organization, Flagship Biosciences presented continued work at the Society of Toxicology Pathology meeting in Denver, Colorado in June 2011 on virtual peer review. The Virtual Imaging in Peer Review or VIPER was a consortium of multiple pharma companies started in 2010 to evaluate international pathology peer reviews with virtual slides. The use of virtual slides for review of toxicology studies can be extremely useful across international geography where shipping of glass slides is a time limiting step. The presentation is entitled Virtual Imaging in Peer Reviews (VIPER) – A Case Study.
Histopathology peer review is a vital part of preclinical toxicology studies and has typically been conducted by on-site pathologist evaluation. With emerging digital pathology technologies, successful remote peer review may now be achievable. For many years pathologists have utilized photographic and digital images, both high magnification and whole slide tissue sections, for ad-hoc peer reviews and alternate opinions. This case study documents a peer review process utilizing entirely digitized tissue sections and remote access of the images. A previously peer-reviewed and closed study was used to study remote peer reviews processes. Whole tissue sets from pre-determined animals in control and high dose groups and target tissues from other dose groups were scanned and housed on a dedicated server. Individual animal data and a link to the images were provided to three veterinary pathologists, with extensive peer review experience, who accessed and evaluated tissue images from remote locations (other than the physical server location). The evaluation was conducted to see if the peer review pathologist could identify previously diagnosed lesions and assess the primary pathologist’s evaluation. Information was provided by the pathologists on the virtual and remote peer review process and experience. This information will enable hardware and software vendors, and fellow veterinary pathologists to understand the pros and cons of remote peer review.