A second study will tap CT images and clinical data from a national study called COPDgene to see whether the DIR algorithm will better characterize the damage done by a specific type of COPD.
There are two manifestations of COPD. Emphysema can be assessed with current imaging and analysis methods. "The other is small airway disease where a thickening of the walls in small airways causes air trapping. Lungs appear normal, but air is not ventilating regions beyond where airway narrowing occur. We expect to be able to identify the distribution of air trapping with this method."
The COPD research involves applying the algorithm to two separate CT images of a patient's lung, one captured when a patient holds a breath at inhalation and the other at exhalation. The program then couples information from the two images to create a detailed picture of lung function.
The lung cancer study applies the algorithm to four-dimensional CT imaging, which produces 10 images of a single breath.
"The ultimate goal is to develop software that can be incorporated into existing medical computer work stations for CT analysis and for radiation treatment planning in every hospital, large and small, in the country," Guerrero said.
Guerrero is the second NIH Innovator Award winner from MD Anderson. Gabor Balazsi, Ph.D., an assistant professor in MD Anderson's Department of Systems Biology, won one last year.
"NIH is pleased to be supporting early-stage investigators from across the country who are taking considered risks in a wide range of areas in order to accelerate research," said Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Institutes of Health. "We look forward to the results of
|Contact: Scott Merville|
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center