Navigation Links
Sharpened focus: Improving the numbers, utility of medical imaging
Date:4/14/2011

The idea of probing the body's interior with radiation stretches back to experiments with X rays in the 1800s, but more than a century later, images taken with radiological scans still are not considered reliable enough to, for example, serve as the sole indicator of the efficacy of a cancer treatment. Lisa Karam, a biochemist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and a few dozen of her colleagues across North America have set out to change that.

The group of radiology specialists from a number of institutions has recently published* a pair of papers that Karam describes as part of a major effort to turn medical imagingCT scans, PET scans, MRIs, X rays and the likeinto a quantitative research tool, one that produces reliable numbers. Karam says her hope is that the group's efforts will enable scientists to determine whether a new drug or treatment method is working within weeks rather than months or years, thereby cutting down on the time it takes to get an effective new therapy approved for patients.

"Let's say doctors are studying an experimental drug that might destroy lung tumors," says Karam, "CT scans might show that patients' lung tumors shrink after a few weeks on the drug, but regulators would not accept this as evidence that the drug works because legitimate concerns exist about other variables that might be responsible for the apparent change in the image. What we want to do is get control over enough of those variables so that these concerns will fall away."

The many coauthors of the two papers are members of a subgroup of the Radiological Society of North America called the Quantitative Imaging Biomarker Alliance (QIBA). NIST's primary role, Karam says, is in helping to get control of anything involved in the imaging process that has to do with measurable physical values, from the radiation beams to the properties of the tissues being imaged.

In the example of lung tumors, Karam says, one problem is that lung tissue has a spongy quality and moves during the scan as a patient breathes. "If a patient moves a couple of millimeters during a scan, it can affect your measurement of a 10-mm tumor," she says. "So we are creating a plastic 'benchmark' that can be used to quantify this movement and account for it in the image analysis. We also are creating objects of defined density to calibrate scanners, so you can be sure of what you are measuring even if the surrounding tissue's density varies."

The first of the two papers discusses how the radiology community can best come together to make quantitative imaging the norm in medicine; the second, how to overcome longstanding issues that have discouraged the health care community from supporting the idea. Karam says more papers from QIBA are in the works: a near-term goal is to offer a method of handling data so that it can be useful in evaluating treatment methods.

"We're trying to develop a milieu for medical imaging," Karam says. "We want to show the world that a medical image can be a useful tool for medical decision making. It can give you hard numbers you can take to your insurance company and use as justification to get treatment."


'/>"/>

Contact: Chad Boutin
boutin@nist.gov
301-975-4261
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Solutions for Sleep Problems: Harvard's Improving Sleep Special Health Report and New Sleep Apnea Video
2. Charging less for more effective treatments could reduce health care costs while improving health
3. Global Hospitals and Healthcare Suppliers Focus on Cutting Costs and Improving Quality at 2010 GHX Supply Chain Summit
4. Morehead Presents Webinar on "When Satisfaction Isn't Enough: Improving RN Engagement"
5. Improving care for low-birth-weight infants
6. Care improving, cost saving Indiana Network for Patient Care expands
7. Health Occupations Students of America, Inc. and the U.S. Army Sign Memorandum of Understanding in Support of Improving Career Options for Nations Students
8. Amistaff Launches RN Medical/Surgical & RN Pharmacology Exams Using New Validation Process Focused on Improving Quality of Patient Care
9. Survival in metastatic breast cancer patients is improving: targeted therapies have contributed
10. Improving the health of all the worlds children
11. Report Finds Control of High Blood Pressure Improving
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Sharpened focus: Improving the numbers, utility of medical imaging
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Talented host, actor Rob Lowe, ... in a new episode of "Success Files," which is an award-winning educational program ... investigates each subject in-depth with passion and integrity. , Sciatica occurs when the ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission ... lost souls in the Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field” ... the Bible. She has taught all ages and currently teaches a class of ladies ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... First Healthcare Compliance (FHC), an industry leader ... range of technology and learning solutions at the 68th Annual American Healthcare Association ... held October 14–18, 2017 at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... Planet Fitness, one of the largest and fastest growing ... open a flagship location in Covington, LA at 401 N. U.S. Highway 190, in ... to Office Depot in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its location allows it to ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... CITY, Fla. (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... cold therapy products, announced today the introduction of an innovative new design of the ... multipurpose pad so you get maximum comfort while controlling your pain while using cold ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/2/2017)... -- Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO ) ... , and named its founder as Diplomat,s chief information ... Tennessee , will operate under Diplomat subsidiary Envoy ... for health care partners to include IT outsourcing, consulting, ... "In an interoperable world, technology delivers comprehensive insight and ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... 2017 Halo Labs announces the European launch of their ... HORIZON at MIBio 2017 in Cambridge, U.K ... matter in biopharmaceutical samples with unprecedented speed and sensitivity while using ... Backgrounded Membrane Imaging. ... subvisible particle analysis system ...
(Date:9/28/2017)... , Sept. 28, 2017 Cohen Veterans ... advance the use of wearable and home sensors for ... disorders. Early Signal Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on ... will provide an affordable analytical system to record and ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: