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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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Research Project: Quantitation of Drug Response on Imaging Studies

The purpose of this study is to investigate and develop practical assessment strategies for estimating the extent of patient response to drugs using imaging.  We are currently concentrating on understanding the fundamental performance limits for estimating, patient response parameters, such as volume and uptake,  based on differences in imaging hardware, imaging technique and processing algorithms.   We will use our knowledge of probability theory, along with the work of the Laboratory of Imaging Physics scientists, to determine error bounds for these estimation tasks.  We will develop realistic lesion models and utilize phantom experiments to aid both the development of performance bounds, and to validate our results.

 

An anthropomorphic phantom is used to examine uncertainty in the volumetric assessment of lung nodules.
We examine uncertainty in the volumetric assessment of lung nodules using an anthropomorphic phantom. Phantom studies provide a framework where the true size of nodules is known, thus enabling the analysis of both bias and variance without radiation exposure to patients.

 


 The phantom includes a vasculature insert, on which synthetic nodules can be attached.

 

 

 

 

   

 

 


We have designed and manufactured a large variety of synthetic lung nodules varying in sizes (5-60mm), shape (spherical, elliptical, lobulated, spiculated, irregular), and radiographic density (-800 to 100HU).

 
 


The phantom along with the attached lung nodules is used to acquire computed tomography (CT) scans using different imaging protocols and lung nodule combinations.

 

 

The resulting CT scans are analyzed in order to quantify sources of uncertainty in the volumetric assessment of lung nodules.
The resulting CT scans are analyzed in order to quantify sources of uncertainty in the volumetric assessment of lung nodules. Information from this project will be valuable in order to reduce the time needed to assess the response of tumors to drug therapy.