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Unique medical imaging framework

Researchers are developing a unique medical image processing framework aimed at helping oncologists treat lung cancer tumours more effectively.

In most cases, treatment decisions are made based on the patient’s clinical history and visual information from medical scans such as computed tomography (CT) and positron emission tomography (PET).

A CT scan gives information on tissue density, while a PET scan uses radioactive tracers to help doctors identify areas of high metabolic activity in the body.

These visual representations of the cancer only offer partial information, and the only way to confirm these findings for sure is by comparing the scans to the actual cancerous tissue.

A four-year study has resulted in the development of a medical image processing framework to match up these different sources of information for clinicians.

The retrospective study used resected tissue from nine lung cancer patients who had been treated using radical surgery.

The framework will shed light on how particular information on the scan is related to the pathology of the tumour and its surroundings, which could result in an improvement of treatment effectiveness in the future, the scientists claim.

Clinical trials are now set to follow, which will use another type of PET scan to give more precise information of the metabolic fingerprint of the tumour.

Picture Credit | Shutterstock

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