An Integrated System for Image-Guided Radiofrequency Ablation of Liver Tumors R01-CA124377
The goal of this collaboration between the NCIGT and Georgetown University is to develop and validate an integrated system based on open source software for improved visualization and probe placement during radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of liver tumors. While RFA is becoming an increasingly important treatment for unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma and liver metastases, the procedure has several technical limitations, mostly related to the difficulty of precisely placing the RFA needle to ablate the entire tumor and achieve adequate margins. In particular, larger tumors require multiple overlapping needle placements that can be difficult to achieve.
To overcome these limitations and improve RFA as a treatment, the collaboration will:
- develop an open source software architecture for a liver RFA planning/treatment workstation that builds on existing open source projects at the two collaborating institutions;
- develop and evaluate semi-automatic segmentation techniques for the liver, liver vasculature, and liver tumors;
- based on a segmented liver data set, develop a path planning module for evaluating alternative paths to the liver tumor and incorporating multiple overlapping placements as needed;
- integrate the two capabilities developed above along with electromagnetic tracking of the RFA probe to provide a complete software environment for liver tumor planning, visualization, and execution; and
- validate the clinical feasibility of the system in a swine animal model.
The resulting technology would enable individualized therapy that relies on the integration of high power computers and medical innovations. Patients with liver cancer can be treated without necessarily having to undergo surgeries that are more invasive than RFA.
During the last year, the NCIGT created a Slicer module for navigating during RFA for integrating between the software systems at the NCIGT and Georgetown.
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