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Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

New Imaging Technology Detects Pulmonary Nodules

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Cancer Weekly
via NewsEdge Corporation

2006 FEB 14 - (NewsRx.com) -- Isis Innovation Ltd., the commercial development arm of the University of Oxford, U.K., announced that engineering science researchers at Oxford have developed an imaging technique that visualizes pulmonary nodules with fewer false positives than other methods.

Lung cancers continue to kill more people than any other type of cancer, with current survival rated at only 12%-15%. Early detection and treatment greatly improves prognosis. For example, detecting and treating tumors less than 3 cm in size increases survival to 75%.

Lung cancer can be detected at a sufficiently early stage using spiral computed tomography (CT). A single thoracic CT scan may comprise some 500 separate "slice" images. The improved resolution of modern CT scanners enables earlier detection of abnormalities, but the interpretation times become impractical and errors increase.

This problem could theoretically be solved by using computer-aided detection (CAD) to help radiologists manage the demand for more numerous and improved image analysis. However, the computer-based systems that have been proposed to date have demonstrated low sensitivity and a large number of false-positive results, says Isis Innovation.

The University of Oxford engineering science researchers have developed a new method incorporating a process called Visual Moving Features (VMF) for detecting pulmonary nodules. VMF detects a predefined structure in a subject by image analysis based on a representation of the structure constructed across a number of parallel image planes.

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