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SSG Seminar Abstract

Current Concepts and Future Directions in Virtual Colonoscopy Computer-Aided Detection

Ron Summers

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the Western world.  Virtual colonoscopy is a CT-based method that has proven capable of relatively noninvasive colorectal cancer screening.  In virtual colonoscopy, three-dimensional reconstructions of the colon are prepared from CT scans of a patient's abdomen and pelvis.  My research group has focused for the last several years on computer aided polyp detection for virtual colonoscopy.  We have developed shape-based features using differential geometry to identify abnormal growths in the colon.  In association with collaborators at other institutions, we have developed a database of over 1200 proven virtual colonoscopy cases with optical colonoscopy correlation.  Using this database, we continue to make advancements in improving sensitivity and reducing the false positive rate.  Current work includes image processing to register supine and prone virtual colonoscopy examinations on the same patient, computer-aided detection of normal colonic features that mimic pathology, and software systems to train classifiers, validate results, and ensure software reliability and integrity.  This lecture will provide an overview of the clinical background, mathematical underpinnings, and preliminary clinical trials conducted at the National Institutes of Health.

Ronald Summers, M.D., Ph.D. is a general diagnostic radiologist and tenured image processing researcher at the National Institutes of Health where he has worked for the past 11 years.  He received his B.A. degree in physics in 1981 and his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees in 1988, all from the University of Pennsylvania.  Following a medical internship, he completed a radiology residency at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1993.  In 1994, he completed an MRI fellowship at Duke University.  In 2000, he was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers by President William Clinton.  His research focuses on virtual endoscopy and computer aided detection from radiologic images.  He has authored or co-authored over 70 publications and has several patents.

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