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The Cancer Imagine Program of NCI announces a new funding opportunity entitled “Quantitative Imaging for Evaluation of Responses to Cancer Therapies (U01)”. This cooperative agreement mechanism (PAR-08-225) is designed to promote research in quantitative imaging of tumor response to cancer therapies in clinical trial settings, with the overall goal of facilitating clinical decision making. The complete announcement can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-08-225.html

Back to Collaboration:Harvard_CTSC
Action Items (details below)

  1. All sites finish helping Ann and Zeke update your site imaging information
  2. Everyone review proposed Consult service draft plan below and endorse or revise by email or at next T-con
  3. Randy to contact CTSC Education liaison to get our first educational programs set up

Harvard Translational Imaging Consortium Meeting Minutes August 19, 2008

In Attendance (by T-con):

  • Annick D. Van den Abbeele
  • Ron Kikinis
  • Randy Gollub
  • Bill Hanlon
  • Gordon Williams
  • Ann Schlesinger
  • Zeke Bernstein-Hanley

1. RSNA sponsored CTSC connection
Annick confirmed she will be our representative at the October ACRIN meeting. Ron Kikinis and Bruce Rosen attended yesterday's RSNA sponsored CTSC Imaging group T-con. Ron reported that this group consists of about 20 well known individuals (e.g. Dan Sullivan, Dan Rubin) who represent many existing Medical Imaging organizations. Ron added links on our top wiki page (see External Collaborators section) to this groups work. He notes that there are several subgroups that have been started. Our team agreed to the following assignment as representatives:

  • Education (Randy)
  • Informatics (Ron/Bill)
  • Imaging Clinical Trials subgroup (Annick/Jeff)
  • Quantification (Annick/Jeff)).

Both Ron Kikinis and Annick will attend the RSNA meeting of this group. Ron is going to send an email to the BWH Chair of Radiology to see if there is time on the schedule of Dr. Dan Sullivan's upcoming Grand Rounds visit to set up a meeting between him and our CTSC's Neuroimaging informatics folks (Bill Hanlon, Ron Kikinis, Randy Gollub, Shawn Murphy).

2. Consultation Service
Summarizing past discussions of this group, Annick and Randy suggested that as an initial, immediate, interim plan our entire Consortium be named as the Consultation service with paid salary support to cover their effort for this as well as the administrative tasks associated with working on the CTSC (attendance on these calls/meetings, timely response to requests for information, teaching effort, etc). Since each of us already provides essentially this exact service for our own site investigators, no new training is required. Our services would be limited to consultation, not include implementation. Randy volunteered to be the "bleeding point" or named person who would be contacted by any one who did not know who to call. This weekly meeting would take on the additional action item of reviewing all new and active consult requests. Once our group identifies the magnitude of demand and assesses needed skills for a key Imaging Assistant and where he/she/they would be sited, this plan can be changed. Gordon reported that this is essentially exactly what the Genetics group is doing and so would fit nicely together. All on the call agreed to this, pending approval of the entire team. Randy volunteered to make a first draft of the consultation page on the wiki.
Annick made an excellent point about the need to collect performance metrics and simple web-based methods for collecting them for our offered services. Ron suggested we look at the Slicer bug tracker (http://www.na-mic.org/Bug/view.php?id=294) as well as the base open source software (http://www.mantisbt.org) for ideas. Gordon pointed out this was actually a CSTC-wide need and not specific to imaging. Randy suggested this would be a good topic for the upcoming Retreat. It could be jointly developed with the Informatics Core.

3. Education Program
Randy reported briefly on her August 5th meeting with Drs. Ware and Golan. There is no plan for creating any new training programs, rather, like us, the Education group is collating the huge number of existing training programs and working to facilitate cross program integration that will lower barriers for trainees to get more customized educational programs and greater access to existing resources. Dr. Golan's expectation for what we Imagers will deliver closely matched what Dr. Williams has already told us we should do and what we are currently planning. That is, to offer broad educational content that will inform Clinical Translational investigators about current Imaging capabilities and how to access them. Randy's pitch to increase the number of trainees with specific expertise in Imaging statistics was appreciated and suggestions made for defining potential Junior Faculty recruitment opportunities as well as post-doctoral positions that could be jointly sponsored by the HSPH Statistics program and one or more of our Imaging groups.
Our current plan is to offer the following educational programming:

  1. CTSC will co-sponsor with NA-MIC a half-day Slicer 3 Hands-on workshop on Medical Image data visualization and analysis to be held on Thursday 10/30/08 from 12 PM- 2PM at BWH and repeated at MGH on 11/06/08
  2. Dana Farber Cancer Imaging group will deliver a 1-2 hour Anatomic Assessment Criteria of Tumor Metrics in Clinical Trials program in or around December.
  3. We will plan over the Fall and deliver in the Spring of 2009 a nanocourse entitled Medical Imaging 101 a primer on medical imaging tools and how to use them for clinical translational and/or clinical trials research. The content will include:
  • descriptions of what modalities are available within the CTSC umbrella
  • how to decide what modalities to use
  • what the outcome measures of each mean including the current standards for sensitivity and specificity and sources of variability
  • how to access these facilities within the CTSC
  • future directions including imminently available capabilities within the CTSC

The format will be Miniseries delivered each week on four consecutive weeks, each lecture 60-90 minutes. For additional details see the minutes from our July 8 meeting

4. Image Data Management and Shared Imaging Data
The updated Morphometry BIRN and NAMIC proposal for the CTSC Imaging Consortium and Informatics Core data management system will be ready in time for our next meeting. We hope to introduce this to the RSNA sponsored multi-institutional CTSC Imaging Informatics group (see above).

5. Curation of Site resources
Ann and Zeke working heroically to complete the minimal content fields in time for the Sept. 4 launch. Please reply ASAP to their requests for updated information.