Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Molecular Ultrasound Therapy, Computer Diagnosis, and Customized Medication

28.08.2013
Renowned Experts Discuss the Future of Medicine in Bremen

Which technological advancements can we expect to see in the field of medical technology? How well can diagnosis and therapy be customized for each patient? And how much automation can medicine handle?

To help answer these fundamental questions, the Fraunhofer MEVIS Institute for Medical Image Computing will hold a symposium entitled “Disruptive Innovations in Medicine” on September 4, 2013 at Jacobs University in Bremen. The occasion for the symposium is the farewell of Prof. Heinz-Otto Peitgen, founder and long-time institute director of Fraunhofer MEVIS.

Medical science is at a point of transition. Established diagnostic methods such as ultrasound, X-ray, and MRI are continually being improved. These methods can now deliver extremely detailed imagery and information. In addition, new methods are constantly being developed, including the combination of MRI and PET scans for cancer diagnosis. At the same time, the spectrum of therapy options is always growing: new medications for specific patient groups are now being marketed. Operating room methods are becoming more refined, and the number of minimally invasive intervention options is ever expanding.

However, these advancements carry enormous demands and these new options increase complexity. Next-generation CT and MRI deliver images with data size many times those made by older devices. In addition, a current trend is to combine the images and information from many different methods to obtain more reliable diagnoses. This results in a true flood of various image data. “These data gluts reach the limits of what even specialized clinicians can absorb in their daily routine,” says MEVIS institute director Horst Hahn. “Often, they are barely able to incorporate all available information into their therapy decisions.”

In the future, computers could offer useful support. Researchers have already developed programs to employ patterns to search lung and breast x-rays, helping doctors during early detection of cancer. Preliminary studies have shown that the abilities of computers using pattern recognition often match those of humans, or, as in the case of suspected microcalcification in mammography, exceed them.

There are still outstanding problems to solve in computer-aided diagnosis (CAD), such as the number of false alarms. Experts also estimate that the growing amount of data will not be able to be handled without the use of intelligent diagnosis software. “We are not seeking to replace doctors with machines, but rather to create an optimal team of both humans and computers,” said Hahn. “Computers and humans feature contrasting strengths and weaknesses, requiring us to think broadly about how much automation is reasonable for medicine.”

A further focus of the symposium is ‘personalized medicine.’ Until now, this has meant using genetic testing to find out whether a patient could benefit from a certain medication. However, it is now becoming clear that diagnostic methods can be customized for individual patients or certain symptoms, as seen in positron emission tomography (PET), a highly sensitive method used in tumor detection. To mark tumor cells, only a small amount of 'tracers' are presently used.

In laboratories, experts have already developed a number of tracers, although these must still pass extensive approval procedures. This growing array of options is also available in other fields of image-based diagnosis. However, these stand in opposition to the efforts of medicine to verify every new method based on large, randomized studies. "Thus, we must thoroughly reflect upon a responsible approach towards the quickly growing spectrum of diagnostic and therapeutic options and which roles computer support could play," said Hahn.

Finally, the session will tackle new and revolutionary therapeutic approaches for radiotherapy and particle therapy, among others. The novel term 'theranostics' is now being used to describe the close relationship between diagnosis and therapy in a combined, patient-specific approach. An even newer method directly links ultrasound diagnosis and therapy. Using this method, clinicians administer a special ultrasound contrast medium to the patient to record imaging of an organ, such as the kidney. The contrast medium serves not only to help depict tumor tissue, but also to deliver the medication.

The moment an image shows an abscess, the clinician could use a focused ultrasound signal to burst the microscopic bubbles that make up the contrast medium. This would discharge the medication that immediately surrounds the tumor, providing organ-preserving therapy with few side effects. "These new types of therapy are very promising," said Hahn, "but we must thoroughly investigate each new method to determine whether their benefits truly affect the clinical routine and whether they are economically feasible."

On the day following the symposium, the event will move to the MEVIS's institute facilities. Interactive demonstrations by MEVIS researchers will clearly demonstrate how the computer support of the future could take shape for fields such as breast cancer, lung, and stroke diagnosis as well as navigated, minimally invasive tumor therapy. A further demonstration will feature a new tablet app to support liver operations. In August, this app was tested for the first time during an operation in Germany. Media representatives are welcome to attend.

September 4: Symposium - "Disruptive Innovations in Medicine" at Jacobs University.

September 5: Open House at Fraunhofer MEVIS, 9 to 13:30. Visitors are very welcome to attend.

Bianka Hofmann | idw
Further information:
http://www.mevis.fraunhofer.de

More articles from Event News:

nachricht Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology
16.08.2017 | BIAS - Bremer Institut für angewandte Strahltechnik GmbH

nachricht Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow
04.08.2017 | Technische Universität Chemnitz

All articles from Event News >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>