Columbia University Medical Center

Columbia Licenses 3-D Organ and Tumor Segmentation Software to Varian

Allows for More Precise and Efficient Planning and Monitoring of Cancer Treatment

NEW YORK, NY — Columbia University has signed a licensing agreement with Varian Medical Systems for novel imaging software that facilitates 3-D segmentation, the process by which anatomical structures in medical images are distinguished from one another—an important step in the precise planning of cancer surgery and radiation treatments.

“Organ- and tumor-specific segmentation is fundamental for proper radiation treatment planning and follow-up in cancer patients,” said Lawrence Schwartz, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Radiology, Columbia University Medical Center, who has extensive experience in both conventional and novel imaging techniques. “Our algorithms have been developed in response to the growing demand for quantitative imaging techniques that provide more accurate organ/tumor delineation and tumor response criteria. At the Computational Image Analysis Laboratory, led by Binsheng Zhao, DSc, professor of clinical radiology, we have incorporated advanced methodologies to address these needs. Columbia is pleased to have established a relationship with Varian, a manufacturer of treatment devices.”

Three-D segmentation of CT and MR images provides a reliable way to identify organs such as the liver, spleen, and kidneys. Determining organ and tumor contours and volumes (including those of primary and metastatic tumors) before, during, and after treatment can be challenging. Accurate and efficient characterization of these diverse structures is necessary to enable noninvasive assessments in clinical practice and clinical trials, as well as in radiation treatment planning.

“Modern radiation treatment planning requires careful delineation of the targeted tissue, as well as the critical structures to be avoided,” said Jeff Amacker, senior director of clinical solutions at Varian. “We hope that our collaborative efforts with Columbia University Medical Center’s radiology department will lead to improved patient care by providing new tools and automation for the precise planning of radiation treatments.”

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Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, preclinical, and clinical research; medical and health sciences education; and patient care. The medical center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, public health professionals, dentists, and nurses at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. Columbia University Medical Center is home to the largest medical research enterprise in New York City and State and one of the largest faculty medical practices in the Northeast. For more information, visit cumc.columbia.edu or columbiadoctors.org.

The Computational Image Analysis Laboratory has led to key innovations in algorithm development to address the demand for superior, automated, quantitative image assessments. Please visit the website for more information about specific technologies developed by the Lab.

Columbia University’s technology transfer office, Columbia Technology Ventures, manages Columbia’s intellectual property portfolio and serves as the university’s gateway for companies and entrepreneurs seeking novel technology solutions. Our core mission is to facilitate the transfer of inventions from academic research to outside organizations for the benefit of society on a local, national and global basis.

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