Ovarian cancer survival rates could be greatly improved through effective early detection. However, several clinical studies have shown that proposed screening methodologies have no impact on overall survival. Our lab is participating in the development of a novel nanoparticle imaging device that can be incorporated as a third-line test to improve the specificity and sensitivity of the overall screening program. The device’s highly sensitive detectors can detect the residual magnetic field of only those nanoparticles that have become bound to cancer cells via specific antibody interactions. However, the reconstruction of the bound particle distribution from this residual field map is challenging due to the highly ill-posed nature of the inverse problem. Our lab has developed a sparse reconstruction algorithm to overcome this challenge. Here, we present the results of a blinded phantom study to simulate the pre-clinical scenario of detecting a tumor signal in the presence of a large signal from bound particles in the liver. Overall, our algorithm identified the correct location of bound particle sources with 84% accuracy. We were able to detect as little as 1.6ug of bound particles with 100% accuracy when the source was alone, and as little as 3.13ug when there was a stronger source present. We also show the effect of manual and automatic parameter selection on the performance of the algorithm. These results provide valuable information about the expected performance of the algorithm that we can use to optimize the design of future small animal studies as we work to bring this novel technology to the clinic.
S. L. Thrower, D. Fuentes, W. Stefan, J. Sovizi, K. Mathieu, and J. D. Hazle, "Sensitivity and specificity of a sparse reconstruction algorithm for superparamagnetic relaxometry," Proc. SPIE 10573, Medical Imaging 2018: Physics of Medical Imaging, 1057327 (Presented at SPIE Medical Imaging: February 16, 2018; Published: 9 March 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2293796.
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