The National Center for Image Guided Therapy (NCIGT), an NIH funded Biomedical Technology Resource Center, serves as a national resource for all aspects of research into medical procedures that are enhanced by imaging. Its common goal is to provide more effective patient care. The center is focused on the multidisciplinary development of innovative image-guided intervention technologies to enable effective, less invasive clinical treatments that are not only more economical, but also produce better results for patients. Through support from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), the NCIGT is helping to implement this vision by serving as a proving ground for some of the next generation of medical therapies.
Since its inception in 2005, NCIGT has established a portfolio of clinical and research activities at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and has provided local, regional, national, and international researchers with access to these capabilities through collaborations, service, training, and dissemination activities.
Introducing NCIGT: Download a movie (100MB) here about the NCIGT team work.
Vision and Strategy
Our core strategy is the close integration of translational research, engineering activities, and a broad coverage of clinical areas. We have found that many technologies can be used in seemingly unrelated clinical applications. A registration algorithm, which was developed for image-guided therapy (IGT) of the brain, can be used (with minor modifications) for image fusion in the prostate. This type of synergy acts as a multiplier for making more effective use of available resources. We intend to continue this strategy and build on the foundation we have laid during the current cycle.
We have undertaken intense efforts to provide service and training to outside investigators and to disseminate our technology and methods. All of these outreach efforts require commitment and a substantial amount of non-science activity in the TRD cores as well as in the Administration core. Existing and new facilities and capabilities will amplify our abilities and open venues for new areas of research. Major examples include our new advanced multimodality image guided operating room suite (AMIGO) featuring high field MRI and PET/CT, optical imaging, X-ray fluoroscopy, mass spectrometry and Ultrasound; other facilities include a 3T MR guided FUS system (ExAblate 4000), new Siemens wide bore 3T MR and CT/fluoroscopy interventional procedure rooms, a cyclotron and a radiochemistry research group, which will open the door for the use of molecular probes in IGT. Our vision is to establish IGT as the method of choice for new clinical applications and improve the technological capabilities available today to the practitioners of IGT. In order to accomplish this we will expand our technology research from one imaging modality (MRI was the focus of imaging in the current cycle) to multiple modalities (MRI, PET, CT, US); we will also expand our methodologies for planning, delivery and monitoring of image-guided therapies, including new algorithms, new software components, new ablation technologies and new intra-operative monitoring methods. We will augment our abilities in the existing clinical applications and, after proving their feasibility and utility, make them more practical. Finally, we will work with vendors to make those technological advancements available to the public in general clinical settings. To accomplish all of these, we will work closely with Siemens.
Specific Aims of Technology Research and Development Cores
Prostate Technology Research and Development Core
PI: Clare M. Tempany, MD
- Specific Aim 1: To develop and evaluate image-guided prostate surgery
- Specific Aim 2: To improve and optimize MR-guided radiation therapy
- Specific Aim 3: To optimize MR image guided prostate biopsy
Neurosurgery Technology Research and Development Core
PI: Alexandra J. Golby, MD
- Specific Aim 1: Semi-automatic identification of neurosurgically important white matter tracts using fMRI+DTI atlas
Focused Ultrasound Technology Research and Development Core
PI: Nathan J. McDannold, PhD
- Specific Aim 1: Measurement and modeling of drug delivery with US-induced blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption.
- Specific Aim 2: Investigating the tissue response to different modes of US-induced tissue ablation.
- Specific Aim 3: Real-time tissue tracking to guide MRgFUS therapies using US sensors.
Computation Technology Research and Development Core
PI: William M. Wells, III, PhD
- Specific Aim 1: MR to Ultrasound Registration for Neurosurgery and Prostate Brachytherapy.
- Specific Aim 2: CT- Xray Registration Technology for Radiation Therapy.
- Specific Aim 3: Slicer Engineering.
Imaging Technology Research and Development Core
PI: Gregory T. Clement, PhD
- Specific Aim 1: Temperature Mapping in Moving Organs
- Specific Aim 2: Tracked High-resolution MR imaging of Catheters and Endoscopes.
- Specific Aim 3: Ultrasound Mapping of Tissue Perfusion for IGT.
Guidance Technology Research and Development Core
PI: Nobuhiko Hata, PhD
- Specific Aim 1: To develop and clinically validate image registered endoscopic ultrasound with improved accuracy and new applications.
- Specific Aim 2: To develop Intra-cardiac beating heart surgery aided by 3D ultrasound image guidance
- Specific Aim 3: To perform MR-guided ablation of liver with motion compensated navigation