3D images generated from PET/CT scans help surgeons envision tumors

October 17, 2013

3D images generated from PET/CT scans help surgeons envision tumors

Researchers at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia have developed a hologram-like display of a patient's organs that surgeons can use to plan surgery. This approach uses molecular PET/CT images of a patient to rapidly create a 3D image of that patient, so that surgeons can see the detailed anatomical structure, peel away layers of tissue, and move around in space to see all sides of a tumor, before entering the operating room to excise it.

"Our technology presents PET/CT data in an intuitive manner to help physicians make critical decisions during surgical planning," said first author Matthew Wampole, Ph.D., from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Jefferson. The researchers produced a surgical simulation of human pancreatic cancer reconstructed from a patient's PET scans and contrast-enhanced CT scans. Six Jefferson surgeons evaluated the 3D model for accuracy, usefulness, and applicability of the model to actual surgical experience.