Multimodal Image Registration for Guiding Minimally-invasive Surgical Cancer Interventions
Allocated in academic year 2015-16
In recent years, a number of minimally-invasive surgical techniques have become available for the diagnosis and treatment of major cancers. These offer the potential for dramatic improvements in patient care through reduced side-effects and the ability to preferentially target diseased tissue. However, realising these benefits is critically dependent on medical imaging for the localisation of cancer and for guidance during a procedure to ensure accurate instrument placement. In this research, the focus will be on developing novel computational solutions to overcome the key problems in deformable, multi-modal image registration (particularly of relatively poor quality interventional imaging modalities, such as ultrasound), and in the implementation of clinically practical systems that can be readily adopted into clinical practice without substantial capital or training investment. The research involves established collaborations with internationally leading UCL clinicians in prostate, liver (hepatobiliary), and pancreatic cancers, with the student focusing on a project that contributes to addressing an urgent clinical need in one of these diseases. Access to clinical MRI, CT, and interventional imaging is available, as well as a state-of-the-art ultrasound and image-guided interventions laboratory, dedicated to CMIC research. Students will work closely with a clinical research fellow who is usually also registered for a PhD or MD.