Interdisciplinary Initiatives Program Round 7 - 2014

Peter Maxim, Radiation Oncology
Billy Loo, Radiation Oncology
Erik Mittra, Radiology - Nuclear Medicine
Viswam Nair, Medicine

For many pulmonary diseases it would be valuable to map the function of different portions of the lung, but clinically available tools to do so are limited. Pulmonary function testing measures whole lung function, but not specific lung regions. We propose to develop a CT based imaging method that quantifies regional lung function in three-dimensional detail. Patients would take a single breath of xenon gas, which can be seen on CT so its distribution can be measured and tracked over time. In this study we hypothesize that Xe-CT scans will yield information, beyond what is currently available through other methods, about patient's lung function that can be used for treatment planning, such as surgery or radiotherapy. To validate our hypothesis, we propose a clinical trial of Xe-CT in patients receiving radiation therapy for lung tumors. If successful, Xe-CT could be valuable and widely available for diagnosis and monitoring of diseases such as COPD and ARDS, and for directing biopsies and planning treatments like surgery and radiation therapy.