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New Computer Device May Help Find Lung Cancer

Improves Ability to Find Lung Masses That May Be Malignant

WebMD Health News

July 12, 2004 -- Early lung cancers are often difficult to find -- even with the help of a CT scan. But now the FDA has approved a new image analysis system designed to help find lung cancer on CT images in its early stages and hopefully improve treatment and survival.

The system uses computer aided detection software to analyze CT images that the radiologist has previously reviewed, highlighting areas of the image that appear to be masses. Because the device works independently of the radiologist, it can detect suspect areas that the radiologist may have missed. When such an area is found, further tests can be performed to see if the mass is cancerous.

FDA approval of the system, the first of its kind for use with CT scans of the chest, was based on a clinical study conducted by the manufacturer, R2 Technology Inc. The study was designed to measure whether use of the system enhanced radiologists' ability to detect masses on chest CT images.

In the study, 15 radiologists independently reviewed 90 images of lung CT scans without the ImageChecker system, and then again using the new system.

When radiologists used the new system, they were able to identify more masses than they could without it, improving their ability to detect lung masses that require further evaluation to see if they are cancerous.

SOURCE: FDA.

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