The National Cancer Institute's caBIG national network for oncology researchers has been operational for several years and keeps adding functionality.

One of those tools is the caBIG Imaging Workspace, which is the focus of an educational session at RSNA 2010, Nov. 28-Dec. 3 in Chicago. The research community uses the workspace, a section of caBIG with dedicated tools and services, "but I don't think the general imaging community is aware of the workspace," says Eliot Siegel, M.D., professor and vice-chair at the University of Maryland School of Medicine Department of Diagnostic Radiology.

The goal of the workspace is to bring imaging deeper into the electronic health record to support a deeper level of personalized medicine, Siegel says. For instance, multiple tumor types look similar, but have different behaviors and courses of therapy. The imaging workspace includes a 20-question template that a radiologist can complete, then search for similar tumors in caBIG's national database. The radiologist can find out the exact type of tumor he or she is looking at, the survival rate, treatment options and have that tumor image converted into a machine-readable image that can be stored in the EHR.

The caBIG Imaging Workspace remains in pilot stage, but Siegel's session is part of an initiative to expand its use out to other regions and among more clinicians. "We need to change the way that hospitals and patients think about patient data so data is not just centered around a patient but shared to improve decision making," he says. "We need to take advantage of all the things a computer can do, which will lead to much better decision support."

Session RC130C, "Imaging for Clinical Trials and Research Networks," is scheduled on Nov. 28 at 2 p.m. More information is available at

--Joseph Goedert


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