Web-based tool for visualization of electric field distribution in deep-seated body structures and planning of electroporation-based treatments

Marija Marčan, Denis Pavliha, Bor Kos, Tadeja Forjanič, Damijan Miklavčič
Biomedical Engineering Online 2015, 14 Suppl 3: S4

BACKGROUND: Treatments based on electroporation are a new and promising approach to treating tumors, especially non-resectable ones. The success of the treatment is, however, heavily dependent on coverage of the entire tumor volume with a sufficiently high electric field. Ensuring complete coverage in the case of deep-seated tumors is not trivial and can in best way be ensured by patient-specific treatment planning. The basis of the treatment planning process consists of two complex tasks: medical image segmentation, and numerical modeling and optimization.

METHODS: In addition to previously developed segmentation algorithms for several tissues (human liver, hepatic vessels, bone tissue and canine brain) and the algorithms for numerical modeling and optimization of treatment parameters, we developed a web-based tool to facilitate the translation of the algorithms and their application in the clinic. The developed web-based tool automatically builds a 3D model of the target tissue from the medical images uploaded by the user and then uses this 3D model to optimize treatment parameters. The tool enables the user to validate the results of the automatic segmentation and make corrections if necessary before delivering the final treatment plan.

RESULTS: Evaluation of the tool was performed by five independent experts from four different institutions. During the evaluation, we gathered data concerning user experience and measured performance times for different components of the tool. Both user reports and performance times show significant reduction in treatment-planning complexity and time-consumption from 1-2 days to a few hours.

CONCLUSIONS: The presented web-based tool is intended to facilitate the treatment planning process and reduce the time needed for it. It is crucial for facilitating expansion of electroporation-based treatments in the clinic and ensuring reliable treatment for the patients. The additional value of the tool is the possibility of easy upgrade and integration of modules with new functionalities as they are developed.

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