The liver is a particularly squishy, slippery organ, prone to shifting both deadly tumors and life-preserving blood vessels by inches between the time they’re discovered on a CT scan and when the patient is lying on an operating room table.
Surgeons can swab the exposed liver lightly on the surface with a special stylus, capturing the shape of the organ during surgery, and a computer can match that image with the CT scan on a screen. This GPS-like ability is far better than feeling for tumor and blood vessel location, but even this road map can be off by centimeters.
Michael Miga, Harvie Branscomb Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and his team published the potential solution: surgery-tested software that better marries images from the CT scan and the tracked tool. The advance stands to help more than a half-million liver cancer patients worldwide each year.
Their paper, “Deformation Correction for Image Guided Liver Surgery: An Intraoperative Fidelity Assessment,” appears this month in the journal Surgery.
Used in a blinded, randomized 20-patient bystander study over the past two years at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, surgeons said the new technology improved the registration in more than 70 percent of cases… Continue reading.
Engineering graduate students from across several disciplines will experience intensive training and mentoring with the potential to help them create devices, then get those out of the lab and into clinical settings.
Offered through the Vanderbilt Institute in Surgery and Engineering, this program for second- and third-year engineering PhD students includes sessions with surgeons and interventionalists who are researching diseases of the heart, brain and kidneys plus working to cure cancer.
It’s funded through a five-year, nearly $1 million National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering grant, awarded to VISE affiliates Michael I. Miga, Harvie Branscomb Professor and professor of biomedical engineering, and Robert F. Labadie, professor of otolaryngology, head, and neck surgery.
“In just one aspect to the program, students are going to spend a semester in surgical suites and clinical conferences, really coming to understand the different therapy modalities,” Miga said. “They will be going to tumor boards, for example, instead of observing only one procedure. Looking at a patient from stem to stern and the trajectory of care will allow them to shape novel, technology-based platforms for studying and treating disease.”
The ambitious program, available to pre-doc students in biomedical, electrical and mechanical engineering and computer science, begins with a year-one prerequisite of a professional development course plus a one-of-a-kind course called Clinically Translational Engineering in Surgery and Intervention: Provocative Questions.
Nine faculty members who hold endowed chairs were honored for their extraordinary academic achievements at a Sept. 8 festive event at the Student Life Center.
“We celebrate our colleagues today as a way of thanking them for their work to make this world a better place,” said Jeff Balser, vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine. “At the same time, we take this opportunity to recognize a group of amazing donors who have invested in Vanderbilt’s tradition of discovery and our relentless pursuit of knowledge.”
Susan Wente, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, joined Balser in thanking the donors for their generosity and introducing the chair holders, who are listed below with their academic appointments:
Christopher R. Aiken, Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair in Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology;
Lauren A. Benton, Nelson O. Tyrone, Jr. Chair in History;
Joshua D. Clinton, Abby and Jon Winkelried Chair;
Cindy D. Kam, William R. Kenan Jr. Chair;
Robert L. Macdonald, Margaret and John Warner Chair for Neurological Education;
Michael I. Miga, Harvie Branscomb Chair;
Robert B. Talisse, W. Alton Jones Chair in Philosophy;
Mark T. Wallace, Louise B. McGavock Chair; and
Jeanne A. Wanzek, Currey-Ingram Chair in Special Education.
Tuesday’s event marked the 17th one to pay tribute to faculty members who have been named to endowed chairs. A total of 165 chair holders have been honored since the initiative to recruit and retain outstanding scholars and teachers was announced in August 2010 by Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos, who attended Tuesday’s celebration.
Michael Miga, professor of biomedical engineering, will serve on the editorial board of the Journal of Medical Imaging, a new publication of SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.
The journal will launch in early 2014 and cover fundamental and translational research and applications focused on photonics in medical imaging.
JMI will be published in print quarterly and online in the SPIE Digital Library as each peer-reviewed article is approved for publication. The online version will be available free to all readers in the first year.
“I was on the original task force about six years ago to investigate the need for a new journal so I am quite excited to see it realized, and to serve on its editorial board,” said Miga, whose three-year appointment as an associate editor began Oct. 1.
A team led by Vanderbilt University biomedical engineer Michael Miga, Ph.D., has been awarded a five-year, $3.1 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to enhance image-guided surgery techniques for safely removing liver tumors.
While aggressive surgery is a highly effective treatment, it risks injury to the liver, which can lead to post-operative liver failure.
The goal of the grant is to apply recent advances in image-guided surgery to the liver so that more surgeons can conduct safer, more aggressive resections that avoid blood vessels and other critical structures.
“We have one common tenet that drives everything,” said Miga, associate professor of Biomedical Engineering, Radiology and Radiological Sciences, and Neurological Surgery. “We are in the business of creating and translating technology to improve the care of the patients that walk through our doors today, not 20 years from now.’’