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American Family Children's Hospital
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Imaging Research Core Services

The Translational Imaging Research Core (TIRC) is the operational component of the TIRWG, designed to implement and manage all imaging activities for UWCCC members. TIRC, led by Scott Perlman, MD, MS, is embedded within the TIRWG for the optimization of TIRWG’s comprehensive services.

 

Administrative Support and Coordination

 

The TIRC Administrative Coordinator serves as a liaison between UWCCC investigators/clinical research staff and the UW Departments of Radiology and Medical Physics. Administrative support includes:

  • Budget development for industry, federal or investigator-initiated clinical imaging studies 
  • Development and oversight of clinical imaging workflows between research staff, radiology, medical physics and the sponsor of the clinical trial
  • Oversight and coordination of agent production between the UW Radiopharmaceutical Production Facility and the investigator/clinical research staff
  • Coordination of patient clinical research scanning appointments with the Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research (WIMR) Imaging Facility
  • Management, oversight and coordination of image analysis (including RECIST) activities performed by the Department of Medical Physics Image Analysis Core (IMAC)
  • Organization of educational training required for imaging research clinical trials
  • Participation in sponsor site initiation visits
  • Collection and transmission of imaging files required by sponsors for central review

 

Molecular Agent Production  

 

Molecular imaging agents can be purchased from a regional radiopharmacy (e.g., F-18-Fluorodeoxyglucose, FDG, Sodium Fluoride, NaF) or produced locally in the UW Radiopharmaceutical Production Facility (FLT, F-18-Fluoroestradiol, FES). TIRC administratively supports and facilitates:

  • All activities involved in the utilization of molecular tracers in clinical trials
  • Imaging agent consultations for investigators and industry sponsors
  • Assistance with clinical protocol development using molecular tracers
  • Regulatory oversight and management for federal IND applications
  • Regulatory oversight, coordination and management for local applications to the UW Radioactive Drug Research Committee (RDRC), Radiation Safety and the Human Radiation Use Committee

 

Image Analysis 

 

The Department of Medical Physic’s Image Analysis Core (IMAC) provides accurate image analysis required for reliable and quantitative measurements of biological change over time, such as tumor volume, radioactive tracer activity or contrast agent dynamics. Coordinated by TIRC, the IMAC provides:

  • Simple analysis (e.g., image normalization, ROI delineation)
  • Comprehensive analysis (e.g., compartmental kinetic modeling) required for extraction of functional and molecular information from dynamic imaging datasets
  • RECIST measuring and analysis services for all industry sponsored clinical research (RECIST Form)
  • Centralized image analysis and RECIST measuring services for multi-centered industry sponsored clinical research

 

Institutional Quality Assurance Initiatives 

  • NCI’s Center for Quantitative Imaging Excellence (CQIE) is a federal initiative to ensure imaging data acquired on imaging instrumentation is of the highest quality. CQIE implementation within the UW Departments of Radiology and Medical Physics represents a comprehensive approach to quality assurance (QA), encompassing the entire imaging chain from imaging procedures through image analysis
  • Imaging modalities within the WIMR Imaging Facility have developed a QA program to receive the American College of Radiology (ACR) accreditation. In addition, yearly CQIE re-accreditations are performed according to the NCI requirements. Each modality has its own QA program including the frequency of QC procedures and training requirements of the staff
  • The IMAC has developed image analysis QA standards required for advanced imaging clinical trials
  • The IMAC is developing CQIE standards to reduce variation in the quality of imaging procedures performed between sites participating in multi-centered clinical trials
  • TIRWG is represented on the UW School of Medicine and Public Health’s Molecular Imaging Task Force which is working to develop policies for enhancing regulatory oversight for PET drug manufacturing and strategically evaluating current systems to ensure FDA regulatory compliance as the UW continues to expand innovative imaging research capabilities.
  • IMAC performs regular quality control of the software, detailed standard operating procedures and appropriate training and education of staff