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Oliver Cervantes

Biology, '16


Software with built-in neuroanatomy atlas provides insight into cancer treatment

Mentor: Rajiv Gupta, MD (MGH)

There is risk in directly treating tumors of the central nervous system through surgery. To guarantee total removal may require marginal invasion into surrounding tissue, resulting in possible neurological deficits, and subtotal surgery may result in a recurrent mass. The software system Anatom-e (Anatom-e Information Systems, Houston, TX) utilizes a database of nervous system tracts and structures to identify the regions surrounding the tumor, accesses their functions, and provides a list of potential signs as a result of surgery allowing for informed medical decisions and educated patient choices. The software uses a platform known as a deformable anatomic template (DAT), which is the nervous system and its structures overlaid onto an existing scan of normal status. Patient data is uploaded ranging from CT to MR body and brain scans, and aligned with this existing image set. The DAT then morphs to match the patient data, resulting in a neurological map of pathways and tracts that fit uniquely to the patient. Built-in software tools can be used to gather information on regions of interest, or analyze the proximity of structures to a particular site. The implications of Anatom-e range from pre-surgical planning and radiation therapy to intra-operative navigation. This project aims to utilize retrospective analysis to match real cases, surgeries and their outcomes to the predictions, insights, and information provided by Anatom-e, and the results from this study can aid in software development and direction.

A section of the user interface (UI) displayed on the Anatom-e software. This shows the template of the brain viewed from the three different planes of the body, and a three-dimensional view in the top right panel. Tools include a region of interest analysis tool (green), which provides structures and tracts that intersect the region, and the one-click database tool (red), which provides the name, function, and relevant information on various parts of the brain, all in order to supplement the decision-making process of doctors and patients alike. Source: