James L. Mulshine, MD
As reported by James L. Mulshine, MD, and colleagues in JCO Clinical Cancer Informatics, the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) is developing the Early Lung Imaging Confederation (ELIC) “to serve as an open-source, international, universally accessible environment to analyze large collections of quality-controlled low-dose computed tomography (CT) images and associated biomedical data for research and routine screening care.”
The initiative is designed to improve outcomes in lung cancer via development and use of a global, open-source, cloud-based thoracic low-dose CT archive to improve detection of disease at an early stage.
Key Features of ELIC
Access to the environment will permit efficient analysis of large numbers of high-quality CT images with associated deidentified clinical information without requiring movement of primary imaging/clinical or imaging data from its local origin site. Instead, ELIC uses a cloud-based infrastructure to distribute analysis tools to the local site of the stored imaging and clinical data; this allows for research and quality studies to be performed in a vendor-neutral, collaborative environment.
ELIC’s “hub-and-spoke” architecture will allow analysis of CT images and associated data in a secure environment with no requirement to reveal the data itself, ensuring privacy protection. Since identifiable data remain under local control, the environment will comply with national regulations and protect against privacy or data disclosure risk.
“This initiative can rapidly accelerate improvements to the multidisciplinary management of early, curable lung cancer and other major thoracic diseases visualized on a screening [low-dose] CT scan. The addition of a facile, quantitative CT scanner image quality conformance process is a unique step toward improving the reliability of clinical decision support with CT screening worldwide.”— James L. Mulshine, MD, and colleagues
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Thus far, three pilot testing runs of the program have been performed, with quantitative lung volume analyses being completed on 1,000 globally distributed CT lung cancer screening data sets in < 25 minutes at 10 different ELIC hosting sites on four continents.
As stated by the authors, “The goal of pilot experiments is to connect image collections of [low-dose] CT scans that can be accurately analyzed in a fashion to support a global network using methodologies that can be readily scaled to accrued databases of sufficient size to develop and validate robust quantitative imaging tools.”
The authors concluded. “This initiative can rapidly accelerate improvements to the multidisciplinary management of early, curable lung cancer and other major thoracic diseases (eg, coronary artery disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) visualized on a screening [low-dose] CT scan. The addition of a facile, quantitative CT scanner image quality conformance process is a unique step toward improving the reliability of clinical decision support with CT screening worldwide.”
Dr. Mulshine, of Rush University Medical Center, is the corresponding author for the JCO Clinical Cancer Informatics article.
Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit ascopubs.org.The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) and does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of ASCO®.