9.1.7 IMAGING CORE SHARED SERVICE The Cancer Center and affiliated programs house equipment and expertise in the development and application of a variety of in vivo imaging modilities including PET/SPECT, MR and optical approaches to in vivo imaging. The mission of the Imaging Core service is to provide Cancer Center members easy access to these state-of-the art in vivo imaging capabilities. Within this context, the Imaging Core provides three specific services to the Cancer Center members. An Institutional Imaging Advisory Committee provides a mechanism through which investigators may initiate projects, have them critically reviewed and facilitate access to appropriate image acquisition modalities. Optical imaging capabilities in confocal imaging, bioluminescence analysis of gene expression, and confocal endoscopy and spectroscopy are provided. The Core also provides access to technical expertise for operating and analyzing data acquired for pre-clinical MRI, PET/SPECT, and OCT, as well as. Clinical MRI approaches. A second area of focus, the Core is responsible for developing standardized platforms for image analysis housed in a centralized facility where experts in image processing and development of custom analysis algorithms are consolidated. The image processing facility, housed in the MRB, provides access to high end graphics computing capabilities, and experts who can provide both basic training and advice in image analysis approaches, as well as expertise to develop and customize specific image processing techniques. Thirdly, the Imaging Response Assessment Team (IRAT) has been incorporated into the ICSS for this renewal. The goal of this program is to increase the use of functional and molecular imaging endpoints as biomarkers in clinical drug trials. As such, all protocols initiated by AZCC investigators are vetted by the IRAT committee, who provide documented suggestions for inclusion of imaging endpoints. Consequently, the IRAT at AZCC will strictly conform to the ideals and concepts of the IRAT program and is committed to participating in the national consortium of IRATs focused on the use of quantitative imaging in clinical trials.
The ICSS provides four specific services: (1) consultation on the development and application of imaging to projects within the AZCC;(2) access to, maintenance of, and expertise to operate specific image acquisition instruments;(3) access to sophisticated image analysis facilities and to expertise in image analysis and quantification, software development and operation, and (4) access to the IRAT.
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