The New 'Open Imaging' Lung Cancer Research Site Goes Live

Give A Scan is the world's first people-powered, publicly available archive of images and clinical data on lung cancer patients and those at risk for the disease. All of the images and data have been donated by people who have been diagnosed and undergone treatment or screened in order to encourage more researchers to focus on lung cancer and to accelerate progress in the early detection, diagnosis and treatment of this leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide.

According to World Health Organization (WHO) figures, 1.6 million people were diagnosed worldwide with lung cancer in 2008, and 1.3 million died. In the U.S., lung cancer is taking as many lives each year as the combined total of the next four most lethal cancers - colon, breast, prostate and pancreatic cancers. The five year survival rate is still only 15%.

Research efforts to better understand, detect, and effectively treat lung cancer increasingly rely upon the acquisition and quantitative interpretation of radiological imaging studies such as Computed Tomography (CT) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET).

Although numerous medical imaging conferences and workshops have made the recommendation to create a large and freely available image database resource, none of the attempts so far have achieved a large and 'open imaging' database of the size needed to accelerate lung cancer research - including lung cancer screening, computer aided detection and diagnosis, and the development of quantitative methods for drug therapy assessment.

The launch of Give A Scan’s new website is supported by the Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA), Siemens, and Kitware. The site is powered by Midas, Kitware’s open-source data management system. The most current version of Midas, which has improved metadata capabilities, will help make images and data more accessible to researchers.

“Lung cancer needs both, and we are grateful that Siemens Healthcare will be helping us to take this program national and to Kitware, Inc., for their help in the development and maintenance of the program,” said Laurie Fenton Ambrose, President and CEO of LCA.