3rd EFOMP-EUTEMPE didactic Webinar and Masterclass

Publication Date: Nov 26th, 2020 23:52, Category: EFOMP Announcements

The 3rd EFOMP-EUTEMPE webinar will take place on Tuesday 8th, December 2020 12:00 CET and masterclass on Tuesday 22nd, December 2020 12:00 CET.

The philosophy of QC protocols

by Ruben van Engen

Digging deeper: The why behind a quality control protocol and how to adapt to varying realities
by Ruben van Engen and Ioannis Sechopoulos, Netherlands

Link! Register now!

In a patient population undergoing mammography breast size and composition vary considerably, therefore the automatic exposure control (AEC) tunes the exposure to the individual breast which is imaged. To check the correct workings of the AEC and to ensure sufficient image quality at acceptable dose levels, QC tests are performed. In these QC tests phantoms are used to simulate breasts with specific thickness and composition. It is however not doable to perform measurements for all conditions possible. This means that measurements are performed using a small sample of simulated breasts. It is clear that this sample has to be chosen cleverly, so that the correct workings of the mammography system can be assumed for the whole spectrum of different breasts if the sample fulfils all requirements. For a QC protocol this means that a philosophy, an idea behind the sets of measurements is required and that the individual measuring points of a specific test should be chosen carefully. A good QC protocol is more than just a collection of QC tests and measurements. In this webinar we will discuss the philosophy behind QC protocols and tests, the challenges of developing clinically relevant tests, the need for pass/fail criteria, and the role of big data analysis of
clinical images in quality assurance.

During the masterclass, the philosophy and rationale behind individual quality control tests in mammography will be explained and the origin of their limiting values will be discussed. In some cases, it is possible that specific QC tests cannot be performed as described on some mammography systems due to the special design of the system or the workings of its automatic exposure control. In these cases, testing needs to be adapted, for which understanding of the philosophy behind the proposed QC methods and limiting values is essential. How to adapt QC tests, in line with the philosophy behind the protocol, will be explained, and how to completely setup new QC tests for new features or system designs which were not foreseen in the protocol will be discussed.  In some situations, limitation in resources (either human, time, or financial) may not allow for the performance of all measurements called for in QC protocols. How to adapt to these situations will be discussed, including an overview of which measurements are most crucial to guarantee the correct workings of the mammography unit and should be given priority.

Ruben van Engen is currently working as physics consultant at LRCB, the Dutch Expert Centre for Screening. He coordinated the work on the physics chapters of the European Guidelines in mammography, its Supplement, and in EUREF. He is chair of the EFOMP WG to develop a QC protocol for DBT systems, member of the Guidelines Development Group of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, and member of several AAPM task groups. For the Dutch breast
cancer screening and tuberculosis screening he is responsible for updating the technical quality control protocols, system optimization and type testing (technical + clinical part). He has extensive experience in measurements on all major brands of mammography and DBT systems. His research interests are in the development of model observers in image quality evaluations, the development of QC tests, the use of AI in QC procedures and is involved in the development of the new universal breast dosimetry model (AAPM/EFOMP TG 282) with accompanying phantoms (AAPM/EFOMP TG323). He teaches mammography physics to radiographers, radiologists and physicists and is a leader of the EUTEMPE course on mammography physics.

Ioannis Sechopoulos is an Associate Professor at the Department of Medical Imaging of the Radboud University Medical Center, where he heads the Advanced X-ray Tomographic Imaging (AXTI) laboratory, and is a scientific advisor of the Dutch Expert Center for Screening (LRCB). He obtained his Ph.D. from the Georgia Institute of Technology, in Atlanta, USA, performing research in the area of digital breast tomosynthesis at Emory University, where he then became
faculty member before moving to the Netherlands. His main area of research is the development of advanced x-ray-based imaging techniques, especially for breast cancer detection, diagnosis and therapy response monitoring. Dr. Sechopoulos has performed extensive work in radiation dosimetry, image acquisition optimization and image reconstruction, processing and analysis algorithm development for various x-ray imaging modalities. He also performs patient trials to assess the clinical
performance of these and other novel imaging technologies. He also performs clinical trials to assess the clinical performance of these and other novel breast cancer imaging technologies. Dr. Sechopoulos also focuses on the evaluation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms for automated breast image interpretation, and the optimization of their implementation in breast cancer screening programs. Dr. Sechopoulos is a member or chair of different tasks groups and committees of various scientific societies, an editorial board member of the international journals Medical Physics and Radiology, and associate editor of Physica Medica: European Journal of Medical Physics, and has presented at various conferences and courses around the world.

EFOMP webinar series are permanently accessible via EFOMP's elearning platform