Maria Francesca Spadea

Maria Francesca Spadea
Universita' degli Studi "Magna Græcia" di Catanzaro | Università Magna Græcia di Catanzaro · Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine "Gaetano Salvatore"

PhD - Professor

About

108
Publications
15,152
Reads
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1,410
Citations
Additional affiliations
October 2010 - August 2011
Massachusetts General Hospital
Position
  • Visiting Research Fellow
August 2007 - present
Universita' degli Studi "Magna Græcia" di Catanzaro
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
January 2003 - September 2007
Politecnico di Milano
Position
  • PhD

Publications

Publications (108)
Article
Full-text available
Coronary Angiography (CA) is the standard of reference to diagnose coronary artery disease. Yet, only a portion of the information it conveys is usually used. Quantitative Coronary Angiography (QCA) reliably contributes to improving the measurable assessment of CA. In this work, we developed a new software, CoroFinder, able to automatically identif...
Chapter
Microarray is a powerful technology that enables the monitoring of expression levels for thousands of genes simultaneously, providing scientists with a full overview about DNA and RNA investigation. The process is made of three main phases: interaction with biological samples, data extraction, and data analysis. In particular, the data extraction p...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: Adaptive proton therapy (APT) of lung cancer patients requires frequent volumetric imaging of diagnostic quality. Cone-beam CT (CBCT) can provide these daily images, but x-ray scattering limits CBCT-image quality and hampers dose calculation accuracy. The purpose of this study was to generate CBCT-based synthetic CTs using a deep convolut...
Article
Full-text available
Breast cancer is the most frequent cancer in women worldwide and late diagnosis often adversely affects the prognosis of the disease. Radiotherapy is commonly used to treat breast cancer, reducing the risk of recurrence after surgery. However, the eradication of radioresistant cancer cells, including cancer stem cells, remains the main challenge of...
Article
Full-text available
Recently, deep learning (DL)‐based methods for the generation of synthetic computed tomography (sCT) have received significant research attention as an alternative to classical ones. We present here a systematic review of these methods by grouping them into three categories, according to their clinical applications: I) to replace CT in magnetic res...
Article
Full-text available
The coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic is having a dramatic impact on society and healthcare systems. In this complex scenario, lung computerized tomography (CT) may play an important prognostic role. However, datasets released so far present limitations that hamper the development of tools for quantitative analysis. In this paper, we prese...
Preprint
Full-text available
Recently, deep learning (DL)-based methods for the generation of synthetic computed tomography (sCT) have received significant research attention as an alternative to classical ones. We present here a systematic review of these methods by grouping them into three categories, according to their clinical applications: I) to replace CT in magnetic res...
Article
Full-text available
Interaction between medical image platform and external environment is a desirable feature in several clinical, research, and educational scenarios. In this work, the integration between 3D Slicer package and Arduino board is introduced, enabling a simple and useful communication between the two software/hardware platforms. The open source extensio...
Article
Full-text available
CBCT- and MR-images allow a daily observation of patient anatomy but are not directly suited for accurate proton dose calculations. This can be overcome by creating synthetic CTs (sCT) using deep convolutional neural networks (DCNN). In this study, we compared sCTs based on CBCTs and MRs for head and neck cancer patients in terms of image quality a...
Article
With the advent of Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS), intra-operative imaging has become crucial for surgery and therapy guidance, allowing to partially compensate for the lack of information typical of MIS. This paper reviews the advancements in both classical (i.e. ultrasounds, X-ray, optical coherence tomography and magnetic resonance imaging) an...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The targeting accuracy of proton therapy (PT) for moving soft-tissue tumours is expected to greatly improve by real-time magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) guidance. The integration of MRI and PT at the treatment isocenter would offer the opportunity of combining the unparalleled soft-tissue contrast and real-time imaging capabilities of...
Article
Full-text available
In-room imaging is a prerequisite for adaptive proton therapy. The use of onboard cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) imaging, which is routinely acquired for patient position verification, can enable daily dose reconstructions and plan adaptation decisions. Image quality deficiencies though, hamper dose calculation accuracy and make corrections o...
Article
Full-text available
The intricate relationships between innate immunity and brain diseases raise increased interest across the wide spectrum of neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders. Barriers, such as the blood–brain barrier, and innate immunity cells such as microglia, astrocytes, macrophages, and mast cells are involved in triggering disease events in the...
Chapter
Radiation therapy is one of the most important strategies for treating patients with tumor. The rationale is to deliver high radiation doses to the tumor in order to damage its DNA while sparing, at the same time, healthy tissues. In order to optimize such a process, biomedical images play a fundamental role; in particular, Magnetic Resonance (MR)...
Article
Full-text available
External-beam radiotherapy followed by High Dose Rate (HDR) brachytherapy is the standard-of-care for treating gynecologic cancers. The enhanced soft-tissue contrast provided by Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) makes it a valuable imaging modality for diagnosing and treating these cancers. However, in contrast to Computed Tomography (CT) imaging, t...
Article
Purpose: The first aim of this work is to present a novel deep convolution neural network (DCNN) multiplane approach and compare it to single-plane prediction of synthetic computed tomography (sCT) by using the real computed tomography (CT) as ground truth. The second aim is to demonstrate the feasibility of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based...
Article
The data of literature are discordant about the role of mast cells in different types of neoplasms. In this paper the authors propose the hypothesis that tumor-associated mast cells may switch to different polarization states, conditioning the immunogenic capacities of the different neoplasms. Anti-inflammatory polarized mast cells should express c...
Article
Purpose In radiation therapy, a key step for a successful cancer treatment is image-based treatment planning. One objective of the planning phase is the fast and accurate segmentation of organs at risk and target structures from medical images. However, manual delineation of organs, which is still the gold standard in many clinical environments, is...
Article
Full-text available
Recent studies have clarified many still unknown aspects related to innate immunity and the blood-brain barrier relationship. They have also confirmed the close links between effector immune system cells, such as granulocytes, macrophages, microglia, natural killer cells and mast cells, and barrier functionality. The latter, in turn, is able to inf...
Chapter
The assessment of vascular complexity in the lower limbs provides important information about peripheral artery diseases, with a relevant impact on both therapeutic decisions and on prognostic estimation. Currently, the evaluation is carried out by visual inspection of cine-angiograms, which is largely operator-dependent. An automatic image analysi...
Article
Purpose: To investigate advanced multi-modal methods for pseudo-CT generation from standard MRI sequences and to validate the results by IMRT and VMAT radiation therapy plans. We present two novel methods which employ key techniques to enhance pseudo-CTs and we investigate the impact on image quality and applicability for IMRT and VMAT therapy pla...
Article
Full-text available
Background: In radiotherapy, MR imaging is only used because it has significantly better soft tissue contrast than CT, but it lacks electron density information needed for dose calculation. This work assesses the feasibility of using pseudo-CT (pCT) generated from T1w/T2w MR for proton treatment planning, where proton range comparisons are performe...
Preprint
Full-text available
Multi Atlas Based Segmentation (MABS) uses a database of atlas images, and an atlas selection process is used to choose an atlas subset for registration and voting. In the current state of the art, atlases are chosen according to a similarity criterion between the target subject and each atlas in the database. In this paper, we propose a new concep...
Article
Full-text available
Multi Atlas Based Segmentation (MABS) uses a database of atlas images, and an atlas selection process is used to choose an atlas subset for registration and voting. In the current state of the art, atlases are chosen according to a similarity criterion between the target subject and each atlas in the database. In this paper, we propose a new concep...
Article
The purpose of this work is to present and validate a novel approach for ultra-sound-based speckle tracking to measure the carotid artery longitudinal displacement, and to assess the apparent sliding between of Intima-Media Complex (IMC) and Adventitia (Ad) layers. This method utilizes feature detectors and descriptors to localize and track keypoin...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: Automated delineation of structures and organs is a key step in medical imaging. However, due to the large number and diversity of structures and the large variety of segmentation algorithms a consensus is lacking as to which automated segmentation method works best for certain applications. Segmentation challenges are a good approach for...
Article
Objectives: Atlas-based automatic segmentation (ABAS) addresses the challenges of accuracy and reliability in manual segmentation. We aim to evaluate the contribution of specific-purpose in ABAS of breast cancer (BC) patients with respect to generic-purpose libraries. Materials and methods: One generic-purpose and 9 specific-purpose libraries, s...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
During the last years Deep Learning and especially Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN) have set new standards for different computer vision tasks like image classification and semantic segmentation. In this paper, a CNN for 3D volume segmentation based on recently introduced deep learning components will be presented. In addition to using image pat...
Article
Purpose: Multiatlas based segmentation is largely used in many clinical and research applications. Due to its good performances, it has recently been included in some commercial platforms for radiotherapy planning and surgery guidance. Anyway, to date, a software with no restrictions about the anatomical district and image modality is still missing...
Article
Purpose:In this work we present the validation of Plastimatch MABS, an open source software for multi atlas based segmentation of medical images. Methods:The validation was performed on two different clinical datasets: 1) 25 CT image volumes of patients treated for H&N cancer; 2) 20 MRI series of patients having a neurological diagnosis. For the fi...
Article
To assess the dosimetric equivalence of MRI based proton planning vs. single energy x-ray CT. 8 glioblastoma patients were imaged with CT and MRI after surgical resection. T1-weighted 3DMPRAGE was used to delineate the GTV, which was subsequently rigidly registered to the CT volume. A pseudoCT was generated from the aligned MRI by combining segment...
Article
To improve the contouring of clinical target volume for the radiotherapy of neck Hodgkin/non-Hodgkin lymphoma by localizing the prechemotherapy gross target volume onto the simulation computed tomography using [(18)F]-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography. The gross target volume delineated on prechemotherapy [(18)F]-f...
Article
Purpose To obtain a contrasted image of the tumor region during the setup for proton therapy in lung patients, by using proton radiography and x-ray computed tomography (CT) prior knowledge. Methods and Materials Six lung cancer patients' CT scans were preprocessed by masking out the gross tumor volume (GTV), and digitally reconstructed radiograph...
Article
Full-text available
Accurate delineation of organs at risk (OARs) is a precondition for intensity modulated radiation therapy. However, manual delineation of OARs is time consuming and prone to high interobserver variability. Because of image artifacts and low image contrast between different structures, however, the number of available approaches for autosegmentation...
Conference Paper
Purpose/Objective: The aim of this work is to design and test different atlas selection strategies to optimize multi atlas based segmentation (MABS). The methodology was implemented and evaluated in the framework of head and neck radiotherapy to allow automatic contouring of OARs. Materials and Methods: MABS methods require the availability of...
Article
Purpose: The aim of the study was to evaluate the dosimetric impact of low-Z and high-Z metallic implants on IMRT plans. Methods: Computed tomography (CT) scans of three patients were analyzed to study effects due to the presence of Titanium (low-Z), Platinum and Gold (high-Z) inserts. To eliminate artifacts in CT images, a sinogram-based metal...
Article
Purpose: To characterize the modulation transfer function (MTF) of proton/carbon radiography using Monte Carlo simulations. To assess the spatial resolution of proton/carbon radiographic imaging. Methods: A phantom was specifically modeled with inserts composed of two materials with three different densities of bone and lung. The basic geometry...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this work was to evaluate the intrapatient tumor position reproducibility in a deep inspiration breath‐hold (DIBH) technique based on two infrared optical tracking systems, ExacTrac and ELITETM, in stereotactic treatment of lung and liver lesions. After a feasibility study, the technique was applied to 15 patients. Each patient, prov...
Article
The aim of this work is to provide insights into multiple metrics clinical validation of deformable image registration and contour propagation methods in 4D lung radiotherapy planning. The following indices were analyzed and compared: Volume Difference (VD), Dice Similarity Coefficient (DSC), Positive Predictive Value (PPV) and Surface Distances (S...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this study was to assess the ability of metal artifact reduction (MAR) algorithm in restoring the CT image quality while correcting the tissue density information for the accurate estimation of the absorbed dose. A phantom filled with titanium (low‐Z metal) and Cerrobend (high‐Z metal) inserts was used for this purpose. The MAR algorithm...
Article
The purpose of this work was to develop and validate an efficient and automatic strategy to generate online virtual computed tomography (CT) scans for adaptive radiation therapy (ART) in head-and-neck (HN) cancer treatment. We retrospectively analyzed 20 patients, treated with intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), for an HN malignancy. Diff...
Article
Purpose: To enhance the quality of proton/carbon radiography for real time tumor tracking using CT prior knowledge. Methods: A method for contrast enhancement was applied to particle radiographies (230 MeV proton, 330 MeV proton, 500MeV/n Carbon) virtually generated by means of Monte Carlo simulations. CT data volumes from 6 lung patients, with dif...
Article
The aim of this work was to develop and validate a 3D female breast deformation model for computer assisted breast surgery. Magnetic resonance (MR) image data of a patient undergoing breast biopsy, were acquired using two different protocols with the patient in prone position: (i) uncompressed breast and (ii) compressed breast, with lateral single...
Article
Purpose: To evaluate the dosimetric impact of low?Z and high?Z metallic implants on dose calculation for IMRT treatment.Methods: A phantom and three patients with various metallic implants were studied. Two of the patients had titanium (ρ=4.54 g/cm3) spinal hardware and dental fillings. The third patient received vascular embolization with platinum...
Article
Purpose: To investigate the trade‐off between spinal cord sparing and target coverage in spine patients treated with Proton Passive‐scattering Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy(SBRT) compared to PhotonSBRT plans with IMRT and 3D‐CRT. Methods: Ten patients with spinal and paraspinal lesions have treated with ProtonSBRT in our institution. Afterward, th...
Article
To compare infrared (IR) optical vs. stereoscopic X-ray technologies for patient setup in image-guided stereotactic radiotherapy. Retrospective data analysis of 233 fractions in 127 patients treated with hypofractionated stereotactic radiotherapy was performed. Patient setup at the linear accelerator was carried out by means of combined IR optical...