Research projects in the Boone lab include a variety of research topics in medical x-ray imaging including: development of prototype imaging systems, phantoms, image processing and image quality metrics, radiation dosimetry, computer and human observer performance assessment, and clinical trial evaluation of medical imaging systems. The main clinical focus of these projects as been to address the need for improved breast cancer detection and diagnosis, although projects extend to applications of both whole body and cone beam CT imaging for a variety of clinical tasks.
A major emphasis for two decades has been on the design, fabrication and testing of four generations of dedicated breast CT scanners for both breast cancer screening and diagnosis. Over 1000 breast CT patient scans have been acquired at UC Davis over the last 15 years. These image data sets have given rise to new developments in dosimetry, a better understanding of breast anatomy, and new interpretations of 2D versus 3D image properties. The four prototype scanners were named after coastal towns along the California coast (Albion, Bodega, Cambria, Doheny).
The lab is currently conducting phase II clinical trials with the fourth generation scanner (Doheny) to compare contrast enhanced breast MRI, contrast enhanced breast CT, mammography, and tomosynthesis for breast cancer screening.
Much of our work involves Monte Carlo modeling of x-ray photon transport and deposition, and we have used this tool to make contributions towards breast dosimetry in mammography, tomosynthesis, and breast CT.
The laboratory has also focused on whole body CT systems, with publications defining new metrics for CT dosimetry, CT image quality metrics, and more accurate patient dosimetry which takes into consideration patient size. We have been involved in CT dose reduction projects and CT dose tracking system development and analyses. Several active investigations are underway involving multiple x-ray source arrays for stationary breast tomosynthesis and multi-source cone beam CT systems.