David Yankelevitz, M.D. | May 4, 2020
Dr. David Yankelevitz is a Professor of Radiology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
COVID-19, a disease which primarily affects the respiratory system, has caused a pandemic. While some people experience only mild symptoms (or no symptoms at all), for others, infection is devastating and leads to serious illness or death. When we look at other respiratory illnesses, like lung cancer, it’s clear that CT imaging is an integral tool for early diagnoses and treatment monitoring—but how can we use this tool to diagnose or treat COVID-19 and save lives?
Computerized assessments of CT scans—more accurate and less time consuming than radiologist evaluation—have become the gold standard for lung cancer, emphysema, COPD and more. Early experience using this type of advanced image processing for patients with COVID-19 seems promising. But to validate and implement the necessary software tools, we’ll need large databases of lung images for patients with documented cases of COVID-19.
That’s why we are so grateful to the Prevent Cancer Foundation® for providing $10,000 of support to the Early Lung Cancer Action Project (ELCAP) program at Mount Sinai. I’m leading the effort, along with Dr. Claudia Henschke, to develop a COVID-19 database of CT images.
Our goal is to create a common, openly accessible database with images from around the world that will allow software developers to test solutions for diagnosing and treating COVID-19. The database will be rapidly available so that we can immediately make a unique contribution to the global problem of COVID-19.
The Prevent Cancer Foundation has been a leading voice in advocating for the use of CT imaging for lung cancer. To all Foundation supporters, we thank you for your help in saving lives through cancer prevention and early detection—and for paving the way to help patients with COVID-19.