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Tools for Clinical Trials Professionals
The same technology that entertains kids can be used as a topographic aid for medical researchers
Xenogen Corp. (Alameda, CA) is using computer-generated imagery to help find tumors, not just a fish named Nemo.
Its Living Image Software 3D Analysis Package, which works with Xenogen's IVIS Imaging system, uses a noninvasive technique to image tumors and other biological processes in living bodies in real time. Clinical applications include being able to measure how a tumor reacts to a drug by seeing how it changes size and shape over multiple readings.
There are three steps in the imaging process. First, the person (or animal—it works on any living body) ingests a bioluminescent reporter, which will "tag" a specific process to be studied.
Next, the body is scanned with a laser. The software creates a topographic model of the body. A series of pictures is taken at different light wavelengths, from 560 to 660 nanometers, to capture the "glow" of the tagged tumor.
Using the different pictures combined with the 3D model, Living Image creates a three-dimensional map of the bioluminescent reporter. It's a bit more complicated than an X-ray, but it will allow tissue to become as easily readable as an X-ray film of a fractured bone.
Xenogen, (877) 936-6436,
LifeTree's virtual filing cabinet offers a trusted third party for companies that have a lot of electronic data
LifeTree's (Temecula, CA) ICTM electronic data capture and analysis platform generates a lot of data. Its eClinical suite offers many more tools for collecting and using that data most efficiently, with metrics and trial management options.
But all that data isn't going to have a safe home on your desktop in an "important stuff" folder. That's where the company's LifeTreeHub comes into play. It's a standalone customizable portal for collecting and storing all the clinical trial documents a multisite, multileg, multidimensional study can generate, from protocols and regulatory documents, to medical licenses and enough CRFs to wow the FDA. And it can all be digitally signed, for added security.
LifeTreeHub holds more than just CRFs, though. All the Web-based messaging between site and sponsor and clinician can be saved as well, which tells the story of how the data was collected. And LifeTreeHub serves as a virtual meeting site, too.
LifeTree is part of the FFF Enterprises (Temecula, CA) family of companies, providing supplies and services to the health care and life science industries.
LifeTree, (800) 211-2799 ext. 1356,
Now you don't have to be an expert in order to read or create sophis-ticated data graphs and charts
Spotfire (Somerville, MA) has steadily added features to its DecisionSite visual analytics application. The newest addition to the application allows for importation of data from SAS, Insightful S-PLUS, or R Open Source into DecisionSite 8.1.
The new framework also enables users to integrate with other life science programs, from SciTegia, InforSense, MatLab, and even the ubiquitous Excel. A Computational Services function lets users choose to implement DecisionSite's statistical program, or stick with their own in-house method.
DecisionSite 8.1 was introduced in March, featuring improved data access, better Windows integration, more functions for its Poster feature, and beefed-up security measures.
All of this leads to a more intuitive way of recasting your information into graphs, displays, and charts. Trends and values that would be buried in a sea of numbers now leap off the screen. Plus, Spotfire's Guided Analytics program makes it possible for nonstatisticians to run algorithms and analyze data without a stats person holding their hand.
Spotfire, (617) 702-1600,