To assuage concerns related to a single department carrying the cost of bringing up a new radiopharmaceutical that would then be “freely” available to other investigators, the PET Facility will support 20% ($3000) of the validation costs in order to reserve the right to provide the tracer for use by other researchers. ,
In addition, the PET facility will credit back to the PI’s home department 25% of each scan charge (scanner time + radiopharmaceutical production cost) completed in the first year following completion and approval of the radiopharmaceutical validation package up to a total credit of $6000 (40% of validation costs). The remainder of the validation costs ($6000) will be credited back to the PI’s home department upon meeting 60% of the proposed study enrollment.
The PET Facility is staffed and equipped with dedicated hardware and an array of software tools to provide comprehensive PET and MR data analysis support. Data analysis activities involve three PET Facility faculty (Lopresti, Minhas, Laymon) and 7 FTE staff members that include data analysts, informatics specialists, and a biostatistician. Investigators seeking to undertake PET imaging studies must identify and plan for data analysis requirements before the study is budgeted. Data analysis services the PET Facility provides includes:
- Intra- and intermodality image co-registration
- PET motion correction
- Quality control
- MR image segmentation, parcellation (FreeSurfer), and native-space atlas registration for region-of-interest definition
- MR volumetrics (cortical thickness, volumes)
- PET image sampling
- Image spatial normalization and voxel-based analyses (e.g.: SPM)
- Semiquantitative outcome measure determination (e.g.: SUV, SUVR, rCMRGlu)
- Kinetic analyses (compartmental modeling, graphical analyses, model-based simplified methods, bolus+infusion studies)
- Partial volume correction (PVC)
- Standardization of PET image datasets for visual interpretation
- Data tabulation, summarization, and database support for PET and MR outcomes
- Data management (image anonymization, transfer, archiving)
- Multi-site study support (site qualification, standardization)
- Statistical analyses
Support for data analysis activities is typically budgeted as personnel effort that is tailored to the demands of the study and in most cases scales linearly with the number of subjects studied. Small (< 25 subjects/year) single-site studies (U Pitt only) using a well-established radiotracer with a defined analysis workflow will typically involve a fraction of a single data analyst’s effort whereas a larger study or a multi-site study may require the effort of additional analysts as well as physics and instrumentation support, data management and informatics activities, and statistical support.
Although data analysis costs will vary with the demands and scope of the specific study being planned, frequently utilized radiotracers, including [C-11]PiB and [F-18]AV-1451, have simplified and standardized data analysis workflows with predictable manpower requirements that scale with the number of subjects studied. For these standardized radiotracers, investigators can expect direct costs associated with data analysis effort to be approximately $400 per subject, although this figure should not be used for budgeting purposes. Additional analysis services/support will incur additional costs. Novel radiotracers or novel applications of existing radiotracers may require considerable validation work before a standard analysis workflow can be identified, typically requiring more faculty effort.
Investigators are strongly encouraged to discuss experimental plans and data analysis needs in the planning stages of their study to identify the appropriate methodologies and personnel requirements. Please contact Brian Lopresti, Head of PET Methods and Data Analysis: firstname.lastname@example.org when you are ready to begin planning for your study.