PhD/MD Projects

Ms Lindsay Fraser, PhD Student

Start Date: 23 September 2013

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PhD title: Exploring the journey of women who die from ovarian cancer.

Lindsay’s research interest is in ovarian cancer, with a focus on the patient’s perspective. While ovarian cancer is relatively uncommon, it has the highest mortality rate of gynaecological cancers in developed countries. UK mortality rates for ovarian cancer are higher than those seen in countries with comparable health care systems and this is not explained by stage at diagnosis. Earlier presentation and diagnosis of ovarian cancer is vital in improving survival rates.

After studying for a BSc in Psychology at UCL, Lindsay worked at King’s College London on health behaviour and genetic testing for cancer predisposition. She joined the Gynaecological Cancer Research Centre in September 2003 and coordinated the national implementation of UKFOCSS (UK Familial Ovarian Cancer Screening Study) until the completion of follow-up in 2013. She is a co-investigator with Prof Ian Jacobs on PROMISE 2016 (Predicting Risk of Ovarian Malignancies, Improved Screening and Early detection 2016).


Mr Will Stott, PhD Student

Start Date: March 2009

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PhD title: Development of Computer Aided Diagnosis Tools to Aid Ovarian Ultrasonography.

Will Stott created the Ultrasound Record Archive (URA) in 2007 which implements the image component of the UKCTOCS Biobank. It contains approximately 1.4 million images from the trial’s >350,000  transvaginal ultrasound examinations. Typically, each examination records images of the left and right ovary in transverse and longitudinal section as well as a section of the volunteer’s endometrium. The images are stored in a relational database as Binary Large Objects (BLOBs) in DICOM format. Software exists to allow the extraction of a dataset of image records according to given criteria. For example, images might be extracted from examinations of all volunteers between 65 and 70 years of age with normal range BMI and inclusion cysts detected. Such datasets can then be reviewed, classified and annotated using other. The URA project was developed as the Open Source Picture Archiving and Communication System (OSPACS) which is hosted by CodePlex and has had more than 5,000 downloads since its inception–see http://ospacs.codeplex.com/

Will Stott is now  completing a part time PhD with the aim of developing software tools to analyse the large collections of images in the URA. This work will automate the classification of the images and permit research in order to test associations between objects detected in the images and ovarian cancer.

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