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Lucian Beer wins Lower Austria Science Prize

MedUni Vienna researcher receives award for medical imaging study
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(Vienna, 10 October 2019) Lucian Beer, junior doctor at MedUni Vienna's Department of Biomedical Imaging and Image-guided Therapy has been awarded the Lower Austria Science Prize for a study on computer tomography.

Lucian Beer impressed the jury with his study entitled "Objective and Subjective Comparison of Virtual Monoenergetic vs. Polychromatic Images in Patients with Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma". The work has now been published in the journal "European Radiology".

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly diseases and its prognosis largely depends upon early diagnosis and optimum treatment planning. In most cases, it is diagnosed based on a combination of clinical symptoms, a laboratory test and possibly a tissue biopsy. Imaging plays a key role for patients with suspected pancreatic cancer, especially so-called computer tomography (CT).  CT is routinely used in diagnosis and also for planning treatment. Due to continuous technical advances over the last few years, CT has become one of the most frequently used imaging techniques for the abdominal area.

The aim of the prize-winning work was to investigate whether an optimised CT technique, so-called "dual energy" CT could be used to improve differentiation of the pancreatic tumour. In contrast to previously used CT techniques, "dual energy" CT uses two different x-ray energies. The radiation emitted by the x-ray tubes that are operated at two different voltages is absorbed differently by the tissue. In this way it is possible to improve tissue contrast. The Department of Biomedical Imaging and Image-guided Therapy of the Medical University of Vienna routinely uses this modern CT technique for patients with suspected pancreatic cancer.
In the study, the study team were able to show that "dual-energy" CT can improve the ability to differentiate tumours. The study was conducted within the working group led by Paul Apfaltrer at the Department of Biomedical Imaging and Image-guided Therapy in collaboration with the Department of Surgery.

About Lucian Beer
Lucian Beer studied human medicine at the Medical University of Vienna from 2008 until 2014, also completing his PhD in "Vascular Biology" (MedUni Vienna programme n094) in 2015. The same year, he started his specialist training to become a radiology consultant at the Department of Biomedical Imaging and Image-guided Therapy of the Medical University of Vienna. Since 2018, he has been on a research placement at the University of Cambridge in the UK.

Lower Austria Science Prize
The state of Lower Austria has been giving recognition awards to researchers from various scientific disciplines since 1964. These are intended to underscore the importance of research in Lower Austria and to reward individuals who promote research and development in Lower Austria.

Service: European Radiology
Objective and subjective comparison of virtual monoenergetic vs. polychromatic images in patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma;
Lucian Beer, Michael Toepker, Ahmed Ba-Ssalamah, Christian Schestak, Anja Dutschke, Martin Schindl, Alexander Wressnegger, Helmut Ringl, Paul Apfaltrer
July 2019, Volume 29, Issue 7, pp 3617–3625; doi: 10.1007/s00330-019-06116-9.