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Improving brain tumor treatment decisions through a digital approach

PICTURE is an interactive tool that helps neurosurgeons make better treatment decisions for patients with a brain tumor by visualizing the big data from MRI scans.

Neurosurgeon challenges consist in minimizing surgery time and determining where surgical removal of tumor-infiltrated brain tissue stops. Optimal treatment is never the same and difficult to predict. Universal standards for these decisions are lacking, resulting in wide variations between treatment teams.

In the PICTURE consortium (, 7,630 MR imaging brain scan sessions were collected, structured, annotated and anonymized, together with the clinical data and follow-up of 1,428 consecutive patients with glioblastoma from 12 brain tumor centers of expertise (Netherlands, France, Italy, Austria and the United States).

By visualizing patterns of the big data from MRI scans and having them adjusted using filters, the patient can be compared to a patient group with a similar clinical picture. The tool supports neurosurgeons in making better treatment decisions because, through the filtered data, the results are better focused on the patient.

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