Handheld Probe Scans For Breast Cancer Without Compression or Radiation

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Anuradha Godavarty PhD
and
Dr. Sarah J Erickson-Bhatt PhD
Dept of Biomedical Engineering,
Florida International University
Miami, FL

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: It is well known that early detection and staging of breast cancer is crucial in order to save lives. While the current gold standard for breast cancer screening is x-ray mammography, this method still misses many cancers especially in younger women with denser tissue. Our group and others have explored diffuse optical tomography using near-infrared light to image breast tumors. We have developed a unique optical imager with a hand-held probe that can contour to breast curvature in order to image the tissue without painful compression and without ionizing radiation (like x-rays). This study demonstrated the ability of the device to detect lesions in breast cancer patients due to elevated levels of total hemoglobin concentration in tumor vasculature. The hand-held has a potential to not only image the breast contours, but the probe was flexible to image the surrounding chest wall regions, thus expanding its application to image lymphatic spread as well.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: Our system is portable and relatively inexpensive (compared to MRI, PET etc). This technology will enable clinicians to rapidly scan the breast tissue. A single scan is generated in about 2 seconds, so, depending on the size of the tissue, the entire breast can be imaged in about a minute. Repeated scans can be performed without the worry of radiation because the near-infrared light is harmless to tissue. Patients do not have to endure the discomfort of compression or use of liquids and gels.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Extensive clinical studies on existing breast cancer subjects are a necessary next step in order to assess the diagnostic performance (its sensitivity and specificity) and optimize the system and imaging procedure. This involves collaborations with clinicians interested in new technology research, as well as patients interested in participating in research studies, in order to facilitate implementation of this device in the clinical setting.

Citation:

Noninvasive surface imaging of breast cancer in humans using a hand-held optical imager

Sarah J Erickson-Bhatt1 , Manuela Roman1 , Jean Gonzalez1 , Annie Nunez1 , Richard Kiszonas2 , Cristina Lopez-Penalver3 and Anuradha Godavarty1 1 Dept. of Biomedical Engineering, Florida International University, 10555 West Flagler St. EC2610, Miami, FL Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

Anuradha Godavarty PhD, & and Dr. Sarah J Erickson-Bhatt PhD (2015). Handheld Probe Scans For Breast Cancer Without Compression or Radiation MedicalResearch.com

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