New hybrid imaging device shows promise in spotting hard-to-detect ovarian cancer

September 13, 2011
Co-registered images of malignant ovarian tissue obtained with the hybrid imaging device. From top to bottom: OCT image , ultrasound image, superimposed photoacoustic and ultrasound image and corresponding histology . Yellow diamond arrow: malignant tissue. Credit: University of Connecticut/Biomedical Optics Express

By combining three previously unrelated imaging tools into one new device, a team of researchers from the University of Connecticut and the University of Southern California has proposed a new way to diagnose early-stage ovarian cancer in high-risk women through minimally invasive surgery. The new technique may be better than the current standard procedure of preemptively removing the ovaries.

Ovarian cancer has a low survival rate because a lack of reliable screening techniques usually means the disease remains hidden until the later stages. Now researchers have drawn on the unique advantages of multiple to test a new way of spotting early-on the tissue irregularities that signal cancer.

For their , the researchers combined the contrast provided by photoacoustic imaging, the high-resolution subsurface imaging provided by optical coherence tomography, and the deeper tissue imaging provided by pulse-echo ultrasound. They tested their device, described by the team in the September issue of the Optical Society's (OSA) open-access journal Express, by imaging both pig and human ovarian tissue, and correctly identified that were later confirmed by staining the tissue and examining it under a microscope. These initial tests were performed on tissue that had been surgically removed, but the diameter of the device – at only 5 mm – is small enough that it could potentially be inserted through a small slit to image tissue in live patients.

More information: "Integrated optical coherence tomography, ultrasound and photoacoustic imaging for ovarian tissue characterization," Yang et al., Biomedical Optics Express, Volume 2, Issue 9, pp. 2551-2561. www.opticsinfobase.org/boe/abstract.cfm?uri=boe-2-9-2551

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Researchers thwart cancer cells by triggering 'virus alert'

August 27, 2015

Working with human cancer cell lines and mice, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and elsewhere have found a way to trigger a type of immune system "virus alert" that may one day boost cancer patients' ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.