Duke University researchers just published an article in journal Gastroenterology reporting on the effectiveness of angle-resolved low coherence interferometry (a/LCI) in the detection of dysplasia when looking for cancer. The light based method uses “in vivo depth-resolved nuclear morphology measurement” to detect changes in the nature of tissue.
“Specifically, the nuclei of pre-cancerous cells are larger than typical cell nuclei, and the light scatters back from them in a characteristic manner,” Terry [Neil Terry, a Ph.D. student at Duke University] says. “When we compared the findings from our system with an actual review by pathologists, we found they correlated in 86 percent of the samples.”
Nicholas Shaheen, a gastroenterologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, conducted the preliminary clinical trial of the device on 46 patients with Barrett’s esophagus.
“Currently, we take many random tissue samples from areas we where we think abnormal cells may be located,” Shaheen says. “This new system may make our biopsies smarter and more targeted. Early detection is crucial, because the cure rate for esophageal cancer that is caught early is quite high, while the cure rate for advanced disease is dismal, with a 15 percent survival rate after five years.”
The cancer-detection technology is known as angle-resolved low coherence interferometry (a/LCI). The technique is able to separate the unique patterns of the nucleus from the other parts of the cell and provide representations of its changes in shape in real time.
“This optical approach of sampling allows us to cover more tissue sites in less time and has the potential to significantly improve our ability to spot and monitor these pre-cancerous cells,” says Adam Wax, lead developer and an associate professor of biomedical engineering at Duke. “This type of approach could be used to improve and perhaps one day supplant the physical biopsies currently being used.”
Link: Light scope detects early cancer…
Abstract in Gastroenterology: Detection of Dysplasia in Barrett’s Esophagus With In Vivo Depth-Resolved Nuclear Morphology Measurements
Flashbacks: Light-based Probe ‘Sees’ Early Cancers in First Tests on Human Tissue; Diagnosing Skin Cancers with Light, Not Scalpels; Light Scattering Technology for Early Cancer Detection