Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Optical Probe Might Find Missed Breast Cancers

Date:
July 26, 2004
Source:
The Whitaker Foundation
Summary:
A light-sensitive probe is being developed to help doctors spot breast cancer in some of the 70,000 American women each year whose malignancies fail to show up in needle biopsies.

ARLINGTON, Va., July 23, 2004 -- A light-sensitive probe is being developed to help doctors spot breast cancer in some of the 70,000 American women each year whose malignancies fail to show up in needle biopsies.

Related Articles


The technology also holds the potential of minimizing the trauma associated with the procedure, in which a hollow needle the width of a pencil is used to collect small tissue samples for testing.

Doctors now rely on X-rays or ultrasound images to guide the needle to the area in question. They may take a dozen tissue samples to be sure they do not miss anything. Yet sometimes they do.

"If you're in the wrong spot and you don't get the cancer, then you're basically concluding that this woman doesn't have a disease that needs to be treated," said Nirmala Ramanujam, Ph.D., assistant professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Missed diagnoses occur in as many as 70,000 American women each year, she said. Another 60,000 women have repeat biopsies because the initial results are inconclusive.

Ramanujam, graduate students Carmalyn Lubawy and Changfang Zhu, and radiologist Elizabeth Burnside, M.D., have developed thin, fiber-optic probes that can be threaded through the hollow channel of a biopsy needle to its tip. The probe, together with X-ray or ultrasound images, could ensure that the biopsy needle accurately reaches its target. If successful, Ramanujam's optical probes could be used as an adjunct to standard biopsies.

The probe emits light at specific wavelengths and then collects the reflected light and fluorescence for analysis. The researchers look at how much light is absorbed by tissue and reemitted as fluorescence. They also measure how much light is scattered. Various components of tissue --- such as amino acids, proteins, enzymes and blood --- absorb and scatter light in specific ways. Tumors interact with light differently than normal tissue does.

Preliminary testing in 56 breast tissue samples from 37 women showed that the optical analysis correctly identified cancer with more than 90 percent accuracy. Further testing will begin in August on 250 patients. The research group has fine-tuned the optical probe in preparation for the new study and has won $1.2 million in support for the ongoing research from the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.

The probes can be trimmed thin enough to fit through a needle smaller than the current 1/4-inch biopsy device. This would make the entire procedure less invasive. Ramanujam has also simplified the analysis by carefully reducing the number of light wavelengths needed to make a diagnosis.

"Minimizing the number of wavelengths analyzed is advantageous clinically because it lends speed to the process and should require a less complex, more economical instrument," Ramanujam's group reported in a recent issue of the journal Annals of Surgical Oncology.

Ramanujam received a Whitaker Foundation Biomedical Engineering Research Grant in 2001 for research in this area.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Whitaker Foundation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Whitaker Foundation. "Optical Probe Might Find Missed Breast Cancers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 July 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040726084546.htm>.
The Whitaker Foundation. (2004, July 26). Optical Probe Might Find Missed Breast Cancers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040726084546.htm
The Whitaker Foundation. "Optical Probe Might Find Missed Breast Cancers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040726084546.htm (accessed March 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Inspectors Found Faulty Work Before NYC Blast

Inspectors Found Faulty Work Before NYC Blast

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) An hour before an apparent gas explosion sent flames soaring and debris flying at a Manhattan apartment building, injuring 19 people, utility company inspectors decided the work being done there was faulty. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Facebook Building Plane-Sized Drones For Global Internet

Facebook Building Plane-Sized Drones For Global Internet

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) Facebook on Thursday revealed more details about its Internet-connected drone project. The drone is bigger than a 737, but lighter than a car. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Returns from International Space Station and Sets Two Guinness World Records

Robot Returns from International Space Station and Sets Two Guinness World Records

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 27, 2015) The companion robot "Kirobo" returns to earth from the International Space Station and sets two Guinness World Records. Sharon Reich reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Residents Witness Building Explosion, Collapse

Residents Witness Building Explosion, Collapse

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) Witnesses recount the sites and sounds of a massive explosion and subsequent building collapse in the heart of Manhattan&apos;s trendy East Village on Thursday. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins