Cancer Imaging

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the developed world. Currently, most forms of cancer are recognized when a tumor mass develops and becomes palpable by feel. However, recent advances in imaging and screening methods have led to the earlier detection of cancer which may lead to more effective therapy significantly reducing the morbidity and mortality rates attributed to cancer. Optical Coherence Tomography is capable of providing morphological information about the tissue on a micron scale resolution.

OCT image of a muscle tumor. Notice the difference in structure between the normal tissue on the left of the image and the irregular tissue on the right of the image.

OCT image and corresponding histology of invasive ductal carcinoma of the human breast.


OCT images and corresponding histology of late (left) and early (right) mammary tumor development.

Co-registered multicontrast image of an unperturbed mammary tumor from a carcinogen-injected rat. The image (1140 x 1140 pixels with 0.5 µm pixel size) was collected by label-free nonlinear microscopy  with multiple pseudo-color contrasts: red- X(3)CARS @3050 cm-1; yellow- AF(2); green- X(2)SHG; cyan- AF(3); magenta- X(3)THG. Various structures in the tumor
microenvironment can be recognized by seeking correspondence in literature and unmixing/mixing of the pseudo-color contrasts arbitrarily.

Boppart SA, Luo W, Marks DL, Singletary KW. Optical coherence tomography: feasibility for basic research and image-guided surgery of breast cancer. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 84:85-97 2004. PubMed

Tu H, Liu Y, Marjanovic M, Chaney EJ, You S, Zhao Y, Boppart SA. Concurrence of extracellular vesicle enrichment and metabolic switch visualized label-free in the tumor microenvironment. Science Advances, 3(1): e1600675, 2017.