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Published February 19, 2018 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Photoacoustic microscopy enables multilayered histological imaging of human breast cancer without staining


In 2016, an estimated ~250,000 new cases of invasive and non-invasive breast cancer were diagnosed in US women. About 60–75% of these cases were treated with breast conserving surgery (BCS) as the initial therapy. To reduce the local recurrence rate, the goal of BCS is to excise the tumor with a rim of normal surrounding tissue, so that no cancer cells remain at the cut margin, while preserving as much normal breast tissue as possible. Therefore, patients with remaining cancer cells at the cut margin commonly require a second surgical procedure to obtain clear margins. Different approaches have been used to decrease the positive margin rate to avoid re-excision. However, these techniques are variously ineffective in reducing the re-operative rate, difficult to master by surgeons, or time-consuming for large specimens. Thus, 20-60% of patients undergoing BCS still require second surgeries due to positive surgical margins. The ideal tool for margin assessment would provide the same information as histological analysis, without the need for processing specimens. To achieve this goal, we have developed and refined label-free photoacoustic microscopy (PAM) for breast specimens. Exploiting the intrinsic optical contrast of tissue, ultraviolet (UV) laser illumination can highlight cell nuclei, thus providing the same contrast as hematoxylin labeling used in conventional histology and measuring features related to the histological landscape without the need for labels. We demonstrate that our UV-PAM system can provide label-free, high-resolution, and histology-like imaging of fixed, unprocessed breast tissue.

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© 2018 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.

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