Fluorescence microscopy software could yield faster breast cancer diagnosis

Bioengineers at Rice University (Houston, TX) have developed new fluorescence microscopy software that could speed diagnosis of breast cancer with 90-percent accuracy and at the point of care. Those involved in the work say the software could improve breast cancer management, particularly in developing countries where pathologists are not routinely available.

Related: New microendoscope doubles sensitivity of esophageal cancer screenings

Lead researcher Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Rice University's Malcolm Gillis University Professor and professor of bioengineering and electrical and computer engineering, says that she and her team have developed a faster means to classify benign and malignant human breast tissues using fresh samples, thereby removing the need for time-consuming tissue preparation.

Rebecca Richards-Kortum, whose lab has developed fluorescence microscopy software that could speed diagnosis of breast cancer at the point of care
Rebecca Richards-Kortum, whose lab has developed fluorescence microscopy software that could speed diagnosis of breast cancer at the point of care. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)

When examined under a microscope, cancerous and precancerous cells typically appear different from healthy cells. The study of cellular structures is known as histology, and a histological analysis is typically required for an accurate diagnosis of both the type and stage of a cancerous tumor.

The software developed in Richards-Kortum’s lab allows for an automated histological assessment of breast cancer from tissue samples without the need for complex tissue-sample preparation or assessment by a pathologist. The software uses images from a confocal fluorescence microscope to analyze freshly cut human breast tissue samples for certain histological parameters that are typically used in breast cancer diagnosis. The software uses the parameter data to classify the tissue in each image and make a determination whether the imaged tissue is benign or malignant.

Although the software could have substantial clinical relevance, Richards-Kortum says more research and refinement of the classification procedures are needed before the software can be used in a clinical setting.

Full details of the work appear in the journal Breast Cancer Research; for more information, please visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13058-015-0617-9.

Follow us on Twitter, 'like' us on Facebook, connect with us on Google+, and join our group on LinkedIn

Get All the BioOptics World News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to BioOptics World Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now
Related Articles

New bioimaging technique offers clear view of nervous system

Scientists at Ludwig-Maximilians University have developed a technique for turning the body of a deceased rodent entirely transparent, revealing the central nervous system in unprecedented clarity....

Fluorescent jellyfish proteins light up unconventional laser

Safer lasers to map your cells could soon be in the offing -- all thanks to the humble jellyfish. Conventional lasers, like the pointer you might use to entertain your cat, produce light by emittin...

Microscope detects one million-plus biomarkers for sepsis in 30 minutes

A microscope has the potential to simultaneously detect more than one million biomarkers for sepsis at the point of care.

Eye test that pairs two in vivo imaging methods may detect Parkinson's earlier

A low-cost, noninvasive eye test pairs two in vivo imaging methods to help detect Parkinson's before clinical symptoms appear.


Neuro15 exhibitors meet exacting demands: Part 2

Increasingly, neuroscientists are working with researchers in disciplines such as chemistry and p...

Why be free?

A successful career contributed to keeping OpticalRayTracer—an optical design software program—fr...

LASER Munich 2015 is bio-bent

LASER World of Photonics 2015 included the European Conferences on Biomedical Optics among its si...

White Papers

Understanding Optical Filters

Optical filters can be used to attenuate or enhance an image, transmit or reflect specific wavele...

How can I find the right digital camera for my microscopy application?

Nowadays, image processing is found in a wide range of optical microscopy applications. Examples ...



Twitter- BioOptics World