OCT scanner visualizes vascular networks in melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer

A team of collaborators from SUNY Downstate Medical Center, New Your Harbor Healthcare System, and Mount Sinai Hospital (all in New York, NY) has demonstrated that Michelson Diagnostics' (Maidstone, Kent, England) VivoSight optical coherence tomography (OCT) scanner can be used to image the blood vessel networks grown by skin cancer, and showed that skin lesions could be differentiated using their characteristic vascular patterns. This new technology may become a powerful tool in the dermatologist's toolkit for the diagnosis of skin cancer and other conditions.

A patient's skin cancer lesion is scanned with the VivoSight OCT scanner
A patient's skin cancer lesion is scanned with the VivoSight OCT scanner.

The researchers compared OCT images of vascular networks in two pairs of malignant/benign skin lesions, which can be difficult to differentiate in the clinic without a biopsy: basal cell carcinoma vs. sebaceous hyperplasia, and a melanoma in situ vs. pigmented actinic keratosis. In each case, the authors report clear differences in the vascular patterns imaged by VivoSight OCT, and they comment that "these observed patterns further elucidate the potential of this imaging device to become a powerful tool in patient disease assessment." Larger studies are required to confirm these exciting new findings.

Full details of the work appear in the journal Dermatology Online; for more information, please visit http://escholarship.org/uc/item/7w10290r.

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