Multimodal Optical Probe for Skin Cancer Detection and Therapy Guidance

Under a research program from National Institutes of Health, Physical Sciences Inc (PSI) is developing a novel optical imaging technology based on combined Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) and Confocal Microscopy (CM) for non-invasive real-time diagnosis of non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSCs), tumor subtyping and margin mapping that will assist physician-patient decision in treatment planning (biopsy vs. no biopsy, surgery vs. non-surgical), as well as on performing the therapy.

The increasing prevalence of skin cancer, the high costs of surgery and subsequent reconstruction, and the physical and psychological trauma that patient endures with surgical intervention has led to increasing adoption and implementation of alternative non-surgical treatments that can be highly effective and less invasive. Laser ablation and radiotherapy have been proven to be effective therapies for common skin cancers and have the additional benefits that are easily tolerable and result in reduced scarring or disfigurement. Therefore, their clinical use has substantially increased within the recent years to treat skin cancers. However, the primary challenge in delivering effective laser fluence or radiotherapy dose is accurate delineation of the cancer target, both in depth and laterally. The unique capability of OCT/CM to visualize tissue morphology with micron-scale resolution can be used in real-time in the clinics to aid therapy target delineation and enable more precise delivery of therapy without need to “estimate” the subclinical extent of spread, thereby minimizing side effects. In addition, OCT/CM can be used to confirm eradication of skin cancer, which is currently limited to visual inspection, a highly insensitive and subjective method.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Nick Iftimia
Area Manager, Biomedical Optics Technology


Physical Sciences Inc.
Telephone: (978) 689-0003