Photoacoustic imaging of breast tumor vascularization: a comparison with MRI and histopathology

M. Heijblom, D. Piras, F.M. van den Engh, Joost M. Klaase, M. Brinkhuis, Wiendelt Steenbergen, Srirang Manohar

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Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer and the leading cause of cancer death among females. Early diagnosis improves the survival chances for the disease and that is why there is an ongoing search for improved methods for visualizing breast cancer. One of the hallmarks of breast cancer is the increase in tumor vascularization that is associated with angiogenesis: a crucial factor for survival of malignancies. Photoacoustic imaging can visualize the malignancyassociated increased hemoglobin concentration with optical contrast and ultrasound resolution, without the use of ionizing radiation or contrast agents and is therefore theoretically an ideal method for breast imaging. Previous clinical studies using the Twente Photoacoustic Mammoscope (PAM), which works in forward mode using a single wavelength (1064 nm), showed that malignancies can indeed be identified in the photoacoustic imaging volume as high contrast areas. However, the specific appearance of the malignancies led to questions about the contrast mechanism in relation to tumor vascularization. In this study, the photoacoustic lesion appearance obtained with an updated version of PAM is compared with the lesion appearance on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), both in general (19 patients) and on an individual basis (7 patients). Further, in 3 patients an extended histopathology protocol is being performed in which malignancies are stained for vascularity using an endothelial antibody: CD31. The correspondence between PAM and MRI and between PAM and histopathology makes it likely that the high photoacoustic contrast at 1064 nm is indeed largely the consequence of the increased tumor vascularization. © (2013) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOpto-Acoustic Methods and Applications
EditorsVasilis Ntziachristos, Charles P. Lin
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2013
EventEuropean Conferences on Biomedical Optics, ECBO 2013 - Munich, Germany
Duration: 12 May 201316 May 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - the international society for optical engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceEuropean Conferences on Biomedical Optics, ECBO 2013
Abbreviated titleECBO


  • METIS-298282
  • IR-90010


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