Researchers Use Innovative Imaging Technology for Cancer Diagnosis
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States, with approximately 140,000 new cases each year. Early diagnosis and surgical removal of benign neoplastic lesions is an effective method for reducing a patient’s cancer risk and preventing cancer-related death. The current standard for screening is conventional colonoscopy, which relies on visual inspection of the lining of the intestines.
The BTTC, in collaboration with Dr. Karim Alavi in the Division of Colorectal Surgery at UMass Medical School in Worcester, is evaluating the tissues’ intrinsic contrast, combining it with the center’s existing efforts on terahertz waveguide development.
“We have shown that polarized terahertz images can differentiate between healthy and cancerous tissues,” notes UMass Lowell physics Prof. Robert Giles, the center’s director. “Moreover, the contrast ratio in this modality appears to be preserved across different patients. Thus, this technique potentially offers surgeons a tool to aid in colon-cancer screening.