The device combines two optical techniques to compensate for the shortcomings of each other.
Prostate cancer is typically diagnosed through PSA determination followed by ultrasound-guided biopsies, but that method has some disadvantages, including the fact that it often requires multiple biopsies.
As a contributor to our sister site EE Times writes, "Development of a method designed to localize the tumor, or a suspect zone, within the prostatic tissue during the biopsy would have numerous benefits."
A consortim working as part of an ANR TECSAN project and on the initiative of the Bordeaux University Hospital Center, developed a bimodal probe allowing an optical measurement to be added to the traditional ultrasound diagnosis.
This probe was designed to perform two types of optical measurement:
•Fluorescence measurement, after injection of a fluorescent tracer specific to tumor cells. This modality ensures localization of these cells with a very high specificity. Its drawback is that it depends on the authorization to market the markers.
•Light absorption measurement, where the optical probe measures the optical properties of the prostate that tumor presence can cause to vary (detection of hyper-vascularization zones and measurement of the oxygen saturation). Its main drawback is its lack of specificity, as factors other than cancer are able to modify vascularization and oxygen saturation."