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New optical coherence tomography system targets cancer surgery research

Michelson Diagnostics : 19 June, 2007  (New Product)
Optical imaging products company, Michelson Diagnostics, is targeting cancer surgery research with its groundbreaking EX1301 OCT Microscope.
With cancer claiming more than one million lives annually in Europe (Ref 1) and surgical removal often essential for a cure, surgeons must be sure that they have cut a safe 'margin' around the tumour to ensure that no dysplastic tissue is left behind.

This is difficult, because removing too much may severely affect the patient's quality of life and removing too little means that cancerous tissue may be left behind.

Surgeons sometimes take samples of tissue in the tumour margin for laboratory analysis, but have to wait for the result before they can resume the operation.

This is very expensive and inefficient.

Now, a new technology offers a solution: by providing high resolution sub-surface images of tissue during the operation.

The surgeon will be able to scan the tumour margins and decide, in real time, where it is safe to cut.

The new technology is based on 'Optical Coherence Tomography' (OCT), and provides images of soft tissue at far higher resolution than is possible with Ultrasound or MRI scans.

At LASER 2007 (stand B1.121/5), Michelson Diagnostics is demonstrating the groundbreaking OCT scanner that is already being tested in two UK hospitals on excised human cancer tissue.

The research programmes will compare OCT scans taken with the Michelson Diagnostics equipment with histology from the same tissue samples, taken from a sizeable range of patients and types of cancer.

Michelson's applications director, Dr Gordon McKenzie, emphasised that the new EX1301 OCT Microscope product is aimed at cancer surgery research.

'Clinical researchers are keen to know what details of the tissue structure can be seen with OCT', McKenzie said, 'then a practical in-vivo clinical product can be developed'.

Ref 1 - Source: Cancer Research UK, cited data from: Quinn, M J, et al, (2003) 'Cancer mortality trends in the EU and acceding countries up to 2015', Ann Oncol, 14(7), pp 1148-1152.
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