Initial results of in vivo non-invasive cancer imaging in the human breast using near-infrared photoacoustics

Opt Express. 2007 Sep 17;15(19):12277-85. doi: 10.1364/oe.15.012277.


Near-infrared photoacoustic images of regions-of-interest in 4 of the 5 cases of patients with symptomatic breasts reveal higher intensity regions which we attribute to vascular distribution associated with cancer. Of the 2 cases presented here, one is especially significant where benign indicators dominate in conventional radiological images, while photoacoustic images reveal vascular features suggestive of malignancy, which is corroborated by histopathology. The results show that photoacoustic imaging may have potential in visualizing certain breast cancers based on intrinsic optical absorption contrast. A future role for the approach could be in supplementing conventional breast imaging to assist detection and/or diagnosis.