A multi-wavelength, laser-based optical spectroscopy device for breast density and breast cancer risk pre-screening

J Biophotonics. 2017 Apr;10(4):565-576. doi: 10.1002/jbio.201600033. Epub 2016 Jun 7.


Optical Breast Spectroscopy (OBS) has been shown to predict mammographic breast density, a strong breast cancer risk factor. OBS is a low-cost technique applicable at any age. OBS information may be useful for personalizing breast cancer screening programs based on risk to improve consensus on and adherence to screening guidelines. To facilitate the use of OBS in population-wide studies, a research prototype OBS device was modified to make it portable and cheaper and to require less operator interaction. Two major changes were made: (1) the broadband light source was replaced with a laser module with 13 individual wavelengths turned on sequentially, enabling the use of photodiode detectors instead of a spectrometer, and (2) the light sources and detectors were placed in fixed positions within 4 sizes of cup, eliminating the need for placement by the operator. Wavelengths were selected using data from two previous studies. The reduction in spectral content did not significantly reduce the ability to distinguish between different risk groups. Positions for the light sources and detectors were chosen based on Monte Carlo simulations to match the optically interrogated volumes of the original device. Two light sources and six detectors per cup were used in the final design.

Keywords: NIR spectroscopy; breast cancer risk; breast density; device design; pre-screening.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Density*
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Early Detection of Cancer* / instrumentation
  • Equipment Design
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lasers
  • Mammography* / instrumentation
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological
  • Monte Carlo Method
  • Optical Imaging* / instrumentation
  • Risk Factors
  • Spectrum Analysis* / instrumentation
  • Young Adult