Hybrid Spectral-IRDx: Near-IR and Ultrasound Attenuation System for Differentiating Breast Cancer From Adjacent Normal Tissue

IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2021 Dec;68(12):3554-3563. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2021.3077582. Epub 2021 Nov 19.


Objective: While performing surgical excision for breast cancer (lumpectomy), it is important to ensure a clear margin of normal tissue around the cancer to achieve complete resection. The current standard is histopathology; however, it is time-consuming and labour-intensive requiring skilled personnel.

Method: We describe a Hybrid Spectral-IRDx - a combination of the previously reported Spectral-IRDx tool with multimodal ultrasound and NIR spectroscopy techniques. We show how this portable, cost-effective, minimal-contact tool could provide rapid diagnosis of cancer using formalin-fixed (FF) and deparaffinized (DP) breast biopsy tissues.

Results: Using this new tool, measurements were performed on cancerous/fibroadenoma and its adjacent normal tissues from the same patients (N = 14). The acoustic attenuation coefficient (α) and reduced scattering coefficient (µ's) (at 850, 940, and 1060 nm) for the cancerous/fibroadenoma tissues were reported to be higher compared to adjacent normal tissues, a basis of delineation. Comparing FF cancerous and adjacent normal tissue, the difference in µ's at 850 nm and 940 nm were statistically significant (p = 3.17e-2 and 7.94e-3 respectively). The difference in α between the cancerous and adjacent normal tissues for DP and FF tissues were also statistically significant (p = 2.85e-2 and 7.94e-3 respectively). Combining multimodal parameters α and µ's (at 940 nm) show highest statistical significance (p = 6.72e-4) between FF cancerous/fibroadenoma and adjacent normal tissues.

Conclusion: We show that Hybrid Spectral-IRDx can accurately delineate between cancerous and adjacent normal breast biopsy tissue.

Significance: The results obtained establish the proof-of-principle and large-scale testing of this multimodal breast cancer diagnostic platform for core biopsy diagnosis.

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Breast / diagnostic imaging
  • Breast Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Breast Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mastectomy, Segmental
  • Spectroscopy, Near-Infrared