A new medical imaging technology dubbed multispectral photoacoustic imaging has demonstrated that it can successfully identify healthy prostate tissue 96 percent of the time and cancerous tissue 81 percent of the time. If this trend holds, this technology will represent a more accurate and less invasive method of screening for aggressive vs. benign prostate cancers
The technology which was developed by Imaging Sciences Professor Vikram Dogra, M.D. in collaboration with engineers at RIT combines ultrasound and laser irradiation. Target tissue, in this case the prostate, is bombarded with short bursts from a laser. Elements in the blood such as fat, water, hemoglobin react differently to this stimulus which can then be read by ultrasound sensors. Certain indicators namely whether or not the hemoglobin in the blood is bound with oxygen can point to whether or not a tumor is benign or malignant.
Researchers plan to have a prototype ready to test in humans in the next couple of years and believe that the technology could ultimately be applied to thyroid, breast, skin, liver, and kidney cancer. You can read more about multispectral photoacoustic imaging here.