Microendoscopy-Guided Diagnosis and Treatment of Early-Stage Ovarian Cancer
Despite intensive efforts, no clinical diagnostic exists for detecting early-stage ovarian cancer, the deadliest of all female gynecologic cancers. This is due, in part, to recent evidence that ovarian cancer originates within the fallopian tube rather than the ovary. This new insight illuminates the need for new diagnostic approaches. The ability to screen a large volume area at high resolution in the fallopian tube would be transformative for catching and treating premalignant lesions.
The team proposes to develop and apply a unique combination of photoacoustic imaging (PAI) and video multiphoton microscopy (MPM) encased within a miniaturized hybrid probe (~1 mm diameter); small enough to enter the 1-5 mm diameter lumen of the fallopian tube. The integrated PAI-MPM design is distinctively suited to provide cellular-resolution imaging at the epithelium of the lumen, alongside deep, high-resolution imaging of the underlying mucosa, serosa, and vasculature network. The fiber optics PAI-MPM probe will provide the necessary ability to scan the entire length (~10 cm) of the fallopian tube via vaginal entrance and passage through the uterine cavity in a non-surgical procedure akin to hysteroscopy.
This clinically-relevant diagnostic tool will ultimately facilitate laser micro-ablation surgery to support image-guided interventions. The project’s innovative approach enables, for the first time, synthesis of comprehensive, high-resolution volumetric renders of the fallopian tube to precisely locate neoplasms for immediate image guided ablation, biopsy collection, and follow-up monitoring.