Friday, 21 April 2017

Terahertz Imaging of Three-Dimensional Dehydrated Breast Cancer Tumors

T. Bowman, Y. Wu, J. Gauch, L. K. Campbell, and M. El-Shenawee

Bowman, T., Wu, Y., Gauch, J. et al. J Infrared Milli Terahz Waves (2017) 38: 766. doi:10.1007/s10762-017-0377-y

Professor Magda El-Shenawee and graduate assistant, Tyler Bowman, use THz imaging technology to assess the margins of cancerous breast tumors.
This work presents the application of terahertz imaging to three-dimensional formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded human breast cancer tumors. The results demonstrate the capability of terahertz for in-depth scanning to produce cross section images without the need to slice the tumor. Samples of tumors excised from women diagnosed with infiltrating ductal carcinoma and lobular carcinoma are investigated using a pulsed terahertz time domain imaging system. A time of flight estimation is used to obtain vertical and horizontal cross section images of tumor tissues embedded in paraffin block. Strong agreement is shown comparing the terahertz images obtained by electronically scanning the tumor in-depth in comparison with histopathology images. The detection of cancer tissue inside the block is found to be accurate to depths over 1 mm. Image processing techniques are applied to provide improved contrast and automation of the obtained terahertz images. In particular, unsharp masking and edge detection methods are found to be most effective for three-dimensional block imaging.

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