The efficacy of ablative surgery for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) depends critically on obtaining negative margins. While intraoperative "frozen section" analysis of margins is a valuable adjunct, it is expensive, time-consuming, and highly dependent on pathologist expertise. Optical imaging has potential to improve the accuracy of margins by identifying cancerous tissue in real time. Our aim was to determine the accuracy and inter-rater reliability of head and neck cancer specialists using high-resolution microendoscopic (HRME) images to discriminate between cancerous and benign mucosa.
Thirty-eight patients diagnosed with HNSCC were enrolled in this single-center study. HRME was used to image each specimen after application of proflavine, with concurrent standard histopathologic analysis. Images were evaluated for quality control, and a training set containing representative images of benign and neoplastic tissue was assembled. After viewing training images, seven head and neck cancer specialists with no prior HRME experience reviewed 37 test images and were asked to classify each.
The mean accuracy of all reviewers in correctly diagnosing neoplastic mucosa was 97 percent (95% Cl = 94–99%). The mean sensitivity and specificity were 98 percent (97–100%) and 92 percent (87–98%), respectively. The Fleiss kappa statistic for inter-rater reliability was 0.84 (0.77–0.91).
Medical professionals can be quickly trained to use HRME to discriminate between benign and neoplastic mucosa in the head and neck. With further development, the HRME shows promise as a method of real-time margin determination at the point of care.
Despite the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of HIV, only a small fraction of HIV-exposed infants in low- and middle-income countries are tested for the disease. The gold standard for early infant diagnosis, DNA PCR, requires resources that are unavailable in poor settings, and no point-of-care HIV DNA test is currently available. We have developed a device constructed of layers of paper, glass fiber, and plastic that is capable of performing isothermal, enzymatic amplification of HIV DNA. The device is inexpensive, small, light-weight, and easy to assemble. The device stores lyophilized enzymes, facilitates mixing of reaction components, and supports recombinase polymerase amplification in five steps of operation. Using commercially available lateral flow strips as a detection method, we demonstrate the ability of our device to amplify 10 copies of HIV DNA to detectable levels in 15 minutes. Our results suggest that our device, which is designed to be used after DNA extraction from dried-blood spots, may serve in conjunction with lateral flow strips as part of a point-of-care HIV DNA test to be used in low resource settings.
The need for palliative care in sub-Saharan Africa is staggering: this region shoulders over 67% of the global burden of HIV/AIDS and cancer. However, provisions for these essential services remain limited and poorly integrated with national health systems in most nations. Moreover, the evidence base for palliative care in the region remains scarce. This study chronicles the development and evaluation of DataPall, an open-source electronic medical records system that can be used to track patients, manage data, and generate reports for palliative care providers in these settings.
DataPall was developed using design criteria encompassing both functional and technical objectives articulated by hospital leaders and palliative care staff at a leading palliative care center in Malawi. The database can be used with computers that run Windows XP SP 2 or newer, and does not require an internet connection for use. Subsequent to its development and implementation in two hospitals, DataPall was tested among both trained and untrained hospital staff populations on the basis of its usability with comparison to existing paper records systems as well as on the speed at which users could perform basic database functions. Additionally, all participants evaluated this program on a standard system usability scale.
In a study of health professionals in a Malawian hospital, DataPall enabled palliative care providers to find patients’ appointments, on average, in less than half the time required to locate the same record in current paper records. Moreover, participants generated customizable reports documenting patient records and comprehensive reports on providers’ activities with little training necessary. Participants affirmed this ease of use on the system usability scale.
DataPall is a simple, effective electronic medical records system that can assist in developing an evidence base of clinical data for palliative care in low resource settings. The system is available at no cost, is specifically designed to chronicle care in the region, and is catered to meet the technical needs and user specifications of such facilities.
Palliative care; Electronic medical records system; Evidence-based medicine; Africa; Database
If detected early, oral cancer is eminently curable. However, survival rates for oral cancer patients remain low, largely due to late stage diagnosis and subsequent difficulty of treatment. To improve clinicians’ ability to detect early disease and to treat advanced cancers, we developed a multi-modal optical imaging system (MMIS) to evaluate tissue in situ, at macroscopic and microscopic scales. The MMIS was used to measure anatomical 100 sites in 30 patients, correctly classifying 98% of pathologically confirmed normal tissue sites, and 95% of sites graded as moderate dysplasia, severe dysplasia, or cancer. When used alone, MMIS classification accuracy was 35% for sites determined by pathology as mild dysplasia. However, MMIS measurements correlated with expression of candidate molecular markers in 87% of sites with mild dysplasia. These findings support the ability of non-invasive multi-modal optical imaging to accurately identify neoplastic tissue and pre-malignant lesions. This in turn may have considerable impact on detection and treatment of patients with oral cancer and other epithelial malignancies.
Optical imaging; clinical diagnostics; fluorescence imaging; biomarker imaging
Optical imaging and spectroscopy have emerged as effective tools for detecting malignant changes associated with oral cancer. While clinical studies have demonstrated high sensitivity and specificity for detection, current devices either interrogate a small region or can have reduced performance for some benign lesions. We describe a snapshot imaging spectrometer that combines the large field-of-view of widefield imaging with the diagnostic strength of spectroscopy. The portable device can stream RGB images at 7.2 frames per second and record both autofluorescence and reflectance spectral datacubes in < 1 second. We report initial data from normal volunteers and oral cancer patients.
(170.0170) Medical optics and biotechnology; (170.6510) Spectroscopy, tissue diagnostics; (110.4234) Multispectral and hyperspectral imaging
Confocal endomicroscopy has revolutionized endoscopy by offering sub-cellular images of gastrointestinal epithelium; however, field-of-view is limited. There is a need for multi-scale endoscopy platforms that use widefield imaging to better direct placement of high-resolution probes.
This study evaluates the feasibility of a single agent, proflavine hemisulfate, as a contrast medium during both widefield and high resolution imaging to characterize morphologic changes associated with a variety of gastrointestinal conditions.
U.T. M.D. Anderson Cancer Center (Houston, TX) and Mount Sinai Medical Center (New York, NY)
Patients, Interventions, and Main Outcome Measurements
Surgical specimens were obtained from 15 patients undergoing esophagectomy/colectomy. Proflavine, a vital fluorescent dye, was applied topically. Specimens were imaged with a widefield multispectral microscope and a high-resolution microendoscope. Images were compared to histopathology.
Widefield-fluorescence imaging enhanced visualization of morphology, including the presence and spatial distribution of glands, glandular distortion, atrophy and crowding. High-resolution imaging of widefield-abnormal areas revealed that neoplastic progression corresponded to glandular heterogeneity and nuclear crowding in dysplasia, with glandular effacement in carcinoma. These widefield and high-resolution image features correlated well with histopathology.
This imaging approach must be validated in vivo with a larger sample size.
Multi-scale proflavine-enhanced fluorescence imaging can delineate epithelial changes in a variety of gastrointestinal conditions. Distorted glandular features seen with widefield imaging could serve as a critical ‘bridge’ to high-resolution probe placement. An endoscopic platform combining the two modalities with a single vital-dye may facilitate point-of-care decision-making by providing real-time, in vivo diagnoses.
fluorescence imaging; Barrett's esophagus; esophageal adenocarcinoma; colonic adenocarcinoma; inflammatory bowel disease
Acute respiratory infections are the leading cause of global child mortality. In the developing world, nasal oxygen therapy is often the only treatment option for babies who are suffering from respiratory distress. Without the added pressure of bubble Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (bCPAP) which helps maintain alveoli open, babies struggle to breathe and can suffer serious complications, and frequently death. A stand-alone bCPAP device can cost $6,000, too expensive for most developing world hospitals. Here, we describe the design and technical evaluation of a new, rugged bCPAP system that can be made in small volume for a cost-of-goods of approximately $350. Moreover, because of its simple design—consumer-grade pumps, medical tubing, and regulators—it requires only the simple replacement of a <$1 diaphragm approximately every 2 years for maintenance. The low-cost bCPAP device delivers pressure and flow equivalent to those of a reference bCPAP system used in the developed world. We describe the initial clinical cases of a child with bronchiolitis and a neonate with respiratory distress who were treated successfully with the new bCPAP device.
Over the last three decades, our understanding of the molecular changes associated with cancer development and progression has advanced greatly. This has led to new cancer therapeutics targeted against specific molecular pathways; such therapies show great promise to reduce mortality, in part by enabling physicians to tailor therapy for patients based on a molecular profile of their tumor. Unfortunately, the tools for definitive cancer diagnosis – light microscopic examination of biopsied tissue stained with nonspecific dyes – remain focused on the analysis of tissue ex vivo. There is an important need for new clinical tools to support the molecular diagnosis of cancer. Optical molecular imaging is emerging as a technique to help meet this need. Targeted, optically active contrast agents can specifically label extra-and intracellular biomarkers of cancer. Optical images can be acquired in real time with high spatial resolution to image-specific molecular targets, while still providing morphologic context. This article reviews recent advances in optical molecular imaging, highlighting the advances in technology required to improve early cancer detection, guide selection of targeted therapy and rapidly evaluate therapeutic efficacy.
biomarkers; cancer; contrast agents; early diagnosis; image-guided therapeutics; nanoparticles; optical imaging
Esophageal adenocarcinoma carries a poor prognosis, as it typically presents at a late stage. Thus, a major research priority is the development of novel diagnostic imaging strategies that can detect neoplastic lesions earlier and more accurately than current techniques. Advances in optical imaging allow clinicians to obtain real-time histopathologic information with instant visualization of cellular architecture and the potential to identify neoplastic tissue. The various endoscopic imaging modalities for esophageal neoplasia can be grouped into two major categories: (a) wide-field imaging, a comparatively lower-resolution view for imaging larger surface areas, and (b) high-resolution imaging, which allows individual cells to be visualized. This review will provide an overview of the various forms of real-time optical imaging in the diagnosis and management of Barrett's esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma.
Barrett esophagus; neoplasms; cancer; endoscopy; optical imaging; diagnostic imaging
Although the accessibility of HIV treatment in developing nations has increased dramatically over the past decade, viral load testing to monitor the response of patients receiving therapy is often unavailable. Existing viral load technologies are often too expensive or resource-intensive for poor settings, and there is no appropriate HIV viral load test currently available at the point-of-care in low resource settings. Here, we present a lateral flow assay that employs gold nanoparticle probes and gold enhancement solution to detect amplified HIV RNA quantitatively. Preliminary results show that, when coupled with nucleic acid sequence based amplification (NASBA), this assay can detect concentrations of HIV RNA that match the clinically relevant range of viral loads found in HIV patients. The lateral flow test is inexpensive, simple and rapid to perform, and requires few resources. Our results suggest that the lateral flow assay may be integrated with amplification and sample preparation technologies to serve as an HIV viral load test for low-resource settings.
Cervical cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women in developing countries. Developing countries often lack infrastructure, cytotechnologists, and pathologists necessary to implement current screening tools. Due to their low cost and ease of interpretation at the point-of-care, optical imaging technologies may serve as an appropriate solution for cervical cancer screening in low resource settings. We have developed a high-resolution optical imaging system, the High Resolution Microendoscope (HRME), which can be used to interrogate clinically suspicious areas with subcellular spatial resolution, revealing changes in nuclear to cytoplasmic area ratio. In this pilot study carried out at the women's clinic of Princess Marina Hospital in Botswana, 52 unique sites were imaged in 26 patients, and the results were compared to histopathology as a reference standard. Quantitative high resolution imaging achieved a sensitivity and specificity of 86% and 87%, respectively, in differentiating neoplastic (≥CIN 2) tissue from non-neoplastic tissue. These results suggest the potential promise of HRME to assist in the detection of cervical neoplasia in low-resource settings.
Microendoscopes allow clinicians to view subcellular features in vivo and in real-time, but their field-of-view is inherently limited by the small size of the probe’s distal end. Video mosaicing has emerged as an effective technique to increase the acquired image size. Current implementations are performed post-procedure, which removes the benefits of live imaging. In this manuscript we present an algorithm for real-time video mosaicing using a low-cost high-resolution microendoscope. We present algorithm execution times and show image results obtained from in vivo tissue.
(170.0170) Medical optics and biotechnology; (170.2150) Endoscopic imaging; (170.3010) Image reconstruction techniques; (110.2350) Fiber optics imaging
Malaria remains a serious disease in the developing world. There is a growing consensus that new diagnostics are needed in low-resource settings. The ideal malaria diagnostic should be able to speciate; measure parasitemia; low-cost, quick, and simple to use; and capable of detecting low-level infections. A promising development are nucleic acid tests (NATs) for the diagnosis of malaria, which are well suited for point-of-care use because of their ability to detect low-level infections and speciate, and because they have high sensitivity and specificity. The greatest barrier to NAT use in the past has been its relatively high cost, and the amount of infrastructure required in the form of equipment, stable power, and reagent storage. This review describes recent developments to decrease the cost and run time, and increase the ease of use of NAT while maintaining their high sensitivity and specificity and low limit of detection at the point-of-care.
Biomarkers of cancer can indicate the presence of disease and serve as therapeutic targets. Our goal is to develop an optical imaging approach using molecularly targeted contrast agents to assess several centimeters of mucosal surface for mapping expression of multiple biomarkers simultaneously with high spatial resolution. The ability to image biomarker expression level and heterogeneity in vivo would be extremely useful for clinical cancer research, patient selection of personalized medicine, and monitoring therapy. In this proof-of-concept ex vivo study, we examined correlation of neoplasia with two clinically relevant biomarkers: epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and metabolic activity. Two hundred eighty-six unique locations in nine samples of freshly resected oral mucosa were imaged after topically applying optical imaging agents EGF-Alexa 647 (to target EGFR) and 2-(N-(7-nitrobenz-2-oxa-1,3-diazol-4-yl)amino)-2-deoxyglucose (to target metabolic activity). Quantitative features were calculated from resulting fluorescence images and compared with tissue histopathology maps. The EGF-Alexa 647 signal correlated well with EGFR expression as indicated by immunohistochemistry. A classification algorithm for presence of neoplasia based on the signal from both contrast agents resulted in an area under the curve of 0.83. Regions with a posterior probability from 0.80 to 1.00 contained more than 50% neoplasia 99% (84/85) of the time. This study demonstrates a proof-of-concept of how noninvasive optical imaging can be used as a tool to study expression levels of multiple biomarkers and their heterogeneity across a large mucosal surface and how biomarker characteristics correlate with presence of neoplasia. Applications of this approach include predicting regions with the highest likelihood of disease, elucidating the role of biomarker heterogeneity in cancer biology, and identifying patients who will respond to targeted therapy.
Currently, in gastrointestinal endoscopy there is increasing interest in high resolution endoscopic technologies that can complement high-definition white light endoscopy by providing real-time subcellular imaging of the epithelial surface. These ‘optical biopsy’ technologies offer the potential to improve diagnostic accuracy and yield, while facilitating real-time decision-making. Although many endoscopic techniques have preliminarily shown high accuracy rates, these technologies are still evolving. This review will provide an overview of the most promising high-resolution imaging technologies, including high resolution microendoscopy, optical coherence tomography, endocytoscopy and confocal laser endoscopy. This review will also discuss the application and current limitations of these technologies for the early detection of neoplasia in Barrett’s esophagus, ulcerative colitis and colorectal cancer.
Microendoscopy; Confocal laser endoscopy; Endocytoscopy; High-resolution; Optical coherence tomography; Barrett’s esophagus; Ulcerative colitis; Colon cancer
While histopathology of excised tissue remains the gold standard for diagnosis, several new, non-invasive diagnostic techniques are being developed. They rely on physical and biochemical changes that precede and mirror malignant change within tissue. The basic principle involves simple optical techniques of tissue interrogation. Their accuracy, expressed as sensitivity and specificity, are reported in a number of studies suggests that they have a potential for cost effective, real-time, in situ diagnosis.
We review the Third Scientific Meeting of the Head and Neck Optical Diagnostics Society held in Congress Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria on the 11th May 2011. For the first time the HNODS Annual Scientific Meeting was held in association with the International Photodynamic Association (IPA) and the European Platform for Photodynamic Medicine (EPPM). The aim was to enhance the interdisciplinary aspects of optical diagnostics and other photodynamic applications. The meeting included 2 sections: oral communication sessions running in parallel to the IPA programme and poster presentation sessions combined with the IPA and EPPM posters sessions.
This report describes the development of a hand-powered centrifuge to determine hematocrit values in low-resource settings. A hand-powered centrifuge was constructed by using a salad spinner. Hematocrit values were measured by using the hand-powered device, and results were compared with those of a benchtop centrifuge. The packed cell volume (PCV) measured with the hand-powered device correlated linearly with results obtained with a benchtop centrifuge (r = 0.986, P < 0.001). The PCVs measured with the hand-powered centrifuge were consistently 1.14 times higher than those measured with the benchtop system. The 14% increase in PCV measured with the hand-powered centrifuge is caused by increased plasma trapped in the cell column. The reader card was adjusted to compensate for trapped plasma. A hand-powered centrifuge and calibrated reader card can be constructed for U.S. $35 and can accurately determine hematocrit values. It is suitable for use in low-resource settings because it is mechanically-powered, inexpensive, and accurate.
An integrated miniature multi-modal microscope (4M device) for microendoscopy was built and tested. Imaging performance is evaluated and imaging results are presented for both fluorescence and reflectance samples. Images of biological samples show successful imaging of both thin layers of fixed cells prepared on a slide as well as thick samples of excised fixed porcine epithelial tissue, thus demonstrating the potential for in vivo use.
microscopy; endoscopy; micro-optics; optical testing; modulation transfer functions; medical imaging
Worldwide incidence and mortality rates due to cancer continue to rise, with the burden of disease increasingly shifting to developing countries. Several optical diagnostic methods such as diffuse optical tomography, wide-field autofluorescence imaging, confocal microscopy, and optical coherence tomography, are currently under development to enable earlier detection of cancer. However, these are primarily intended for use in healthcare facilities in industrialized countries. Using knowledge gained from early clinical studies with these large-scale systems, we have designed and tested low-cost, portable versions of these instruments. We propose that these systems may be used for early diagnosis and screening in developing countries, and that pilot clinical studies are warranted in these low-resource settings.
Oral cancer is a significant health problem in the USA and throughout the world. Most oral cancer patients are diagnosed at a late stage, when treatment is less successful and treatment-associated morbidity is more severe. A number of new diagnostic aids to conventional oral examination have recently been introduced to assist in the early detection of oral neoplasia. In particular, autofluorescence imaging has emerged as a promising adjunctive technique to improve early identification of oral premalignant lesions. Direct visual inspection of tissue autofluorescence has shown encouraging results in high-prevalence populations, but the technique requires subjective interpretation and depends on the visual recognition skills of the examiner. Capturing and analyzing digital fluorescence images can reduce subjectivity and potentially improve sensitivity of detection of precancerous changes. Recent studies of wide-field autofluorescence imaging in low-prevalence populations suggest that benign lesions such as inflammation may give rise to false-positive results. High-resolution fluorescence imaging is a new modality that can be used in conjunction with wide-field imaging to improve specificity by imaging subcellular detail of neoplastic tissues. The combination of wide-field and high-resolution fluorescence imaging systems with automated image analysis should be investigated to maximize overall diagnostic performance for early detection of oral neoplasia.
diagnosis; image processing; optical fluorescence imaging; oral cancer
Medical imaging technologies have become increasingly important in the clinical management of cancer, and now play key roles in cancer screening, diagnosis, staging, and monitoring response to treatment. Standard imaging modalities such as MRI, PET, and CT require significant financial resources and infrastructure, which limits access to these modalities to those patients in high-resource settings. In contrast, optical imaging strategies, with the potential for reduced cost and enhanced portability, are emerging as additional tools to facilitate the early detection and diagnosis of cancer. This article presents a vision for an expanding role for optical imaging in global cancer management, including screening, early detection at the point-of-care, biopsy guidance, and real-time histology. Multi-modal optical imaging – the combination of widefield and high resolution imaging - has the potential to aid in the detection and management of precancer and early cancer for traditionally underserved populations. Several recent widefield and high-resolution optical imaging technologies are described, along with requirements for implementing such devices into lower-resource settings.
clinical diagnostics; high-resolution imaging; widefield imaging; microscopy
Conventional histopathology involves sampling, sectioning and staining of tissue specimens prior to microscopic evaluation, and provides diagnostic information at a single location and point in time. In vivo microscopy and molecular-targeted optical labeling are two rapidly developing fields, which together have the potential to provide anatomical and functional indications of disease by staining and imaging tissue in situ. To address the need for high-resolution imaging instrumentation, we have developed a compact, robust, and inexpensive fiber-optic microendoscopy system based around wide-field LED illumination, a flexible 1 mm diameter fiber-optic bundle, and a color CCD camera. We demonstrate the sub-cellular resolution imaging capabilities of the system through a series of experiments, beginning with simultaneous imaging of three different cancer cell lines in culture, each targeted with a distinct fluorescent label. We used the narrow diameter probe to access subcutaneous tumors in an in vivo murine model, allowing direct comparison of microendoscopy images with macroscopic images and histopathology. A surgically resected tissue specimen from the human oral cavity was imaged across the clinical margin, demonstrating qualitative and quantitative distinction between normal and cancerous tissue based on sub-cellular image features. Finally, the fiber-optic microendoscope was used on topically-stained normal human oral mucosa in vivo, resolving epithelial cell nuclei and membranes in real-time fluorescence images. Our results demonstrate that this imaging system can potentially complement conventional diagnostic techniques, and support efforts to translate emerging molecular-diagnostic and therapeutic agents into clinical use.
New colloidal materials that can generate heat upon irradiation are being explored for photothermal therapy as a minimally invasive approach to cancer treatment. The near-infrared dye indocyanine green (ICG) could serve as a basis for such a material, but its encapsulation and subsequent use is very difficult to carry out. We report the three-step room-temperature synthesis of ~120-nm capsules loaded with ICG within salt-crosslinked polyallylamine aggregates, and coated with anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (anti-EGFR) antibodies for tumor cell targeting capability. We studied the synthesis conditions such as temperature and water dilution to control the capsule size and characterized the size distribution via dynamic light scattering and scanning electron microscopy. We further studied the specificity of tumor cell targeting using three carcinoma cell lines with different levels of EGFR expression, and investigated the photothermal effects of ICG containing nanocapsules on EGFR-rich tumor cells. Significant thermal toxicity was observed for encapsulated ICG as compared to free ICG at 808 nm laser irradiation with radiant exposure of 6 W/cm2. These results illustrate the ability to design a colloidal material with cell targeting and heat generating capabilities using non-covalent chemistry.
cancer; charge assembly; encapsulation; near infrared; nanoparticles; polyallylamine
The complete surgical removal of disease is a desirable outcome particularly in oncology. Unfortunately much disease is microscopic and difficult to detect causing a liability to recurrence and worsened overall prognosis with attendant costs in terms of morbidity and mortality. It is hoped that by advances in optical diagnostic technology we could better define our surgical margin and so increase the rate of truly negative margins on the one hand and on the other hand to take out only the necessary amount of tissue and leave more unaffected non-diseased areas so preserving function of vital structures. The task has not been easy but progress is being made as exemplified by the presentations at the 2nd Scientific Meeting of the Head and Neck Optical Diagnostics Society (HNODS) in San Francisco in January 2010. We review the salient advances in the field and propose further directions of investigation.