Assessment of breast cancer surgical margins with multimodal optical microscopy: A feasibility clinical study.

Academic Article


  • Providing surgical margin information during breast cancer surgery is crucial for the success of the procedure. The margin is defined as the distance from the tumor to the cut surface of the resection specimen. The consensus among surgeons and radiation oncologists is that there should be no tumor left within 1 to maximum 2 mm from the surface of the surgical specimen. If a positive margin remains, there is substantial risk for tumor recurrence, which may also result in potentially reduced cosmesis and eventual need for mastectomy. In this paper we report a novel multimodal optical imaging instrument based on combined high-resolution confocal microscopy-optical coherence tomography imaging for assessing the presence of potential positive margins on surgical specimens. Since rapid specimen analysis is critical during surgery, this instrument also includes a fluorescence imaging channel to enable rapid identification of the areas of the specimen that have potential positive margins. This is possible by specimen incubation with a cancer specific agent prior to imaging. In this study we used a quenched contrast agent, which is activated by cancer specific enzymes, such as urokinase plasminogen activators (uPA). Using this agent or a similar one, one may limit the use of high-resolution optical imaging to only fluorescence-highlighted areas for visualizing tissue morphology at the sub-cellular scale and confirming or ruling out cancer presence. Preliminary evaluation of this technology was performed on 20 surgical specimens and testing of the optical imaging findings was performed against histopathology. The combination of the three imaging modes allowed for high correlation between optical image analysis and histological ground-truth. The initial results are encouraging, showing instrument capability to assess margins on clinical specimens with a positive predictive value of 1.0 and a negative predictive value of 0.83.
  • Authors

  • Scimone, Mark
  • Krishnamurthy, Savitri
  • Maguluri, Gopi
  • Preda, Dorin
  • Park, Jesung
  • Grimble, John
  • Song, Min
  • Ban, Kechen
  • Iftimia, Nicusor
  • Publication Date

  • 2021
  • Published In

  • PLoS ONE  Journal
  • Keywords

  • Breast
  • Breast Neoplasms
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Margins of Excision
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Optical Imaging
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • e0245334
  • Volume

  • 16
  • Issue

  • 2