Samara scientists have developed a new method for the early diagnosis of cancer
Scientists of Samara University, Samara State Medical University (SSMU) and Samara Regional Clinical Oncologic Dispensary (SRCOD) have jointly developed a new method for the early diagnosis of cancer.
Ultrasound, X-ray and computed tomography as well as magnetic resonance imaging are commonly used in modern clinical practice for the detection of cancer pathology. These methods have their limitations both in the results accuracy and patients’ safety. The new method is based on a combination of hyperspectral filming, developed in Samara University Department of Laser and Biotechnical Systems, and unique medical techniques of its analysis, created under the direction of Professor Sergey Kozlov, Head of SSMU Department of Oncology. The developed method is absolutely safe and does not require the use of chemicals. It also allows determining the presence or absence of pathology quickly and with very high accuracy.
"Today there is much tension around the issue of skin cancer diagnosis. The fact is that biopsy is contraindicated for melanoma. If you take a tissue sample from a patient with skin cancer, it can cause metastases, which often results in death. Therefore, doctors have to dissect out the whole suspicious site. Hyperspectral methods fundamentally solve this problem", - convinced Ivan Bratchenko, associate professor of Samara University Department of Laser and Biotechnical Systems.
The technical basis of the method is a hyperspectral video camera, created by the scientists of Samara University in conjunction with the Scientific and Technical Centre of Unique Instrumentation of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow), and also a special system of coming data processing.
In contrast to a common camera that emits only three colours: red, green and blue, hyperspectral camera can "see" hundreds and even thousands of shades of different colours, creating a so-called "hypercube", that is, an array of images at different wavelengths. This approach allows us to separate the areas with oncological pathology from healthy tissue.
"Hyperspectral camera can shoot simultaneously in many spectral bands. This is equivalent to thousands of cameras performing simultaneous record each in its colour. The images rollup (combination of these multiple images) gives a vision of different visual objects. In case of suspected oncopathology, which means that the cells are transformed, they are spectrally different in this case. When we look in the range accessible to our eyes, we do not see them for the simple reason that our eyes cannot capture, but a hyperspectral camera is able to notice it", - underlined Professor Valery Zakharov, Head of Samara University Department of Laser and Biotechnical Systems.
Nowadays, the scientists of Samara University, Samara State Medical University and Samara Regional Clinical Oncologic Dispensary are developing several methods of hyperspectral analysis of cancer: some to scan vast areas of the human body for detection of the supposed pathology, others are more pinpoint for a detailed study of the suspicious location.
The scientists have already created a prototype device for diagnostics using this method. This prototype is being tested in Samara Regional Clinical Oncology Centre.
The scientists are intended to create a device that will make high-quality diagnosis of cancer automatically by hyperspectral analysis on the basis of this prototype in 2-3 years. Due to its low price, such devices will be available in every district hospital, which will rapidly improve the situation with the early cancer diagnosis in Russia.
According to GLOBOCAN 2012, IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer), in 2012 Russia took the 5th place in the world in the number of deaths of cancer patients - about 300 thousand people per year.
From the perspective of international researches, first of all, such high death rates from cancer in Russia are due to the fact that identification of oncological diseases takes place out of time, only on the 3rd and the 4th stages, when treatment is almost ineffective, and sometimes impossible.
The international scientific community has also expressed interest in the development of scientists from Samara University, Samara State Medical University and Samara Regional Clinical Oncology Centre in the field of tissue pathologies detection in the human body using hyperspectral analysis methods. The reports on this topic presented by the young scientists of Samara University: Ivan Bratchenko, Dmitriy Artemyev and Dmitriy Kornilin in April at the International Conference Photonics Europe 16 in Brussels (Belgium) have aroused great interest of foreign colleagues.