Real-time diagnosis and visualization of tumor margins in excised breast specimens using fluorescence lifetime imaging and machine learning

Published on 2020-02-14T16:34:01Z (GMT) by
Tumor-free surgical margins are critical in breast conserving surgery. In up to 38% of the cases, however, patients undergo a second surgery since malignant cells are found at the margins of the excised resection specimen. Thus, advanced imaging tools are needed to ensure clear margins at the time of surgery. The objective of this study was to evaluate a random forest classifier that make use of parameters derived from point-scanning label-free fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIm) measurements of breast specimens as a means to diagnose tumor at the resection margins and to enable an intuitive visualization of a probabilistic classifier on tissue specimen. FLIm data from fresh lumpectomy and mastectomy specimens from 18 patients were used in this study. The supervised training was based on a previously developed registration technique between autofluorescence imaging data and cross-sectional histology slides. A pathologist’s histology annotations provide the ground truth to distinguish between adipose, fibrous and tumor tissue. Current results demonstrate the ability of this approach to classify the tumor with 89% sensitivity and 93% specificity and to rapidly ( 20 frames per second) overlay the probabilistic classifier overlaid on excised breast specimens using an intuitive color scheme. Furthermore, we show an iterative imaging refinement that allows surgeons to switch between rapid scans with a customized low spatial resolution to quickly cover the specimen and slower scans with enhanced resolution (400m per point measurement) in suspicious regions where more details are required. In summary, this technique provides high diagnostic prediction accuracy, rapid acquisition, adaptive resolution, nondestructive probing and facile interpretation of images, thus it hold potential for clinical breast imaging based on label-free FLIm.

Cite this collection

Unger, Jakob; Hebisch, Christoph; Phipps, Jennifer; Lagarto, Joao; Kim, Hanna; Darrow, Morgan; et al. (2020): Real-time diagnosis and visualization of tumor margins in excised breast specimens using fluorescence lifetime imaging and machine learning. The Optical Society. Collection. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.4708169.v1

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