Dartmouth Events

Bringing the Microscope to the Patient to Enable Precision Cancer Diagnosis

Research seminar with Irene Georgakoudi, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Tufts University

Wednesday, May 3, 2023
12:00pm – 1:00pm
Auditorium H, DHMC/Online
Intended Audience(s): Public
Categories: Lectures & Seminars

Livestream: https://go.d-h.org/global1video

Epithelial cancer diagnosis often relies on low resolution visualization of tissue followed by biopsy and examination of thin tissue sections under a microscope. Our goal is to change this paradigm by bringing the microscope to the patient and acquiring images non-invasively that exploit endogenous optical contrast and yield morphological AND functional information. Two-photon microscopy is well-suited for this purpose, as it provides in a non-destructive way, micron scale resolution three-dimensional tissue images, over depths that are relevant for the detection of epithelial cancers. These images can be analyzed to extract quantitative information related to metabolic and mitochondrial function with high sensitivity to changes that are considered cancer hallmarks.

I will present how the spatial heterogeneity of such metrics can be exploited in combination with morphological tissue characteristics extracted from the same images to yield highly accurate classification of human cervical pre-cancers and skin cancer lesions. The same imaging modality can be used to provide quantitative details on the three-dimensional organization and cross-linking of collagen fibers, which are key components of the extracellular microenvironment known to play an important role, especially in metastases. I will highlight how such features can serve to identify peritoneal metastatic lesions from patient samples with primary ovarian and pancreatic cancers. Ultimately, the development and deployment of microendoscopes with such imaging capabilities have the potential to change the paradigm of cancer detection. Importantly, they will enable dynamic assessments of cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions in living patients to improve monitoring and identify novel or more targeted therapeutic targets. 


For more information, contact:
Ashley Parker

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.