Detection of prostate cancer in the surgical margin

Published: 23 June 2016

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer form for men. It is regarded as deadlier than breast cancer. In the year of 2013, 9678 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer. The usual treatment is radical prostatectomy (RP), i.e. removal of the prostate gland. 10-20 % of the treated men need chemotherapy due to the fact that not all cancer tissue was removed, i.e. a positive surgical margin (PSM). PSM leads to an increased risk that the patient gets relapse and that the cancer is spread in the body. The standard method for checking the surgical margin is histopathology, i.e. to study thin slices from the prostate in a microscope and determine the amount of cancer cells. This is done at the pathology lab and it takes several days to get a result. Our method combines two measurement methods both capable of detecting cancer; stiffness by resonance technology and biochemical tissue characterization by Raman spectroscopy. By combining the two methods in one handheld probe we can quickly scan the prostate gland in the surgery room. The first prototype and its schematic is shown in fig 1. The probe will provide decision support to the surgeon. The instrument will secure that all cancer tissue is removed and that healthy tissue and nerve tissue regulating the sexual function is spared as much as possible. This would save health economy and patient suffering. The project is financed by the strategic innovation area medtech4health, Vinnova.

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Fig. 1) To the left, the first prototype of the combined sensor. To the right, a schematic of the sensor, the beige area shows the resonance sensor and the thin black line in the middle is the Raman probe (diameter 0,6 mm). Both sensors are covered by a round plastic tip that has a glass window.