In 2016, an estimated ∼250,000 new cases of invasive and non-invasive breast cancer were diagnosed in US women. About 60-75% of these cases were treated with breast conserving surgery (BCS) as the initial therapy. To reduce the local recurrence rate, the goal of BCS is to excise the tumor with a rim of normal surrounding tissue, so that no cancer cells remain at the cut margin, while preserving as much normal breast tissue as possible. Therefore, patients with remaining cancer cells at the cut margin commonly require a second surgical procedure to obtain clear margins. Different approaches have been used to decrease the positive margin rate to avoid re-excision. However, these techniques are variously ineffective in reducing the re-operative rate, difficult to master by surgeons, or time-consuming for large specimens. Thus, 20-60% of patients undergoing BCS still require second surgeries due to positive surgical margins. The ideal tool for margin assessment would provide the same information as histological analysis, without the need for processing specimens. To achieve this goal, we have developed and refined label-free photoacoustic microscopy (PAM) for breast specimens. Exploiting the intrinsic optical contrast of tissue, ultraviolet (UV) laser illumination can highlight cell nuclei, thus providing the same contrast as hematoxylin labeling used in conventional histology and measuring features related to the histological landscape without the need for labels. We demonstrate that our UV-PAM system can provide label-free, high-resolution, and histology-like imaging of fixed, unprocessed breast tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhotons Plus Ultrasound
Subtitle of host publicationImaging and Sensing 2018
EditorsLihong V. Wang, Alexander A. Oraevsky
ISBN (Electronic)9781510614734
StatePublished - 2018
EventPhotons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing 2018 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Jan 28 2018Feb 1 2018

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferencePhotons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • Cancer
  • histology
  • label-free
  • microscopy
  • photoacoustic imaging
  • translational research


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