Spectral imaging detects breast cancer in fresh unstained specimens

Alice Chung, Mark Gaon, Jihoon Jeong, Scott Karlan, Erik Lindsley, Sebastian Wachsmann-Hogiu, Yizhi Xiong, Tong Zhao, Daniel L. Farkas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


Spectral imaging has recently been introduced in the biomedical field as a noninvasive, quantitative means of studying biological tissues. Many of its potential applications have been demonstrated (in vitro and, to a lesser degree, in vivo) with the use of stains or dyes. Successful translation to the clinical environment has been largely lagging, due to safety considerations and regulatory limitations preventing use of contrast agents in humans. We report experiments showing the feasibility of high-resolution spectral imaging of breast cancer without the use of contrast agents, thus completing the continuum of translational research, to in vivo imaging that will be directly applicable in the clinical environment. Our initial work focused on image acquisition using Fourier transform microinterferometry and subsequent segmentation of both stained and unstained breast cancer slides-derived image sets. We then applied our techniques to imaging fresh unstained ex vivo specimens of rat breast cancer and sentinel lymph nodes. We also investigated multiple methods of classification to optimize our image analyses, and preliminary results for the best algorithm tested yielded an overall sensitivity of 96%, and a specificity of 92% for cancer detection. Using spectral imaging and classification techniques, we were able to demonstrate that reliable detection of breast cancer in fixed and fresh unstained specimens of breast tissue is possible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
StatePublished - 2006
EventImaging, Manipulation, and Analysis of Biomolecules, Cells, and Tissues IV - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 23 2006Jan 25 2006


OtherImaging, Manipulation, and Analysis of Biomolecules, Cells, and Tissues IV
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA


  • Breast cancer
  • Exvivo
  • Fourier transform interferometry
  • Mahalanobis
  • Rat model
  • Sentinel node
  • Spectral imaging
  • Translational research
  • Unstained pathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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