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New imaging technique protects healthy tissue during cryotherapy

by Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | November 11, 2016
Rad Oncology Risk Management
"Important step" towards future of
non-invasive temperature monitoring
A research team in Texas developed an imaging technique that monitors temperature during minimally-invasive cryotherapy. An article describing the technique was published today in the Journal of Biomedical Optics.

Cryotherapy uses freezing temperatures to target and kill cancer cells. The procedure is cheaper than other treatments, involves a fast recovery and requires minimal anesthesia.

It has been a major challenge to find an efficient way to monitor temperatures in real time to avoid damaging adjacent healthy tissue.

The researchers discovered that red blood cells can be used as temperature sensors to convert reconstructed optoacoustic images to temperature maps. They performed systematic and meticulous studies using phantoms that mimicked tissue to validate this technique.

The team then applied the optoacoustic temperature monitoring technique to noninvasive, real-time thermometry of vascularized tissue during cryotherapy. It successfully generated temperature maps to help prevent non-cancerous tissue from being damaged.

“Our results provide an important step toward future noninvasive temperature monitoring in live tissues,” the researchers wrote.

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