Headwall Photonics Blog

Hyperspectral Imaging Successfully Screens Cancer Tissue

Posted by Christopher Van Veen on Wed, Apr 29, 2015

Healthcare isn’t a new frontier when it comes to imaging, but hyperspectral technology is opening eyes and capturing spectacular, life-changing results.

Over the past several months and culminating in a very successful technical review in late February, a European collaborative project named HELICOID (HypErspectraL Imaging Cancer Detection) used Headwall’s hyperspectral sensors to discriminate between healthy and cancerous brain tissues. The focus on brain cancer is especially meaningful because this tissue—almost more than any other type of cancer—can resemble the normal surrounding tissue. This makes it difficult to isolate under normal imaging techniques.  Indeed, while the HELICOID project focused on brain cancer, hyperspectral imaging will be beneficial for breast and lung cancer as well.

With technical resources out of the Headwall BVBA office near Brussels and with our application partner in Spain, HELICOID, the Belgium-led medical collaborative, worked closely together to develop the technical solution for the spectral imaging sensor.

Early results derived with the Headwall Hyperspec imaging system are impressive as the hyperspectral sensor system can  “potentially accelerate cancer diagnosis and improve proper cancer removal ultimately saving lives” as reported by Lung Cancer News Today.

One of the hallmarks of hyperspectral imaging is its ability to identify objects or disease conditions based on the chemical composition of tissue within the field of view of the sensor.  By working closely with medical collaborators, the sensors were ‘tuned’ to the precise spectral features of interest that scientists are looking to find. By offering a precise definition of the boundaries of the cancer tissue in real-time, hyperspectral imaging can potentially accelerate cancer diagnosis and improve proper cancer removal. Surgeons can thus remove exactly what needs to be removed while leaving healthy tissue untouched.

“Hyperspectral imaging technology holds enormous promise for medical applications and, as the leader in spectral imaging solutions, Headwall will continue to make significant contributions to advancing industry capabilities,” said Chris Van Veen of Headwall’s Marketing group.

Tags: Cancer Detection