Laser ablation for tumor removal - methods for treatment planning and monitoring

MLG Seminar

Event Speaker: Paola Saccomandi
Event Place: Otlet meeting room
Event Date: 04/15/2016 - 14:00

The interaction between laser light and biological tissues is employed in many fields of medicine, e.g., the controlled and localized tumor ablation. The absorption of laser light by the tissue entails temperature rise, and consequent irreversible injury to the tissue. The optimal outcome is the complete removal of the tumor, while preserving the surrounding healthy tissue from thermal damage. The efficacy of the treatment depends on several factors, e.g., laser settings (power, time of exposition), laser wavelength, emission modalities of the applicator, the absorption characteristics of the target tissue, as well as other solutions to improve the treatment selectivity (nanoparticles-mediated hyperthermia). Mathematical models can aid the clinician in the treatment planning, since they predict the effects of laser light on tissue. Temperature monitoring may be particularly beneficial for adjusting treatment settings during the procedure. In addition, efficacy and selectivity of hyperthermal treatment planning tools in therapy management can be strengthened by a temperature feedback. The tissue temperature may be monitored by contact and contactless methods. The contact methods are based o the use of sensors (e.g., fiber optic sensors), and are invasive as they require to be inserted with the tissue. Contact-less techniques use diagnostic images (Magnetic Resonance, Computed Tomography and Ultrasound images) to map the temperature in organs undergoing hyperthermia with non-invasive approach. Images parameters are sensitive to temperature, thus can be used as "indirect" thermometers. The main open challenge is the images-based real-time monitoring.

Main results were obtained for the theoretical description of laser ablation on pancreas, and for the monitoring of tissue temperature on ex vivo organs. These achievements represent step toward the solution for some challenges in the scenario of surgical oncology, e.g., the use of EUS-guided laser ablation for pancreatic cancer treatment.