Mount Sinai tests high-resolution, real-time imaging for surgery

A New York health system is testing a new imaging device intended to aid surgeons aiming to totally remove tumors during cancer surgeries.

The Mount Sinai Health System is conducting a clinical trial of the imaging device, called Otis Wide Field OCT, developed by Perimeter Medical Imaging. The initial use of the technology will be for head and neck cancers. OCT refers to optical coherence tomography, the technology providing high-resolution imaging.

Toronto-based Perimeter recently announced that it had received 510(k) clearance from the Food and Drug Administration to market the second generation of their platform imaging tool used in the evaluation of human tissue microstructure by providing two-dimensional, cross-sectional, real-time depth visualization.

The device provides ultra-high resolution images that can provide detailed visual perspectives of tumor specimens in real time during surgery. If proven to be clinically effective, the use of the technology would enable surgeons to remove all cancerous tissue in one procedure.

That’s a significant improvement from current practice, which involves waiting for traditional pathology results to be returned to clinicians after a procedure is completed. Those results might indicate that additional procedures are necessary to completely excise residual cancerous tissue.

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The clinical trial will be conducted with patients who agree to have their tumors placed in the system for imaging; the tumors then will be compared with the standard pathology evaluation.

“State-of-the-art imaging platforms, such as the Otis system and others, will likely play a significant role in the future of head and neck cancer surgery,” says lead investigator Brett Miles, DDS, MD, associate professor of otolaryngology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and co-chief of the division of head and neck oncology for the Mount Sinai Health System.

“While traditional pathologic examination of tissues is the standard around the world, we need new technology to allow us to detect cancer and ensure adequate resection at the time of surgery,” Miles adds. “Data from this study and other projects in the optical imaging program will help us understand how beneficial these technologies may be and drive future innovation during head and neck cancer surgery.”

Oral and head and neck cancers are among the most rapidly increasing forms of cancer in the United States, especially among younger populations—they occur in the tongue, tonsils and throat, as well as the nasal cavity, sinuses, lips, mouth, thyroid and salivary glands.

According to the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance, in 2019 more than 550,000 new cases will be diagnosed and approximately 300,000 people will die from these cancers worldwide. The American Cancer Society projects 53,000 cases will be diagnosed in the United States this year, and an estimated 10,860 people will die of these cancers.

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