Volumetric tumor delineation and assessment of its early response to radiotherapy with optical coherence tomography

Valentin Demidov, Natalia Demidova, Layla Pires, Olga Demidova, Costel Flueraru, Brian C. Wilson, I. Alex Vitkin
Biomedical Optics Express2021
Texture analyses of optical coherence tomography (OCT) images have shown initial promise for differentiation of normal and tumor tissues. This work develops a fully automatic volumetric tumor delineation technique employing quantitative OCT image speckle analysis based on Gamma distribution fits. We test its performance in-vivo using immunodeficient mice with dorsal skin window chambers and subcutaneously grown tumor models. Tumor boundaries detection is confirmed using epi-fluorescence microscopy, combined photoacoustic-ultrasound imaging, and histology. Pilot animal study of tumor response to radiotherapy demonstrates high accuracy, objective nature, novelty of the proposed method in the volumetric separation of tumor and normal tissues, and the sensitivity of the fitting parameters to radiation-induced tissue changes. Overall, the developed methodology enables hitherto impossible longitudinal studies for detecting subtle tissue alterations stemming from therapeutic insult.
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