Intelligent 3D scanner helps diagnose skin cancers

Source: Physicsworld, October 2019

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the world, requiring tens of thousands of surgical biopsies of suspicious lesions. According to the World Health Organization, two to three million non-melanoma and 132,000 melanoma skin cancers are diagnosed globally each year.

A noninvasive tool that can distinguish benign from malignant cutaneous lesions could help limit the need for biopsy to only highly suspicious lesions. This could reduce the number of biopsies performed and potentially significantly reduce the cost of skin cancer diagnosis.

Researchers from Spain have now developed a 3D scanner, based on fringe projection and machine learning, that shows potential as an in vivo skin cancer detection device. The prototype system obtains morphological parameters of skin lesions related to area, volume and perimeter with micrometric precision and can distinguish between melanomas and moles. By quantifying the volume and shape of the lesion, its capabilities extend beyond the conventional qualitative palpation used by dermatologists (Biomed. Opt. Express 10.1364/BOE.10.003404).

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