Melanoma Blood Vessel Changes Detected with OCT Imaging

Source: Photonics, April 2019

BERLIN, March 25, 2019 — An international team of researchers has proven that dynamic optical coherence tomography (D-OCT) imaging of melanoma reveals changes to the blood vessels that correlate with the depth of its invasion, which could lead to a faster method of rapidly assessing the severity of a melanoma.

Nathalie de Carvalho, of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, explained that cancers grow their own blood vessel network to supply oxygen and nutrients.

“We analyzed the shapes of the vessels in the OCT images of melanomas and correlated the frequency of different shapes with the Breslow depths [the thickness of the tumors, measured from biopsy samples],” de Carvalho said. “We found that certain vessel shapes appeared much more frequently in thicker tumors. The vessels grown by the tumor seem to grow more chaotically and become more malformed as the cancer progresses.”

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