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Session: Multimodality, Optical, and Emerging Imaging Technologies [Return to Session]

Quantitative and Sensitive Diagnosis of Early Tumor Metastases Using X-Ray and Bioluminescence Tomography

J Chen*, N Zhao, Y Yang, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui, P.R. China


TU-B-TRACK 2-1 (Tuesday, 7/27/2021) 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM [Eastern Time (GMT-4)]

Purpose: To develop an imaging technique for sensitive and accurate detection of early tumor metastases in vivo by using dual-modality x-ray and bioluminescence tomography.

Methods: Cone beam X-ray computed tomography (CBCT) and bioluminescence tomography (BLT) have been integrated on the image guided small animal arc radiation treatment platform. In this study, its capability of imaging early-phase tumor metastases was challenged with a metastatic castrated-resistant prostate cancer mouse model. Luciferase-expressing cancer cells were injected through left ventricles of immune-deficient mice (n=4). The tumor cells were allowed for seeding and forming metastasis for 4 weeks before imaging. Cone beam computed tomography was first conducted to provide anatomy information and three dimensional mesh for BLT reconstruction. After that bioluminescence projections were captured every 90° rotation, then collected data were put into the CBCT-assisted BLT reconstruction framework. BLT imaging performance including tumor location and size was assessed by postmortem histology.

Results: All tumors observed in histology section were also found in BLT imaging results in the same location, and all tumors were at millimeter scale as measured in histology section. Two tumors as small as ~1mm were simultaneously detected in each of two mice. One tumor was detected in each of the other two mice. Histology results confirmed that the onboard CBCT/BLT system was able to detect millimeter scale tumor metastases in living animal with sub-organ level accuracy.

Conclusion: The onboard CBCT/BLT system is able to precisely locate, contour and quantify the early tumor metastases in living animal at millimeter scale, which provides an exciting imaging tool for the investigation of tumor metastasis mechanisms.



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