Along the cancer care workflow, existing preoperative and intraoperative procedures such as the identification of small tumourous areas or the precise resection of tumors show significant fail rates, due to the inability of current imaging techniques to perform a reliable in situ diagnosis. Moreover the complete pathological diagnosis, often based on histology slides preparation, is usually only available after a few days. For these reasons a significant number of patients need to undergo secondary biopsy or surgery.
The CAReIOCA project aims at providing pathologists and/or surgeons novel non-invasive optical imaging at the cellular scale for fast cancer assessment. By providing images approaching the level of information of histology slides during localization, biopsy and resection procedures in real or near-real time, the technique is expected to significantly improve cancer care. The project will combine latest advances in CMOS technology and “optical biopsy” techniques to overcome the current technical limitations of an unequalled performance non-invasive tissue imaging technique: Full-Field Optical Coherence Tomography (FFOCT). The key technological achievement of the project will consist of the development of a specific high-performance CMOS smart camera, and will lead to the development, clinical adaptation and pre-clinical validation of a novel optical biopsy probe, exhibiting in-depth imaging capabilities and a record 3D resolution.
The technique will provide a fast and reliable method to visualize pathological or suspicious areas, and corresponding microstructures, in real-time. In particular, it will enable pre-operative diagnosis, biopsy guidance, as well as intra-operative, large-scale surgical margin assessment. These applications are expected to significantly reduce reoperation rates of corresponding procedures. In this view, pre-clinical validation on Oral and Breast Cancer will be performed.
Thus, CAReIOCA is an application-driven, device development project. The main objective is to validate the technique and associated systems as a basis for commercialization of clinical devices. The huge technological breakthrough expected to fulfill clinical requirements is made possible by the development of a key component of the device. The corresponding development process is a standard, straightforward linear integration and validation process, from components to functional validation with several integration steps.
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