Ph.D. Thesis Defense: Michael A. Mastanduno

Wednesday, December 4, 2013, 1:00-3:00pm

Jackson Conference Room

“Combined MRI and Near-Infrared Spectroscopy for Increased Specificity of Breast Cancer Imaging”

Thesis Committee:
Keith Paulsen, Ph.D. (Chair)
Brian Pogue, Ph.D.
Shudong Jiang, Ph.D.
Simon Cherry, Ph.D.

Abstract: A yearly breast contrast-MR scan is recommended to high-risk women because of MR’s high sensitivity to breast tumors. However, breast contrast-MR yields a high number of false positives that lead to expensive and sometimes unnecessary biopsy procedures. Therefore, there is a growing need for superior biomarkers derived from the lesion during the scan so that MRI’s high sensitivity can be matched by a high specificity. Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) has been examined here to augment MR by providing information about blood content, blood oxygen saturation, water, lipid, and scatter components. This functional information is correlated with tumor malignancy; however, the low spatial resolution of NIRS imaging has limited its usefulness as a single system. An instrument that synergistically combines the strengths of MRI and NIRS into one patient exam has been developed to non-invasively image high-contrast intrinsic properties of malignant breast lesions.

This work concentrates on the development of instrumentation and methods to optimize a multimodal imaging technology and describes the results of a prospective clinical trial (n=50 subjects). The hypothesis was that NIRS could increase the specificity above MRI alone, to distinguish malignant lesions from benign prior to biopsy. This increased sensitivity was achieved through a customized 9 wavelength NIRS system, developed with an optical fiber interface compatible with most clinical MR breast coils. The study was carried out at Xijing Hospital in Xi’an, China. Through this partnership, we showed that MRI/NIRS characterization of MR-identified regions was correlated to the histo-pathological diagnosis of that same region, as assessed by pathology on the surgically removed tissues. This hybrid imaging technology could aid healthcare decisions, by adding information to clinical MRI exams, lowering the number of necessary breast biopsies preformed, and thereby improving patients’ quality of life.

For more information, contact Daryl Laware at