Attendees to the Biomedical Optics Symposium (BiOS, Feb. 13-14, 2016), which will again comprise the major portion of SPIE Photonics West (San Francisco, CA), will get to learn how new photonics advances improve surgical decision-making. The excitement builds as commercial developers move these approaches toward the surgical suite.
During the Saturday night Hot Topics session, Heather Franklin of Blaze BioScience will present on targeted fluorescence guidance, which "lights up" cancer to let surgeons easily see every bit of tumor—so that resection leaves every bit of healthy tissue. Curadel is pursuing a similar approach, and Mauna Kea Technologies recently won FDA clearance for use of confocal laser endomicroscopy during surgery—again to identify cancerous tissue and guide treatment.
Optical coherence tomography (OCT), which is currently being applied intraoperatively to guide eye procedures, is now being advanced for other surgeries. Research led by Stephen Boppart at the University of Illinois, and published this fall in Cancer Research, showed that a handheld OCT probe could soon enable reliable, real-time guidance for breast cancer surgery—a vast improvement over post-surgical examination of tissue mass. Similarly, research announced in late 2015 by the Keck School of Medicine demonstrates the benefit of OCT during arthroscopic shoulder surgery for assessing rotator cuff pathology.