Near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopic imaging technology provides a new modality for measuring changes in total hemoglobin concentration (HbT) and blood oxygen saturation (SO2) in human tissue. The technology can be used to detect breast cancer because cancers may cause greater vascularization and greater oxygen consumption than in normal tissue. Based on the NIR technology, ViOptix, Inc., has developed an optical device that provides two-dimensional mapping of HbT and SO2 in human tissue. As an adjunctive tool to mammography, the device was preliminarily tested in a clinical trial with 50 mammogram-positive patients at the Massachusetts General Hospital. The results of the clinical trial demonstrate that the device can reach as much as 92% diagnostic sensitivity and 67% specificity in detecting ductal carcinoma. These results may indicate that the NIR technology can potentially be used as an adjunct to mammography for breast cancer detection to reduce the number of biopsies performed.
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