Breast cancer margin detection with a single frequency terahertz imaging system

Sigfrid K. Yngvesson, Andrew Karellas, Stephen Glick, Ashraf Khan, Paul R. Siqueira, Patrick A. Kelly, Benjamin Peter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

9 Scopus citations


The ability to discern malignant from benign tissue in excised human breast specimens in Breast Conservation Surgery (BCS) was evaluated using a prototype single frequency terahertz radiation. Terahertz (THz) images of the specimens in reflection mode were obtained by employing a gas laser source and mechanical scanning. The images were correlated with optical histological micrographs of the same specimens, and a mean discrimination of 73% was found for five out of six samples using Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) analysis. This result is similar to what has previously been obtained using Terahertz pulsed imaging (TPI) techniques. We will discuss the specific advantages of Single frequency THz imaging (SFTI) compared with TPI for potentially allowing the development of much faster, more compact and less expensive cancer imaging systems that could be adapted for employment in the operating room. The system design and characterization of the prototype SFTI system are discussed in detail. The initial results are encouraging but further development of the technology and clinical evaluation is needed to evaluate its feasibility in the clinical environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOptical Interactions with Tissue and Cells XXVII
EditorsE. Duco Jansen
ISBN (Electronic)9781628419405
StatePublished - 2016
EventOptical Interactions with Tissue and Cells XXVII - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Feb 14 2016Feb 17 2016

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferenceOptical Interactions with Tissue and Cells XXVII
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • Breast cancer
  • Thz
  • medical imaging
  • reflectivity
  • refractive index
  • single frequency Thz imaging (SFTI)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomaterials
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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