The primary goal of this research project is to develop and translate to clinical use a novel optical imaging
technology based on combined Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) and Confocal Microscopy (CM) for non-
invasive real-time diagnosis of non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSCs), tumor subtyping and margin mapping
that will assist physician-patient decision in treatment planning (biopsy vs. no biopsy, surgery vs. non-surgical),
as well as on performing the therapy.
The increasing incidence and prevalence in skin cancer, especially among the aging population, combined
with the high costs of surgery and subsequent reconstruction, and the physical and psychological trauma that
patient endures with surgical intervention, has led to an increasing adoption and implementation of alternative
non-surgical treatments that can be highly effective and less invasive. Laser ablation and radiotherapy have
been proven to be effective therapies for common skin cancers and have the additional benefits that are easily
tolerable and not associated with less scarring or disfigurement. Therefore, their clinical use has substantially
increased within the recent years to treat skin cancers. However, the primary challenge in delivering effective
laser fluence or radiotherapy dose for skin cancer is accurate delineation of the cancer target, both in depth
and laterally. Fortunately, the unique capability of OCT/CM to visualize tissue morphology with micron-scale
resolution can be used in real-time in the clinics to aid therapy target delineation and enable more precise
delivery of therapy without need to “estimate” the subclinical extent of spread, thereby minimizing side effects.
In addition, CM/OCT can be used to confirm eradication of skin cancer, which is currently limited to visual
inspection, a highly insensitive and subjective method.
The preliminary evaluation of the feasibility of this technology for aiding accurate target delineation will be
performed during the Phase I program. Based on Phase I conclusions, the technology will be refined in
Phase II and evaluated clinically on a large pool of patient population. Both therapy decision aiding and therapy
guidance capabilities will be evaluated.