The incidence of skin cancer in Europe, US, and Australia is rising rapidly. One in five will develop some form of skin cancer during the lifetime. A person has a 1:33 chance to develop melanoma, the most aggressive skin cancer. Melanoma is the second most common cancer in women aged 20-29, and the sixth most common cancer in men and women. In 2007, more than 1 million new cases will be diagnosed in the US alone. About 90% of skin cancers are caused by ultraviolet (UV) sun light. The World Health Organization estimates that 60,000 people will die this year from too much sun: 48,000 from melanoma and 12,000 from other skin cancer. A significant improvement of the current diagnostic tools of dermatologists is required in order to identify dermal disorders at a very early stage as well as to monitor directly the effects of treatment. We suggest within this proposal the development of a non-invasive multimodal hybrid imaging system with the capability to perform non-invasive high resolution three-dimensional clinical (i) two-photon imaging with time-correlated single photon detection, (ii) autofluorescence lifetime imaging, (iii) high-frequency acoustical imaging with novel miniaturized multiple detector arrays, and (iv) optoacoustical imaging using ultrashort near infrared (NIR) laser pulses. This novel multimodal approach will provide a wide-field “acoustic/optoacoustic” view with quantitative depth information of the dermatological lesion as well as a close “optical” look into particular intratissue compartments with quantitative hyperspectral information and subcellular resolution. A successful project will provide a novel unique tool for early diagnosis and treatment control of skin cancer and skin disease and will significantly contribute to the improvement of the European health care system.
Fields of science
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