Researchers at the Beckman Laser Institute (BLI) and Medical Clinic, and the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of California, Irvine are testing a new imaging device developed by start-up, Modulated Imaging Inc. (Irvine, CA). One of these studies is designed to monitor, quantify, and hopefully one day predict skin toxicity levels induced by radiation therapy. Anaïs Leproux, a post-doctoral researcher at BLI and lead author of the paper, will report the work at the OSA Biophotonics Congress: Optics in the Life Sciences meeting, held 2-5 April in San Diego, California, USA.
“We use visible and near-infrared light at very low power and project it onto the breast,” said Leproux. “We are trying to characterize the skin damage during radiation therapy, especially for the treatment of breast cancer.”
Using their new imaging technique, the project is aimed at using precision measurements to characterize skin toxicity of tissue exposed to radiation. By tracking these measurements throughout treatment, Leproux and her team hope to better understand the factors involved in skin damage and, hopefully, how to predict acute and late toxicities.
“The toxicity is basically the skin damage, a side effect from the radiation,” said Leproux. “There are a wide range of side effects that we’re observing; erythema, hyperpigmentation, discoloration, dry or wet desquamation. Necrosis can happen but is less common.”