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Latest Research in Hyperspectral Skin Cancer Diagnosis

March 2, 2021

New research has again demonstrated the potential of hyperspectral imaging as a rapid and non-invasive screening tool.

Clinical performance of a novel hyperspectral imaging device for cutaneous melanoma and pigmented skin lesions in Caucasian skin

There is an ongoing quest to discover early-stage cancer diagnostic tools. Distinguishing malignant cancer from benign skin lesions is crucial. If a malignant lesion is misdiagnosed, cancer may continue to grow rapidly throughout the body. Histopathological examination of small, excised skin samples is the gold standard cancer diagnostic technique. It is an invasive method, and often the result of visual inspections that are subject to human error. Dermatology consultations and clinical visits are a barrier to many patients. New research has again demonstrated the potential of hyperspectral imaging as a rapid and non-invasive screening tool. Researchers applied a hyperspectral imager with a spectral resolution of 12.3 μm covering the range of 400-800nm. They introduced a non-invasive and quick adjunct diagnostic tool for early cancer detection. Specifically, they validated the HSI device to differentiate the cutaneous malignant melanoma (cMM) from benign pigmented skin lesions (PSLs). They achieved 96.7% sensitivity in the detection of malignant melanoma. HSI results from a large, diverse population can help achieve high specificity, augmented with machine learning algorithms. Hyperspectral imaging eliminates the unnecessary invasive diagnostic methods and is the future of this precise non-invasive clinical tool. Further research and clinical adoption would benefit from a higher spectral resolution as well to increase the sensitivity and specificity of diagnosis.

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