New photonic endoscopic tool to target cancer

In collaboration with European research centres Light4Tech is developing an innovative, compact and easy to use endoscope to diagnose colorectal cancer.
Funded under Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation programme, PICCOLO is set to revolutionise the diagnosis and prognosis of colorectal cancer by boosting early detection and reducing diagnostic time.

Colorectal cancer ranks as one of the world’s most predominant cancers, affecting approximately one in ten people during their life and causing almost 700,000 annual deaths globally.
Today, the main method to achieve early detection of the disease is colonoscopy. While up to 40% of the patients under routine analysis colonoscopy present one or more polyps, almost 30% of these polyps are not detected.
Of those detected, 29-42% are generally benign, whereas the rest are neoplastic with a malignant potential. For this reason, it is essential to identify these polyps at an early stage, in order to interrupt the development of cancer.

Using both Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) and Multi-Photon Tomography (MPT), PICCOLO provides high-resolution structural and functional imaging, giving details of the changes occurring at the cellular level comparable to those obtained using traditional histological techniques. Surgical removal of benign polyps and the subsequent costly analysis will be avoided through the use of the PICCOLO endoscope probe.

The diagnostic imaging methods on which the device is based have the potential to be used for the diagnosis of diseases in other organs of the body.

To know more: www.piccolo-project.eu


Photonics 21

Keywords: endoscope - Horizon 2020 - colorectal cancer - diagnostic imaging

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