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Med Phys. 2007 Jan;34(1):266-74.

Using a priori structural information from magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the feasibility of prostate diffuse optical tomography and spectroscopy: a simulation study.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


Implementation of diffuse optical tomography (DOT) for prostate cancer is challenging because the prostate is a deep-seated organ. We investigated whether diffuse optical tomography (DOT) and spectroscopy could be applied to monitor the physiology of prostate cancer using a small probe that could be placed endorectally. We manually segmented the prostate, the intraprostatic tumor, and the rectum using data from endorectal magnetic resonance imaging. These structures were reconstructed and meshed with tetrahedral finite elements in three dimensions. A 2 x 4 cm probe that has ten sources and 52 detectors were placed to face the anterior wall of the rectum in our simulation. Optical properties of the organs were obtained from the literature in the near infrared regime. Diffusion approximation was used to simulate photon migration with finite element method. Five wavelengths were used to simulate tissue absorption with realistic water, oxy- and deoxyhaemoglobin concentrations in the prostate. We combined a global search based on genetic algorithm with gradient-driven local search methods to fit the simulated data. Our results suggest that the optical properties and the concentrations of the chromophores of the prostate and the prostate cancer can be reliably recovered from the measurements using an endorectal probe. Prostate DOT is worth further investigation for clinical application.

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