listening to light
addressing an urgent medical need
increasing penetration depth & adaptation of software
offering multispectral analysis
international interdisciplinary team
ESOTRAC, a 4-year research program bringing together engineers and physicians, aims to significantly improve the detection of early-stage esophageal cancer. The interdisciplinary, 5-country research team will develop an innovative endoscope that combines sensing of pathophysiological tissue signatures resolved by multi-spectral optoacoustic (photoacoustic) tomography (MSOT) with morphological disease signatures provided by optical coherence tomography (OCT).
More than 450.000 people are diagnosed with esophageal cancer (EC) each year worldwide and ~400.000 die annually from the disease. The high mortality rate is attributed to the late detection of the disease, largely due to insufficient detection methods today. Besides loss of life, treating late disease incurs costs in the range of $80,000-250,000 per patient lifetime making esophageal cancer among the most expensive diseases to treat in oncology today. Risk factors, including obesity, chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and Barret’s esophagus, implicate diagnostically a much larger population. It is estimated that at least 100 million people suffer of GERD in Western Countries and that ~10 million people in Western countries live with Barrett’s esophagus. Alarmingly, due to an aging and more overweight population the incidence rates of GERD, Barrett’s esophagus and EC are increasing.
Today, EC detection and diagnosis is typically based on white-light endoscopy (WLE), i.e. the visual inspection of the esophagus lumen through an optical system (endoscope) and subsequent pathological analysis of biopsied samples. Human vision however is insensitive to detecting early disease (dysplasia / sub-surface lesions) and lacks specificity and staging ability compromising disease prognosis. Due to WLE limitations, random biopsies may be prescribed to improve the chances of detecting early disease and tumor staging. Random tissue sampling is nevertheless sub-optimal and it may miss EC. Therefore, EC is often detected late in the course of development, which decreases the five year survival rate by more than 80% compared to early detection of the disease.
Thus, a novel tool for early detection of EC is urgently needed.
ESOTRAC was featured in several communication activities addressing the general public, and, in particular, the young generation of future scientists...
The 4th consortium meeting of ESOTRAC took place from January 10-11, 2019 at Hotel & Palais Strudlhof in Vienna, hosted by the Medical University of...
The Technical University of Denmark hosted the 3rd consortium meeting from July 2-3, 2018 @ the Park Inn by Radisson in Kopenhagen. Joined by one of...
ESOTRAC researchers hosted a well-attended special session on “Early detection of esophageal cancer with advances in photonic imaging” on March 22nd...