Endoscopic Ultrasound Research at Kettering University Helps to Identify Cancer

FLINT, Mich.--()--Kettering University Physicist Ronald Kumon, Ph.D., is conducting medical research related to diagnosing pancreatic cancer, specifically using endoscopic ultrasound to differentiate between chronic pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) and pancreatic cancer.

“The clinical problem is how to determine if the symptoms are cancer or a chronic condition,” said Kumon, an assistant professor of Physics at Kettering University.

See a story with photos on this research project at: http://www.kettering.edu/news/using-endoscopic-ultrasound-find-cancer

Kumon and fellow researchers used signal processing of data from ultrasound imaging during endoscopy to help gastroenterologists distinguish malignant from benign tissue states, which can sometimes be difficult to differentiate using conventional methods.

Kumon and his collaborators are working to quantitatively analyze the radio frequency data that underlies the ultrasound image, based on calibration of the system against known targets.

“Using calibration, we can remove information related to the ultrasound system when taking a measurement; this is important because the system itself can affect results. By taking out the effect of the system elements like the transducer, we can get information about just the tissue being analyzed, in this case, the pancreas,” Kumon said.

Kumon explained that a transducer converts electrical energy into the mechanical vibrations of ultrasound. During the procedure, a water balloon is inflated around the transducer. Water is used because the ultrasound waves do not travel well through air. The ultrasound goes through the balloon into the body so doctors can get an image of the pancreas, liver and other organs. The same endoscope that performs the ultrasound imaging can be used to obtain a biopsy as well, Kumon said.

“Human tissue has cells, cells have nuclei, and nuclei scatter ultrasound waves. It is how the ultrasound waves are scattered and reflected off the tissue is what creates the image we see in an ultrasound,” he said. For example, tumor cells don’t develop in a normal way, so their physical properties can differ from normal tissue. That difference is what Kumon and his co-researchers look for.

Kumon presented the results of the study at the 37th Ultrasonic Imaging and Tissue Characterization Symposium in June in Rosslyn, Virginia.

About Kettering University

Kettering University is a nationally-ranked STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and Business university and a national leader in combining a rigorous academic environment with rich opportunities for experiential learning and cooperative education. Some of Kettering’s fastest growing academic majors are Bioinformatics, Chemical Engineering and BioChemistry. For more information, visit www.kettering.edu

Contacts

Kettering University
Dawn Hibbard
810.762.9865
dhibbard@kettering.edu

Release Summary

Medical research at Kettering University is using endoscopic ultrasounds to differentiate between chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer -- helping determine if its cancer or a chronic condition.

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Contacts

Kettering University
Dawn Hibbard
810.762.9865
dhibbard@kettering.edu