SPIE Spring Seminar with Dr. John A. Viator
Time: 3-4 pm, Wednesday, April 28thPredicting metastasis of early-stage melanoma using photoacoustic flow cytometry
Abstract: Enumerating circulating tumor cells has been used as a method of monitoring the progression of various cancers. Various methods for detecting circulating melanoma cells (CMCs) have been reported, but none has had sufficient sensitivity to determine if the presence of rare CMCs in the blood of Stage I-III melanoma patients predicts if those patients eventually develop metastatic disease. We developed a photoacoustic flow cytometer to detect unlabeled CMCs by exploiting the light absorption of native melanosomes. We tested serial samples of blood from 38 melanoma patients. Of the 11 patients who had 2 or fewer CMCs detected at all time points tested, none progressed to metastatic disease over a mean follow-up of 1288 days. In contrast, 18 of 27 of the patients having more than 2 CMCs/mL on one or more time points progressed to metastatic disease over a mean follow-up of 850 days. Thus we established a predictive threshold of 2 CMCs/mL for early-stage melanoma patients.
Biography: Dr. Viator is the founding chair of the Department of Engineering at Duquesne University. He has worked in the field of biomedical optics since his graduate studies at Oregon Health & Science University. He continued this work at the Beckman Laser Institute and at the University of Missouri. He currently runs a lab at Duquesne University, focusing on photoacoustic methods.
Hope to see you there!