Towards accurate in vivo spectroscopy of the human prostate



The recent interest in photodynamic therapy of human prostate cancer is accompanied by a need for techniques for in vivo monitoring of optical and physiological characteristics. We propose time-of-flight (TOF) spectroscopy in combination with Monte Carlo evaluation as a reliable optical technique for quantitative assessment of absorption, scattering, hemoglobin content and tissue oxygenation in the human prostate. For the first time, we demonstrate Monte Carlo-based evaluation of in vivo TOF photon migration data. We show that this approach is crucial in order to avoid the large errors associated with the use of time-resolved diffusion theory of light propagation in prostate-like tissues. This progress also allows us to present the first in vivo scattering spectroscopy of human prostate tissue. Furthermore, TOF spectroscopy, in contrast to the more common steady-state approach, is insensitive to bleedings, and has been found highly reliable (100% success rate). (© 2008 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)