17 February 2017 Precision resection of lung cancer in a sheep model using ultrashort laser pulses
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Abstract
Recent developments and progress in the delivery of high average power ultrafast laser pulses enable a range of novel minimally invasive surgical procedures. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide and here the resection of lung tumours by means of picosecond laser pulses is presented. This represents a potential alternative to mitigate limitations of existing surgical treatments in terms of precision and collateral thermal damage to the healthy tissue.

Robust process parameters for the laser resection are demonstrated using ovine pulmonary adenocarcinoma (OPA). OPA is a naturally occurring lung cancer of sheep caused by retrovirus infection that has several features in common with some forms of human pulmonary adenocarcinoma, including a similar histological appearance, which makes it ideally suited for this study.

The picosecond laser was operated at a wavelength of 515 nm to resect square cavities from fresh ex-vivo OPA samples using a range of scanning strategies. Process parameters are presented for efficient ablation of the tumour with clear margins and only minimal collateral damage to the surrounding tissue. The resection depth can be controlled precisely by means of the pulse energy. By adjusting the overlap between successive laser pulses, deliberate heat transfer to the tissue and thermal damage can be achieved. This can be beneficial for on demand haemostasis and laser coagulation.

Overall, the application of ultrafast lasers for the resection of lung tumours has potential to enable significantly improved precision and reduced thermal damage to the surrounding tissue compared to conventional techniques.
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Rainer J. Beck, Syam Mohan P. C. Mohanan, Wojciech S. Góra, Chris Cousens, Jeanie Finlayson, Mark P. Dagleish, David J. Griffiths, Jonathan D. Shephard, "Precision resection of lung cancer in a sheep model using ultrashort laser pulses", Proc. SPIE 10094, Frontiers in Ultrafast Optics: Biomedical, Scientific, and Industrial Applications XVII, 1009405 (17 February 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2252215; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2252215
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