In oral cavity cancer only 15% of operations succeed in removing the whole tumor with the required margin of more than 5 mm of surrounding healthy tissue. This negatively affects prognosis. Clearly the hands and eyes of the surgeon do not suffice.
We use a fiber optic needle probe for high-wavenumber Raman spectroscopic analysis of the freshly resected tissue to determine if the distance between the resection surface and the tumor is sufficient.
A system is under development to inspect the resected tissue in under 15 minutes, while the patient is still in the OR.