A new light on prostate cancer
Due to the COVID-19 crisis measures the PhD defence of Judith Olde Heuvel will take place online (until further notice).
The PhD defence can be followed by a live stream.
Judith olde Heuvel is a PhD student in the research group Robotics and Mechatronics (RAM). Her supervisor is prof.dr.ir. C.H. Slump from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS).
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer amongst men in the world. One of the treatment options is a radical prostatectomy. Successful surgery is established by both securing good therapeutic outcome and preserving sexual function and continence. However, incomplete tumour resections or positive surgical margins, are observed in up to 38% of cases.
Despite technical advances in surgery, irradical resection of prostate cancer still occurs frequently as it is difficult to distinguish between malignant and benign tissue intraoperatively only with palpation and visual inspection. Positive surgical margins are associated with a higher risk on recurrences and subsequent adjuvant therapy, impacting the quality of life of the patient. Ideally you will find these positive surgical margins during surgery, so that additional tissue can be removed. An emerging technology that might be used to assess surgical margins intraoperatively is Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI). At the same time, diagnostic imaging of prostate cancer has progressed dramatically over the last five years, with the introduction of specific tumour targeting tracers like 68Ga-PSMA. It is hypothesized that combining these tracers with novel imaging system, such as CLI, might assist the surgeon with a radical excision and thus reduce PSM rate. In this thesis, the application of PSMA-directed CLI is introduced to shine a new light on prostate cancer surgery.