SPECT-CT augmented reality for intraoperative localization of sentinel lymph nodes in head and neck melanoma

Research Description

Melanoma accounts for 65% of deaths from skin cancer. When treating melanoma, sentinel lymph node biopsy is critical to determine whether the cancer has metastasized, since this predicts survival. Sentinel lymph node biopsy is particularly challenging in the 10-20% of melanoma cases that occur in the head and neck, where the anatomical structures are complex and delicate. Pre-operative 3D imaging with SPECT-CT provides a map of lymph nodes (including the sentinel node) draining the area surrounding the melanoma; surgeons can refer to these images to identify and locate the sentinel lymph node in relation to other structures. However, these images are viewed on a computer monitor and surgeons must retain the visual data in memory as they look to and from the surgical field. We hypothesize that pre-operative localization of sentinel nodes would be more accurate and efficient using augmented reality (AR) visualization, where the surgeon could wear a headset that displays the SPECT-CT imaging data directly in their line of sight. We propose to develop such a wearable, image-guided surgical tool using the Microsoft HoloLens 2 and to evaluate the surgeon’s localization accuracy with this tool in two studies that will provide important preliminary data for future development and clinical in vivo evaluation.

Research Team

Prof. Bruce Daniel, M.D., Professor of Radiology (Body Imaging) and, by courtesy, of Bioengineering

Dr. Benjamin Franc, Clinical Professor of Radiology- Rad/Nuclear Medicine

Steffi Perkins, Ph.D., Medical Mixed and Extended Reality Lab, Stanford University

Heying Duan, M.D., MBA, Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Lab, Stanford University

Bruce Daniel
Professor Bruce Daniel
Benjamin Franc
Dr. Benjamin Franc
Steffi Perkins
Steffi Perkins
Heying Duan
Heying Duan