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Tumors can be better detected with new cancer detection methods. Last week, Ruud van Sloun obtained his doctorate at the TU/e with honors, on the recognition of diseased tissues and blood vessels with Ultrasound Imaging.

Currently, doctors often use relatively inaccurate and expensive diagnostic tests such as MRI and CT scans, supplemented by biopsy, which can lead to pain and inflammation. During his PhD pathway, Van Sloun worked on different algorithms to recognize cancer tumors in images taken using the Ultrasound Imaging detection method developed in 2014. This offers an alternative to cancer detection because it is based on ultrasound, which is cost-effective, non-invasive and widely accessible.

In his research, Van Sloun focused on the properties of tissues that indicate cancer. Excessive blood vessel production, elasticity, and non-linear behavior are good indicators of tumor growth. Injected microbubbles are tracked with ultrasound in blood vessels to visualize these abnormalities. By automatically analyzing the data with an algorithm, tumors can be detected quickly.

This research can be applied in screening protocols for common types of cancer, such as prostate and breast cancer. Van Sloun wrote about this in Nature Scientific Reports as early as 2016.

For his research, Van Sloun received the Young Investigator Award from the European Federation of Societies in Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology. In addition, two patent applications have already been filed on the basis of his work and it has already been cited more than 50 times.

Photo: Arne Olivier