Background: The modulus and resonant frequency of cancer cells and extracellular matrix are increased in both basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, and in addition, the collagen stiffness is increased. The organization of the extracellular matrix surrounding cancer cells is clearly different than the extracellular matrix that is seen in normal skin. Materials and Methods: We have used vibrational optical coherence tomography (VOCT) to measure the resonant frequency and stiffness of collagen, vascular, and reorganized fibrous extracellular matrix components. Measurements of vessels and fibrotic collagen content made on basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) are compared to similar measurements made on normal skin from different anatomical locations. Results: Lesions with basal cell carcinomas exhibit characteristic resonant frequencies and moduli of reorganized extracellular matrix characteristic of fibrotic tissue. Cancerous lesions are characterized by dermal collagen (100 Hz), vascular (150 Hz), and fibrotic peaks (200-230 Hz). The fibrotic peak is not found in areas of normal skin. Conclusions: Based on this pilot study, it is hypothesized inflammation may promote precancerous lesion formation in the surrounding extracellular matrix. Measurement of the increases in vaculature and fibrotic content may be useful in early detection of BCCs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- basal cell carcinoma
- infrared light
- resonant frequency
- vascular tissue