"My research began with tests with chicken breast and radioactivity. This was the technical evaluation of the device with which we wanted to examine prostates. Every year, several thousand men in the Netherlands have their prostate removed because of prostate cancer. Pathologists examine removed prostates: if there are still tumor cells at the edges, there may also be tumor cells left around the prostate. The problem is: you do not know that until a few days after surgery, and another operation is not possible. I have been investigating an imaging technique - Cerenkov Luminescence Imaging - that allows you to observe in five minutes whether there are any tumor cells left in the surgical margins. The idea of this technique is that the surgeon can remove extra tissue during the operation if needed. It was very special to put a real prostate from a patient into the device for the first time and see Cerenkov light coming from the tumor on the image after five minutes. The method works, but there are still some ifs and buts. For example, the heat coming from the surgeon's tools also produces a signal on the image." Judith defends her thesis on March 26.
A new light on prostate cancer
View the defense through this livestream. More information can be found on University of Twente's website.