Second harmonic generation (SHG) imaging of cancer heterogeneity in ultrasound guided biopsies of prostate in men suspected with prostate cancer

Yuting Ling, Chunhui Li, Kairui Feng, Scott Palmer, Paul L. Appleton, Stephen Lang, David McGloin, Zhihong Huang, Ghulam Nabi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Prostate cancer is a multifocal disease with characteristic heterogeneity and foci that can range from low grade indolent to aggressive disease. The latter is characterised by the well-established histopathological Gleason grading system used in the current clinical care. Nevertheless, a large discrepancy exists on initial biopsy and after the final radical prostatectomy. Moreover, there is no reliable imaging modality to study these foci, in particular at the level of the cells and surrounding matrix. Extracellular matrix (ECM) remodelling is significant in cancer progression with collagen as the dominant structural component providing mechanical strength and flexibility of tissue. In this study, the collagen assembly in prostate tissue was investigated with second harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy: malignant foci demonstrated a reticular pattern, with a typical collagen pattern for each Gleason score. The orientation of collagen for each biopsy was computed by applying a ratio of the anisotropic and isotropic collagen fibres. This value was found to be distinct for each Gleason score. The findings suggest that this approach can not only be used to detect prostate cancer, but also can act as a potential biomarker for cancer aggressiveness. (Figure presented.).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)911-918
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biophotonics
Issue number6
Early online date22 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support of Prostate Cancer UK (PCUK), the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance (SUPA) and EPSRC Grant no. EP/K503010/1. We appreciate the histopathological assistance from Stephen Lang, Department of Pathology, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee. The authors also thank the Dundee Imaging Facility, School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee for the use of equipment, advice and support.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • collagen
  • Gleason score
  • orientation
  • preferred orientation
  • Prostate cancer (PCa)
  • second harmonic generation (SHG)


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