UWM Physics Professor Develops New Technology for Diagnosing and Treating Cancer of the Prostate and other Abdominal Organs

UWM Physics Associate Professor Sarah Patch is developing a diagnostic tool for prostate cancer using VHF (very high frequency) radio transmission pulses. Using the observed lower electrical conductivity of fluids in unhealthy prostate tissue Patch is able to create thermoacoustic images of the organ pinpointing cancerous regions. Eventually, the Patch group hopes to image the prostate while still inside the body of the patient hence reducing the need for transrectal biopsies. In addition to diagnosis Dr. Patch is investigating the use of thervoacoustinc imaging as method for enhancing proton therapy as a cancer treatment. This last summer, Patch utilized the Lawrence Berkely National Lab’s (LBNL) 88-inch cyclotron proton accelerator to test her newest ultrasound equipment. More information can be found at December 2015 In-Focus Newsletter.