Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer globally in men, and in some countries is now the most diagnosed form of cancer. It is necessary to differentiate between benign and malignant prostate conditions to give accurate diagnoses. We aim to demonstrate the use of a 3D Mueller matrix method to allow quick and easy clinical differentiation between prostate adenoma and carcinoma tissues with different grades and Gleason scores. Histological sections of benign and malignant prostate tumours, obtained by radical prostatectomy, were investigated. We map the degree of depolarisation in the different prostate tumour tissues using a Mueller matrix polarimeter set-up, based on the superposition of a reference laser beam with the interference pattern of the sample in the image plane. The depolarisation distributions can be directly related to the morphology of the biological tissues. The dependences of the magnitude of the 1st to 4th order statistical moments of the depolarisation distribution are determined, which characterise the distributions of the depolarisation values. To determine the diagnostic potential of the method three groups of histological sections of prostate tumour biopsies were formed. The first group contained 36 adenoma tissue samples, while the second contained 36 carcinoma tissue samples of a high grade (grade 4: poorly differentiated-4 + 4 Gleason score), and the third group contained 36 carcinoma tissue samples of a low grade (grade 1: moderately differentiated-3 + 3 Gleason score). Using the calculated values of the statistical moments, tumour tissues are categorised as either adenoma or carcinoma. A high level (> 90%) accuracy of differentiation between adenoma and carcinoma samples was achieved for each group. Differentiation between the high-grade and low-grade carcinoma samples was achieved with an accuracy of 87.5%. The results demonstrate that Mueller matrix mapping of the depolarisation distribution of prostate tumour tissues can accurately differentiate between adenoma and carcinoma, and between different grades of carcinoma. This represents a first step towards the implementation of 3D Mueller matrix mapping for clinical analysis and diagnosis of prostate tumours.
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Funding: This work received funding from: the ATTRACT project funded by the EC under Grant Agreement 777222; Academy of Finland (Grants 314639 and 325097); National Research Foundation of Ukraine, Project 2020.02/0061; and INFOTECH strategic funding. I.M. also acknowledges partial support from MEPhI Academic Excellence Project (Contract No. 02.a03.21.0005), and the National Research Tomsk State University Academic D.I. Mendeleev Fund Program.