US researchers have begun a study to determine if an imaging technique used by NASA can be used to predict tissue damage experienced by breast cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy.

Rush University Medical Center and Argonne National Laboratory researchers are studying the use of three-dimensional thermal tomography (3DTT) in radiation oncology.

3DTT, used by NASA to detect defects in composite materials, may be able to help predict acute skin toxicities by identifying the earliest changes in damaged tissue due to radiation therapy.

Thermal imaging is a technique that applies heat or cold to a material to observe the resulting temperature change with an infrared camera.