Early Detection of Lung Cancer.
Researchers from Northwestern University and the University of North Shore developed a method to detect early signs of lung cancer by examining cheek cells of humans using technology biofotonik.
Early Detection of Lung Cancer
“By examining the lining of the cheek with this optical technology, we have the possibility of early detection of patients at high risk of lung cancer as smokers, and identify those who require a more expensive test and deeper than those that do not require additional tests, “said Hemant K. Roy, M.D. who is director of gastroenterology research at NorthShore.
The optical technique is called partial wave spectroscopic (SGP) microscopy and was developed by Vadim Backman, who is a professor of biomedical engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science Northwestern McCormick. Backman and Roy earlier used SGP to assess the risk of colon cancer and pancreatic cancer with promising results as well.
The discovery of the lung cancer was published on the Internet on October 5 yesterday in the journal Cancer Research. Paper will be printed in the October 15 issue.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Survival rates are high with surgical resection (removal of the tumor), but only if detected at an early stage. Currently no tests are recommended for people to detect lung cancer early. The disease is already at a higher stage when most lung cancer patients show symptoms. Five-year survival rate for lung cancer patients is only 15 percent.
SGP can detect cell features that are up to 20 nanometers that reveals differences in cells that appear normal using standard microscopy techniques. SGP-based test harness “field effect” which is a biological phenomenon in which cells located some distance from the tumor is malignant or pre-malignant undergo molecular and other changes.
“Despite the fact that these cells appear to be normal with standard microscopes describe the micro-scale cell architecture, there are actually profound changes in the nanoscale architecture of the cell,” Backman said. “SGP measures the disorder strength of the nanoscale organization of these cells we have set to be one of the early signs of carcinogenesis and a strong marker for the presence of cancer in the organ.”
“SGP is a paradigm shift in this case we do not need to examine the tumor to determine the presence of cancer,” added Hariharan Subramanian who is a research fellow in the laboratory Backman has an important role in the development of these technologies.
After testing the technology in a small-scale trial, Roy and Backman focused the study on smokers because smoking is a major risk factor related to 90 percent of lung cancer patients. “The basic idea is that smoking not only affects the lungs but the entire airway tract,” Roy said.
The study group included 135 participants including 63 smokers who had lung cancer and 37 smokers who suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), 13 smokers were not affected by COPD and a group of 22 nonsmokers. The study was not confounded by demographic factors such as the level of smoking, age or gender. The important test is sensitive to the average cancer at all stages, including early curable cancers.
The researchers wipe the inside of the patient’s mouth and then the cheek cells are placed into a slide, fixed with ethanol and then scanned with SGP to measure the disorder strength of cell nanoscale architecture. Results were markedly elevated (greater than 50 percent) in patients suffering from lung cancer than smokers who did not have cancer.
Further assessment of the performance characteristics of the “disorder strength” (the sebaga biomarkers) showed more than 80 percent accuracy in discriminating cancer patients in the three groups.
“These results are similar to the techniques that other successful cancer screening, such as Pap smear,” Backman said. “Our goal is to develop a technique that could improve the detection of other cancers in order to provide early care like pap smears drastically improved survival rates for cervical cancer.”
SGP requires large-scale validation testing. If the SGP, it proved effective in the early detection of cancer clinical trials, Backman and Roy believe that the SGP has the potential to be used as a pre-screening method to identify patients with high risk who may require more comprehensive testing such as bronchoscopy or CT scan is small.