Researchers from Northwestern University, NorthShore University HealthSystem, and NYU have developed an optical system that may allow for early lung cancer screening of patients at high risk for the disease. The method, called partial wave spectroscopic (PWS) microscopy, analyzes the “disorder strength of cell nanoarchitecture” of swabbed cells from the lining of the inner cheek. In an initial study, results showed a greater than 50% detection rate in smokers with lung cancer.
PWS can detect cell features as small as 20 nanometers, uncovering differences in cells that appear normal using standard microscopy techniques. The PWS-based test makes use of the “field effect,” a biological phenomenon in which cells located some distance from the malignant or pre-malignant tumor undergo molecular and other changes.
The study was comprised of 135 participants including 63 smokers with lung cancer and control groups of 37 smokers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), 13 smokers without COPD and 22 non-smokers. The research was not confounded by the participants’ demographic factors such as amount of smoking, age or gender. Importantly, the test was equally sensitive to cancers of all stages, including early curable cancers.
Full story from Northwestern University: Early Lung Cancer Detection…
Abstract in Cancer Research: Optical Detection of Buccal Epithelial Nanoarchitectural Alterations in Patients Harboring Lung Cancer: Implications for Screening