Researchers Develop Test That Can Diagnose Two Cancer Types


Source: Georgia State University

Summary: According to a new study, a blood test using infrared spectroscopy can be used to diagnose the two types of cancer lymphoma and melanoma.


The incidence rates of cutaneous melanoma (skin cancer) have increased in many regions over the last decade, specifically 3%-7% per year among fair-skinned populations. In the U.S, the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma accounts for 4.3% of new cancer cases. The currently available diagnostic tool for both cancers, which includes tissue examination and biopsy, is time-consuming, invasive and costly, which result in small compliance rates of eligible populations for cancer prescreening. Researchers from the Georgia State University in a new study, reported a blood test using infrared spectroscopy can be used to diagnose the two types of cancer lymphoma and melanoma. They also suggested that infrared spectroscopy can detect biochemical changes and has diagnostic potential as a screening technique for these cancers. The study findings were published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Blood test using infrared spectroscopy can detect cancer

Credit: Georgia State University

Rapid and reliable pre-screening is critical as early diagnosis and treatment can improve the patient’s chances of survival. Researchers used mid-infrared spectroscopy to analyze blood serum derived from experimental mice. Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy in Attenuated Total Reflection (ATR) sampling mode gives high-quality results with better reproducibility when compared to other vibrational spectroscopy. The study found remarkable differences between the ATR-FTIR spectra of serum samples from tumor-bearing mice with melanoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and healthy, control mice. In the future, researchers would like to use samples from human patients for infrared spectroscopy studies of cancer and other diseases.

Prof. Unil Perera said, “Our final goal is to say we can use this infrared technique to identify various diseases”, “This study shows infrared spectroscopy can identify cancer. Right now, when you go to the doctor, they do blood tests for sugar and several other things, but not for serious diseases like cancer and colitis. If you are a healthy person, there is a range that is normal. One day, we hope that even these serious diseases can be rapidly screened. Your primary doctor could keep a record of your number and check that every time you come back. Then, if there is some indication of cancer or colitis, they can do biopsies, colonoscopies, etc.”


More Information: Hemendra Ghimire et al, “ATR-FTIR spectral discrimination between normal and tumorous mouse models of lymphoma and melanoma from serum samples”, Scientific Reports (2017). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-17027-4


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