Biophotonics and Imaging for Cancer Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment Monitoring

A special issue of Cancers (ISSN 2072-6694). This special issue belongs to the section "Methods and Technologies Development".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 September 2022) | Viewed by 120511

Special Issue Editor

1. School of Physics and Clinical and Optometric Sciences, Technological University Dublin, City Campus, Dublin 8, Ireland
2. Radiation and Environmental Science Centre, Focas Research Institute, Technological University Dublin, Camden Row, Dublin 8, Ireland
Interests: low dose radiation; non-targeted effects; out of field effects; individual radiosensitivity; biophotonics for cancer diagnosis
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Biophotonics is a multidisciplinary research area covering applications of light-based technologies (from ultraviolet through visible and infrared to the terahertz region) to biology and medicine. There has been growing interest in the use of biophotonics and imaging for cancer screening and diagnosis and also for monitoring of treatment response. New technologies for early diagnosis and for effective treatment and monitoring of cancer are essential to improve prognosis and overall survival in patients.

Contributions are invited for this Special Issue from researchers working on biophotonics and imaging approaches for cancer screening, diagnosis, and monitoring of treatment in cells, tissues, and biofluids for all types of cancer. Both original articles and reviews are welcome. Topics include but are not limited to microscopy/imaging and spectroscopy, such as fluorescence, multi-photon, confocal, near field, OCT, UV-Vis, IR, THz, Raman, CARS, SRS, SERS, TERS, for in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo cancer applications.

Prof. Dr. Fiona M. Lyng
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Cancers is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • biophotonics
  • imaging
  • cancer screening
  • cancer diagnosis
  • treatment monitoring
  • cytopathology
  • histopathology
  • biofluids

Published Papers (51 papers)

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14 pages, 4494 KiB  
Article
Raman Spectroscopic Imaging of Human Bladder Resectates towards Intraoperative Cancer Assessment
Cancers 2023, 15(7), 2162; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers15072162 - 05 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1807
Abstract
Raman spectroscopy offers label-free assessment of bladder tissue for in vivo and ex vivo intraoperative applications. In a retrospective study, control and cancer specimens were prepared from ten human bladder resectates. Raman microspectroscopic images were collected from whole tissue samples in a closed [...] Read more.
Raman spectroscopy offers label-free assessment of bladder tissue for in vivo and ex vivo intraoperative applications. In a retrospective study, control and cancer specimens were prepared from ten human bladder resectates. Raman microspectroscopic images were collected from whole tissue samples in a closed chamber at 785 nm laser excitation using a 20× objective lens and 250 µm step size. Without further preprocessing, Raman images were decomposed by the hyperspectral unmixing algorithm vertex component analysis into endmember spectra and their abundancies. Hierarchical cluster analysis distinguished endmember Raman spectra that were assigned to normal bladder, bladder cancer, necrosis, epithelium and lipid inclusions. Interestingly, Raman spectra of microplastic particles, pigments or carotenoids were detected in 13 out of 20 specimens inside tissue and near tissue margins and their identity was confirmed by spectral library surveys. Hypotheses about the origin of these foreign materials are discussed. In conclusion, our Raman workflow and data processing protocol with minimal user interference offers advantages for future clinical translation such as intraoperative tumor detection and label-free material identification in complex matrices. Full article
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15 pages, 2363 KiB  
Article
Optical Biopsy of Dysplasia in Barrett’s Oesophagus Assisted by Artificial Intelligence
Cancers 2023, 15(7), 1950; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers15071950 - 24 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1179
Abstract
Optical biopsy in Barrett’s oesophagus (BE) using endocytoscopy (EC) could optimize endoscopic screening. However, the identification of dysplasia is challenging due to the complex interpretation of the highly detailed images. Therefore, we assessed whether using artificial intelligence (AI) as second assessor could help [...] Read more.
Optical biopsy in Barrett’s oesophagus (BE) using endocytoscopy (EC) could optimize endoscopic screening. However, the identification of dysplasia is challenging due to the complex interpretation of the highly detailed images. Therefore, we assessed whether using artificial intelligence (AI) as second assessor could help gastroenterologists in interpreting endocytoscopic BE images. First, we prospectively videotaped 52 BE patients with EC. Then we trained and tested the AI pm distinct datasets drawn from 83,277 frames, developed an endocytoscopic BE classification system, and designed online training and testing modules. We invited two successive cohorts for these online modules: 10 endoscopists to validate the classification system and 12 gastroenterologists to evaluate AI as second assessor by providing six of them with the option to request AI assistance. Training the endoscopists in the classification system established an improved sensitivity of 90.0% (+32.67%, p < 0.001) and an accuracy of 77.67% (+13.0%, p = 0.020) compared with the baseline. However, these values deteriorated at follow-up (−16.67%, p < 0.001 and -8.0%, p = 0.009). Contrastingly, AI-assisted gastroenterologists maintained high sensitivity and accuracy at follow-up, subsequently outperforming the unassisted gastroenterologists (+20.0%, p = 0.025 and +12.22%, p = 0.05). Thus, best diagnostic scores for the identification of dysplasia emerged through human–machine collaboration between trained gastroenterologists with AI as the second assessor. Therefore, AI could support clinical implementation of optical biopsies through EC. Full article
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25 pages, 3152 KiB  
Article
Dynamic NIR Fluorescence Imaging and Machine Learning Framework for Stratifying High vs. Low Notch-Dll4 Expressing Host Microenvironment in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
Cancers 2023, 15(5), 1460; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers15051460 - 25 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1434
Abstract
Delta like canonical notch ligand 4 (Dll4) expression levels in tumors are known to affect the efficacy of cancer therapies. This study aimed to develop a model to predict Dll4 expression levels in tumors using dynamic enhanced near-infrared (NIR) imaging with indocyanine green [...] Read more.
Delta like canonical notch ligand 4 (Dll4) expression levels in tumors are known to affect the efficacy of cancer therapies. This study aimed to develop a model to predict Dll4 expression levels in tumors using dynamic enhanced near-infrared (NIR) imaging with indocyanine green (ICG). Two rat-based consomic xenograft (CXM) strains of breast cancer with different Dll4 expression levels and eight congenic xenograft strains were studied. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to visualize and segment tumors, and modified PCA techniques identified and analyzed tumor and normal regions of interest (ROIs). The average NIR intensity for each ROI was calculated from pixel brightness at each time interval, yielding easily interpretable features including the slope of initial ICG uptake, time to peak perfusion, and rate of ICG intensity change after reaching half-maximum intensity. Machine learning algorithms were applied to select discriminative features for classification, and model performance was evaluated with a confusion matrix, receiver operating characteristic curve, and area under the curve. The selected machine learning methods accurately identified host Dll4 expression alterations with sensitivity and specificity above 90%. This may enable stratification of patients for Dll4 targeted therapies. NIR imaging with ICG can noninvasively assess Dll4 expression levels in tumors and aid in effective decision making for cancer therapy. Full article
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18 pages, 17700 KiB  
Article
Label-Free Imaging and Histo-Optical Evaluation of Head and Neck Cancers with Multiphoton Autofluorescence Microscopy
Cancers 2023, 15(4), 1302; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers15041302 - 18 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1671
Abstract
Depth-resolved label-free optical imaging by the method of multiphoton autofluorescence microscopy (MPAM) may offer new ways to examine cellular and extracellular atypia associated with epithelial squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). MPAM was evaluated for its ability to identify cellular and microstructural atypia in head [...] Read more.
Depth-resolved label-free optical imaging by the method of multiphoton autofluorescence microscopy (MPAM) may offer new ways to examine cellular and extracellular atypia associated with epithelial squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). MPAM was evaluated for its ability to identify cellular and microstructural atypia in head and neck tissues from resected discarded tumor tissue. Three-dimensional image volumes were obtained from tissues from the floor of the mouth, tongue, and larynx, and were then processed for histology. MPAM micrographs were evaluated for qualitative metrics of cell atypia and quantitative measures associated with nuclear pleomorphism. Statistical analyses correlated MPAM endpoints with histological grade from each imaged site. Cellular overcrowding, discohesion, anisonucleosis, and multinucleated cells, as observed through MPAM, were found to be statistically associated with dysplasia and SCC grading, but not in histologically benign regions. A quantitative measure of the coefficient of variance in nuclear size in SCC and dysplasia was statistically elevated above histologically benign regions. MPAM also allowed for the identification of cellular heterogeneity across transitional areas and other features, such as inflammatory infiltrates. In the future, MPAM could be evaluated for the non-invasive detection of neoplasia, possibly as an adjunct to traditional conventional examination and biopsy. Full article
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11 pages, 3487 KiB  
Article
Three-Dimensional Amide Proton Transfer-Weighted Imaging for Differentiating between Glioblastoma, IDH-Wildtype and Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma
Cancers 2023, 15(3), 952; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers15030952 - 02 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1074
Abstract
Distinguishing primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL) from glioblastoma, isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH)-wildtype is sometimes hard. Because the role of operation on them varies, accurate preoperative diagnosis is crucial. In this study, we evaluated whether a specific kind of chemical exchange saturation transfer imaging, [...] Read more.
Distinguishing primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL) from glioblastoma, isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH)-wildtype is sometimes hard. Because the role of operation on them varies, accurate preoperative diagnosis is crucial. In this study, we evaluated whether a specific kind of chemical exchange saturation transfer imaging, i.e., amide proton transfer-weighted (APTw) imaging, was useful to distinguish PCNSL from glioblastoma, IDH-wildtype. A total of 14 PCNSL and 27 glioblastoma, IDH-wildtype cases were evaluated. There was no significant difference in the mean APTw signal values between the two groups. However, the percentile values from the 1st percentile to the 20th percentile APTw signals and the width1–100 APTw signals significantly differed. The highest area under the curve was 0.796, which was obtained from the width1–100 APTw signal values. The sensitivity and specificity values were 64.3% and 88.9%, respectively. APTw imaging was useful to distinguish PCNSL from glioblastoma, IDH-wildtype. To avoid unnecessary aggressive surgical resection, APTw imaging is recommended for cases in which PCNSL is one of the differential diagnoses. Full article
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24 pages, 7724 KiB  
Article
Flexible Cyclic Immunofluorescence (cyCIF) Using Oligonucleotide Barcoded Antibodies
Cancers 2023, 15(3), 827; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers15030827 - 29 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2117
Abstract
Advances in our understanding of the complex, multifaceted interactions between tumor epithelia, immune infiltrate, and tumor microenvironmental cells have been driven by highly multiplexed imaging technologies. These techniques are capable of labeling many more biomarkers than conventional immunostaining methods. However, multiplexed imaging techniques [...] Read more.
Advances in our understanding of the complex, multifaceted interactions between tumor epithelia, immune infiltrate, and tumor microenvironmental cells have been driven by highly multiplexed imaging technologies. These techniques are capable of labeling many more biomarkers than conventional immunostaining methods. However, multiplexed imaging techniques suffer from low detection sensitivity, cell loss—particularly in fragile samples—, and challenges with antibody labeling. Herein, we developed and optimized an oligonucleotide antibody barcoding strategy for cyclic immunofluorescence (cyCIF) that can be amplified to increase the detection efficiency of low-abundance antigens. Stained fluorescence signals can be readily removed using ultraviolet light treatment, preserving tissue and fragile cell sample integrity. We also extended the oligonucleotide barcoding strategy to secondary antibodies to enable the inclusion of difficult-to-label primary antibodies in a cyCIF panel. Using both the amplification oligonucleotides to label DNA barcoded antibodies and in situ hybridization of multiple fluorescently labeled oligonucleotides resulted in signal amplification and increased signal-to-background ratios. This procedure was optimized through the examination of staining parameters including staining oligonucleotide concentration, staining temperature, and oligonucleotide sequence design, resulting in a robust amplification technique. As a proof-of-concept, we demonstrate the flexibility of our cyCIF strategy by simultaneously imaging with the original oligonucleotide conjugated antibody (Ab-oligo) cyCIF strategy, the novel Ab-oligo cyCIF amplification strategy, as well as direct and indirect immunofluorescence to generate highly multiplexed images. Full article
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17 pages, 9206 KiB  
Article
Feasibility of Breast Cancer Metastasis Assessment of Ex Vivo Sentinel Lymph Nodes through a p-H&E Optical Coherence Microscopic Imaging System
Cancers 2022, 14(24), 6081; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14246081 - 10 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1459
Abstract
Frozen-sectioned hematoxylin–eosin (H&E) image evaluation is the current method for intraoperative breast cancer metastasis assessment through ex vivo sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs). After frozen sectioning, the sliced fatty region of the frozen-sectioned specimen is easily dropped because of different freezing points for fatty [...] Read more.
Frozen-sectioned hematoxylin–eosin (H&E) image evaluation is the current method for intraoperative breast cancer metastasis assessment through ex vivo sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs). After frozen sectioning, the sliced fatty region of the frozen-sectioned specimen is easily dropped because of different freezing points for fatty tissues and other tissues. Optical-sectioned H&E images provide a nondestructive method for obtaining the insight en face image near the attached surface of the dissected specimen, preventing the freezing problem of fatty tissue. Specimens from 29 patients at Wanfang Hospital were collected after excision and were analyzed at the pathology laboratory, and a fluorescence-in-built optical coherence microscopic imaging system (OCMIS) was then used to visualize the pseudo-H&E (p-H&E) images of the SLNs for intraoperative breast cancer metastasis assessment, and the specificity, sensitivity, and accuracy were 100%, 88.9%, and 98.8% (n = 83), respectively. Compared with gold-standard paraffin-sectioned H&E images, the specificity, sensitivity, and accuracy obtained with the frozen-sectioned H&E images (n = 85) of the specimens were the same as those obtained with the p-H&E images (n = 95). Thus, OCMIS is a useful noninvasive image-assisted tool for breast cancer metastasis assessment based on SLN images. Full article
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26 pages, 2429 KiB  
Article
Insights into Biochemical Sources and Diffuse Reflectance Spectral Features for Colorectal Cancer Detection and Localization
Cancers 2022, 14(22), 5715; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14225715 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1567
Abstract
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common and second most deadly type of cancer worldwide. Early detection not only reduces mortality but also improves patient prognosis by allowing the use of minimally invasive techniques to remove cancer while avoiding major surgery. Expanding [...] Read more.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common and second most deadly type of cancer worldwide. Early detection not only reduces mortality but also improves patient prognosis by allowing the use of minimally invasive techniques to remove cancer while avoiding major surgery. Expanding the use of microsurgical techniques requires accurate diagnosis and delineation of the tumor margins in order to allow complete excision of cancer. We have used diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS) to identify the main optical CRC biomarkers and to optimize parameters for the integration of such technologies into medical devices. A total number of 2889 diffuse reflectance spectra were collected in ex vivo specimens from 47 patients. Short source-detector distance (SDD) and long-SDD fiber-optic probes were employed to measure tissue layers from 0.5 to 1 mm and from 0.5 to 1.9 mm deep, respectively. The most important biomolecules contributing to differentiating DRS between tissue types were oxy- and deoxy-hemoglobin (Hb and HbO2), followed by water and lipid. Accurate tissue classification and potential DRS device miniaturization using Hb, HbO2, lipid and water data were achieved particularly well within the wavelength ranges 350–590 nm and 600–1230 nm for the short-SDD probe, and 380–400 nm, 420–610 nm, and 650–950 nm for the long-SDD probe. Full article
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16 pages, 2952 KiB  
Article
Thermography as a Method for Bedside Monitoring of Infantile Hemangiomas
Cancers 2022, 14(21), 5392; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14215392 - 01 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1195
Abstract
Infantile hemangiomas occur in 3 to 10% of infants. To predict the clinical course and counsel on treatment, it is crucial to accurately determine the hemangiomas’ extension, volume, and location. However, this can represent a challenge because hemangiomas may present irregular patterns or [...] Read more.
Infantile hemangiomas occur in 3 to 10% of infants. To predict the clinical course and counsel on treatment, it is crucial to accurately determine the hemangiomas’ extension, volume, and location. However, this can represent a challenge because hemangiomas may present irregular patterns or be covered by hair, or their depth may be difficult to estimate. Diagnosis is commonly made by clinical inspection and palpation, with physicians basing their diagnoses on visual characteristics such as area, texture, and color. Doppler ultrasonography or magnetic resonance imaging are normally used to estimate depth or to confirm difficult assessments. This paper presents an alternative diagnosis tool—thermography—as a useful, immediate means of carrying out accurate hemangioma examinations. We conducted a study analyzing infantile hemangiomas with a custom thermographic system. In the first phase of the study, 55 hemangiomas of previously diagnosed patients were analyzed with a thermal camera over several sessions. An average temperature variation before and after treatment of −0.19 °C was measured. In the second phase, we selected nine patients and assessed their evolution over nine months by analyzing their thermographic images and implementing dedicated image processing algorithms. In all cases, we found that the thermal image analysis concurred with the independent diagnoses of two dermatologists. We concluded that a higher temperature inside the tumor in the follow-up was indicative of an undesirable evolution. Full article
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15 pages, 2281 KiB  
Article
Label-Free Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy for Cancer Detection
Cancers 2022, 14(20), 5021; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14205021 - 14 Oct 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2715
Abstract
Blood is a vital reservoir housing numerous disease-related metabolites and cellular components. Thus, it is also of interest for cancer diagnosis. Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) is widely used for molecular detection due to its very high sensitivity and multiplexing properties. Its real potential [...] Read more.
Blood is a vital reservoir housing numerous disease-related metabolites and cellular components. Thus, it is also of interest for cancer diagnosis. Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) is widely used for molecular detection due to its very high sensitivity and multiplexing properties. Its real potential for cancer diagnosis is not yet clear. In this study, using silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) as substrates, a number of experimental parameters and scenarios were tested to disclose the potential for this technique for cancer diagnosis. The discrimination of serum samples from cancer patients, healthy individuals and patients with chronic diseases was successfully demonstrated with over 90% diagnostic accuracies. Moreover, the SERS spectra of the blood serum samples obtained from cancer patients before and after tumor removal were compared. It was found that the spectral pattern for serum from cancer patients evolved into the spectral pattern observed with serum from healthy individuals after the removal of tumors. The data strongly suggests that the technique has a tremendous potential for cancer detection and screening bringing the possibility of early detection onto the table. Full article
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16 pages, 2173 KiB  
Article
Infrared Spectroscopy of Urine for the Non-Invasive Detection of Endometrial Cancer
Cancers 2022, 14(20), 5015; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14205015 - 13 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1625
Abstract
Current triage for women with post-menopausal bleeding (PMB) to diagnose endometrial cancer rely on specialist referral for intimate tests to sequentially image, visualise and sample the endometrium. A point-of-care non-invasive triage tool with an instant readout could provide immediate reassurance for low-risk symptomatic [...] Read more.
Current triage for women with post-menopausal bleeding (PMB) to diagnose endometrial cancer rely on specialist referral for intimate tests to sequentially image, visualise and sample the endometrium. A point-of-care non-invasive triage tool with an instant readout could provide immediate reassurance for low-risk symptomatic women, whilst fast-tracking high-risk women for urgent intrauterine investigations. This study assessed the potential for infrared (IR) spectroscopy and attenuated total reflection (ATR) technology coupled with chemometric analysis of the resulting spectra for endometrial cancer detection in urine samples. Standardised urine collection and processing protocols were developed to ensure spectroscopic differences between cases and controls reflected cancer status. Urine spectroscopy distinguished endometrial cancer (n = 109) from benign gynaecological conditions (n = 110) with a sensitivity of 98% and specificity of 97%. If confirmed in subsequent low prevalence studies embedded in PMB clinics, this novel endometrial cancer detection tool could transform clinical practice by accurately selecting women with malignant pathology for urgent diagnostic work up whilst safely reassuring those without. Full article
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11 pages, 3814 KiB  
Article
Quantitative Analysis of Colonic Perfusion Using ICG Fluorescence Angiography and Its Consequences for Anastomotic Healing in a Rat Model
Cancers 2022, 14(16), 4024; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14164024 - 20 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1109
Abstract
Forty-three rats were randomly assigned to the following four groups: non-ischemic group (Control Group), 1 cm-long ischemic group (Group 1), 2 cm-long ischemic group (Group 2), and 3 cm-long ischemic group (Group 3). The rates of AL were 0% (0/10) in the Control [...] Read more.
Forty-three rats were randomly assigned to the following four groups: non-ischemic group (Control Group), 1 cm-long ischemic group (Group 1), 2 cm-long ischemic group (Group 2), and 3 cm-long ischemic group (Group 3). The rates of AL were 0% (0/10) in the Control Group, 22.2% (2/9) in Group 1, 25% (2/8) in Group 2, and 50% (4/8) in Group 3. The bursting pressure of the Control Group was significantly higher than that of the other groups (p < 0.01). Regarding the pathological findings, the granulation thickness and the number of blood vessels at the anastomosed site were significantly higher in the Control Group than in Group 3 (p < 0.05). Receiver operating characteristics analysis revealed that Slope was the most significant predictor of AL, with an area under the curve of 0.861. When the cutoff value of Slope was 0.4, the sensitivity and specificity for the prediction of AL were 75% and 81.4%, respectively. Quantitative analysis of ICG fluorescence angiography could predict AL in a rat model. Full article
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11 pages, 655 KiB  
Article
Evidence for Recombinant GRP78, CALR, PDIA3 and GPI as Mediators of Genetic Instability in Human CD34+ Cells
Cancers 2022, 14(12), 2883; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14122883 - 11 Jun 2022
Viewed by 1650
Abstract
Soluble factors released from irradiated human mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) may induce genetic instability in human CD34+ cells, potentially mediating hematologic disorders. Recently, we identified four key proteins in the secretome of X-ray-irradiated MSC, among them three endoplasmic reticulum proteins, the 78 kDa [...] Read more.
Soluble factors released from irradiated human mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) may induce genetic instability in human CD34+ cells, potentially mediating hematologic disorders. Recently, we identified four key proteins in the secretome of X-ray-irradiated MSC, among them three endoplasmic reticulum proteins, the 78 kDa glucose-related protein (GRP78), calreticulin (CALR), and protein disulfide-isomerase A3 (PDIA3), as well as the glycolytic enzyme glucose-6-phosphate isomerase (GPI). Here, we demonstrate that exposition of CD34+ cells to recombinant GRP78, CALR, PDIA3 and GPI induces substantial genetic instability. Increased numbers of γH2AX foci (p < 0.0001), centrosome anomalies (p = 0.1000) and aberrant metaphases (p = 0.0022) were detected in CD34+ cells upon incubation with these factors. Specifically, γH2AX foci were found to be induced 4–5-fold in response to any individual of the four factors, and centrosome anomalies by 3–4 fold compared to control medium, which contained none of the recombinant proteins. Aberrant metaphases, not seen in the context of control medium, were detected to a similar extent than centrosome anomalies across the four factors. Notably, the strongest effects were observed when all four factors were collectively provided. In summary, our data suggest that specific components of the secretome from irradiated MSC act as mediators of genetic instability in CD34+ cells, thereby possibly contributing to the pathogenesis of radiation-induced hematologic disorders beyond direct radiation-evoked DNA strand breaks. Full article
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15 pages, 1289 KiB  
Article
Near-Infrared Fluorescence Axillary Reverse Mapping (ARM) Procedure in Invasive Breast Cancer: Relationship between Fluorescence Signal in ARM Lymph Nodes and Clinical Outcomes
Cancers 2022, 14(11), 2614; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14112614 - 25 May 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1556
Abstract
The near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence axillary reverse mapping (ARM) procedure is a promising tool to identify and preserve arm lymphatic drainage during axillary lymph node dissection (ALND). The ARMONIC clinical trial was conducted to validate the technique on a large cohort of patients and [...] Read more.
The near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence axillary reverse mapping (ARM) procedure is a promising tool to identify and preserve arm lymphatic drainage during axillary lymph node dissection (ALND). The ARMONIC clinical trial was conducted to validate the technique on a large cohort of patients and to analyze the predictive clinical factors for ARM lymph node metastasis. For the first time, the fluorescence signal intensity from the ARM lymph nodes was measured and correlated with clinical findings. A total of 109 patients with invasive breast cancer and indications of mastectomy and ALND underwent the NIR fluorescence ARM procedure. Indocyanine green was administered by intradermal injection followed by intraoperative identification and resection of the ARM lymph nodes with NIR fluorescence camera guidance. The fluorescence signal intensity and signal distribution were then measured ex vivo and compared with clinical outcomes. ARM lymph nodes were successfully identified by fluorescence in 94.5% of cases. The mean normalized fluorescence signal intensity value was 0.47 with no significant signal difference between metastatic and non-metastatic ARM lymph nodes (p = 0.3728). At the microscopic level, the fluorescence signal distribution was focally intense in lymphoid tissue areas. Only the preoperative diagnosis of metastasis in the axillary nodes of patients was significantly associated with a higher ARM node fluorescence signal intensity (p = 0.0253), though it was not significantly associated with the pathological nodal (pN) status (p = 0.8081). Based on an optimal cut-off fluorescence value, the final sensitivity and specificity of the NIR fluorescence ARM procedure for ARM lymph node metastatic involvement were 64.7% and 47.3%, respectively. Although our preliminary results did not show that fluorescence signal intensity is a reliable diagnostic tool, the NIR fluorescence ARM procedure may be useful for ARM lymph node identification. Clinical trial registration: NCT02994225. Full article
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15 pages, 1494 KiB  
Article
Validation of Novel Molecular Imaging Targets Identified by Functional Genomic mRNA Profiling to Detect Dysplasia in Barrett’s Esophagus
Cancers 2022, 14(10), 2462; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14102462 - 17 May 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2098
Abstract
Barrett’s esophagus (BE) is the precursor of esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC). Dysplastic BE (DBE) has a higher progression risk to EAC compared to non-dysplastic BE (NDBE). However, the miss rates for the endoscopic detection of DBE remain high. Fluorescence molecular endoscopy (FME) can detect [...] Read more.
Barrett’s esophagus (BE) is the precursor of esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC). Dysplastic BE (DBE) has a higher progression risk to EAC compared to non-dysplastic BE (NDBE). However, the miss rates for the endoscopic detection of DBE remain high. Fluorescence molecular endoscopy (FME) can detect DBE and mucosal EAC by highlighting the tumor-specific expression of proteins. This study aimed to identify target proteins suitable for FME. Publicly available RNA expression profiles of EAC and NDBE were corrected by functional genomic mRNA (FGmRNA) profiling. Following a class comparison between FGmRNA profiles of EAC and NDBE, predicted, significantly upregulated genes in EAC were prioritized by a literature search. Protein expression of prioritized genes was validated by immunohistochemistry (IHC) on DBE and NDBE tissues. Near-infrared fluorescent tracers targeting the proteins were developed and evaluated ex vivo on fresh human specimens. In total, 1976 overexpressed genes were identified in EAC (n = 64) compared to NDBE (n = 66) at RNA level. Prioritization and IHC validation revealed SPARC, SULF1, PKCι, and DDR1 (all p < 0.0001) as the most attractive imaging protein targets for DBE detection. Newly developed tracers SULF1-800CW and SPARC-800CW both showed higher fluorescence intensity in DBE tissue compared to paired non-dysplastic tissue. This study identified SPARC, SULF1, PKCι, and DDR1 as promising targets for FME to differentiate DBE from NDBE tissue, for which SULF1-800CW and SPARC-800CW were successfully ex vivo evaluated. Clinical studies should further validate these findings. Full article
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10 pages, 527 KiB  
Article
Correlation between Colon Perfusion and Postoperative Fecal Output through a Transanal Drainage Tube during Laparoscopic Low Anterior Resection
Cancers 2022, 14(9), 2328; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14092328 - 08 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1635
Abstract
In order to prevent anastomotic leakage (AL) following rectal surgery, various solutions—such as intraoperative indocyanine green (ICG) angiography and transanal drainage tubes (TDT)—have been proposed. This study investigated the relationship between intestinal perfusion and fecal volume through TDT in laparoscopic low anterior resection [...] Read more.
In order to prevent anastomotic leakage (AL) following rectal surgery, various solutions—such as intraoperative indocyanine green (ICG) angiography and transanal drainage tubes (TDT)—have been proposed. This study investigated the relationship between intestinal perfusion and fecal volume through TDT in laparoscopic low anterior resection (LAR). A total of 59 rectal cancer patients who underwent laparoscopic LAR with both intraoperative ICG angiography and postoperative TDT placement were retrospectively analyzed. The relationship between intestinal perfusion and fecal volume through TDT was examined. Based on the ICG fluorescence, the transection site was shifted more proximally in 20 cases (33.9%). Symptomatic AL occurred in seven patients (11.8%). The AL rate of the patients whose daily fecal volume exceeded 100 mL/day in 2 or more days was significantly higher than that of those whose daily fecal volume exceeded it in 0 or 1 day (44.4% vs. 6.0%; p < 0.01). Univariate and multivariate analyses showed that the need for a proximal shift of the transection site was significantly associated with a high fecal volume. The quantitative analysis of ICG fluorescence indicated that Fmax (the fluorescence difference between the baseline and maximum) was significantly associated with fecal volume through TDT. Full article
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14 pages, 1701 KiB  
Article
Development and Validation of a Raman Spectroscopic Classification Model for Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia (CIN)
Cancers 2022, 14(7), 1836; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14071836 - 06 Apr 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1952
Abstract
The mortality associated with cervical cancer can be reduced if detected at the precancer stage, but current methods are limited in terms of subjectivity, cost and time. Optical spectroscopic methods such as Raman spectroscopy can provide a rapid, label-free and nondestructive measurement of [...] Read more.
The mortality associated with cervical cancer can be reduced if detected at the precancer stage, but current methods are limited in terms of subjectivity, cost and time. Optical spectroscopic methods such as Raman spectroscopy can provide a rapid, label-free and nondestructive measurement of the biochemical fingerprint of a cell, tissue or biofluid. Previous studies have shown the potential of Raman spectroscopy for cervical cancer diagnosis, but most were pilot studies with small sample sizes. The aim of this study is to show the clinical utility of Raman spectroscopy for identifying cervical precancer in a large sample set with validation in an independent test set. Liquid-based cervical cytology samples (n = 662) (326 negative, 200 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN)1 and 136 CIN2+) were obtained as a training set. Raman spectra were recorded from single-cell nuclei and subjected to a partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLSDA). In addition, the PLSDA classification model was validated using a blinded independent test set (n = 69). A classification accuracy of 91.3% was achieved with only six of the blinded samples misclassified. This study showed the potential clinical utility of Raman spectroscopy with a good classification of negative, CIN1 and CIN2+ achieved in an independent test set. Full article
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14 pages, 1262 KiB  
Article
Novel Non-Invasive Quantification and Imaging of Eumelanin and DHICA Subunit in Skin Lesions by Raman Spectroscopy and MCR Algorithm: Improving Dysplastic Nevi Diagnosis
Cancers 2022, 14(4), 1056; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14041056 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2637
Abstract
Malignant melanoma (MM) is the most aggressive form of skin cancer, and around 30% of them may develop from pre-existing dysplastic nevi (DN). Diagnosis of DN is a relevant clinical challenge, as these are intermediate lesions between benign and malignant tumors, and, up [...] Read more.
Malignant melanoma (MM) is the most aggressive form of skin cancer, and around 30% of them may develop from pre-existing dysplastic nevi (DN). Diagnosis of DN is a relevant clinical challenge, as these are intermediate lesions between benign and malignant tumors, and, up to date, few studies have focused on their diagnosis. In this study, the accuracy of Raman spectroscopy (RS) is assessed, together with multivariate analysis (MA), to classify 44 biopsies of MM, DN and compound nevus (CN) tumors. For this, we implement a novel methodology to non-invasively quantify and localize the eumelanin pigment, considered as a tumoral biomarker, by means of RS imaging coupled with the Multivariate Curve Resolution-Alternative Least Squares (MCR-ALS) algorithm. This represents a step forward with respect to the currently established technique for melanin analysis, High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), which is invasive and cannot provide information about the spatial distribution of molecules. For the first time, we show that the 5, 6-dihydroxyindole (DHI) to 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid (DHICA) ratio is higher in DN than in MM and CN lesions. These differences in chemical composition are used by the Partial Least Squares-Discriminant Analysis (PLS-DA) algorithm to identify DN lesions in an efficient, non-invasive, fast, objective and cost-effective method, with sensitivity and specificity of 100% and 94.1%, respectively. Full article
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24 pages, 6081 KiB  
Article
Multifunctional Silver(I) Complexes with Metronidazole Drug Reveal Antimicrobial Properties and Antitumor Activity against Human Hepatoma and Colorectal Adenocarcinoma Cells
Cancers 2022, 14(4), 900; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14040900 - 11 Feb 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2490
Abstract
Silver salts and azole derivatives are well known for their antimicrobial properties. Recent evidence has demonstrated also their cytotoxic and genotoxic potential toward both normal and cancer cells. Still, little is known about the action of complexes of azoles with silver(I) salts. Thus, [...] Read more.
Silver salts and azole derivatives are well known for their antimicrobial properties. Recent evidence has demonstrated also their cytotoxic and genotoxic potential toward both normal and cancer cells. Still, little is known about the action of complexes of azoles with silver(I) salts. Thus, the goal of the study was to compare the chemical, cytotoxic and antimicrobial properties of metronidazole complexes with silver(I) nitrate and silver(I) sulfate to metronidazole and pure silver(I) salts. We synthetized a novel complex, [Ag(MTZ)2]2SO4, and confirmed its chemical structure and properties using 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy and X-Ray, IR and elemental analysis. To establish the stability of complexes [Ag(MTZ)2NO3] and [Ag(MTZ)2]2SO4, they were exposed to daylight and UV-A rays and were visually assessed. Their cytotoxicity toward human cancer cells (HepG2, Caco-2) and mice normal fibroblasts (Balb/c 3T3 clone A31) was determined by MTT, NRU, TPC and LDH assays. The micro-dilution broth method was used to evaluate their antimicrobial properties against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. A biofilm eradication study was also performed using the crystal violet method and confocal laser scanning microscopy. The photo-stability of the complexes was higher than silver(I) salts. In human cancer cells, [Ag(MTZ)2]2SO4 was more cytotoxic than Ag2SO4 and, in turn, AgNO3 was more cytotoxic than [Ag(MTZ)2NO3]. For Balb/c 3T3 cells, Ag2SO4 was more cytotoxic than [Ag(MTZ)2]2SO4, while the cytotoxicity of AgNO3 and [Ag(MTZ)2NO3] was similar. Metronidazole in the tested concentration range was non-cytotoxic for both normal and cancer cells. The complexes showed increased bioactivity against aerobic and facultative anaerobic bacteria when compared to metronidazole. For the majority of the tested bacterial strains, the silver(I) salts and complexes showed a higher antibacterial activity than MTZ; however, some bacterial strains presented the reverse effect. Our results showed that silver(I) complexes present higher photo-stability, cytotoxicity and antimicrobial activity in comparison to MTZ and, to a certain extent, to silver(I) salts. Full article
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16 pages, 6333 KiB  
Article
Ex Vivo Fluorescence Confocal Microscopy in Specimens of the Liver: A Proof-of-Concept Study
Cancers 2022, 14(3), 590; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14030590 - 25 Jan 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2662
Abstract
Ex vivo Fluorescence Confocal Microscopy (FCM) is a technique providing high-resolution images of native tissues. The method is increasingly used in surgical settings in areas of dermatology and urology. Only a few publications exist about examinations of tumors and non-neoplastic lesions of the [...] Read more.
Ex vivo Fluorescence Confocal Microscopy (FCM) is a technique providing high-resolution images of native tissues. The method is increasingly used in surgical settings in areas of dermatology and urology. Only a few publications exist about examinations of tumors and non-neoplastic lesions of the liver. We report on the application of FCM in biopsies, surgical specimens and autopsy material (33 patients, 39 specimens) of the liver and compare the results to conventional histology. Our preliminary examinations indicated a perfect suitability for tumor diagnosis (ĸ = 1.00) and moderate/good suitability for the assessment of inflammation (ĸ = 0.4–0.6) with regard to their severity and localization. Macro-vesicular steatosis was reliably detected, micro-vesicular steatosis tended to be underestimated. Cholestasis and eosinophilic granules in granulocytes were not represented in the scans. The tissue was preserved as native material and maintained its quality for downstream histological, immunohistological and molecular examinations. In summary, FCM is a material sparing method that provides rapid feedback to the clinician about the presence of tumor, the degree of inflammation and structural changes. This can lead to faster therapeutic decisions in the management of liver tumors, treatment of hepatitis or in liver transplant medicine. Full article
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19 pages, 2971 KiB  
Article
Who’s Who? Discrimination of Human Breast Cancer Cell Lines by Raman and FTIR Microspectroscopy
Cancers 2022, 14(2), 452; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14020452 - 17 Jan 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2434
Abstract
(1) Breast cancer is presently the leading cause of death in women worldwide. This study aims at identifying molecular biomarkers of cancer in human breast cancer cells, in order to differentiate highly aggressive triple-negative from non-triple-negative cancers, as well as distinct triple-negative subtypes, [...] Read more.
(1) Breast cancer is presently the leading cause of death in women worldwide. This study aims at identifying molecular biomarkers of cancer in human breast cancer cells, in order to differentiate highly aggressive triple-negative from non-triple-negative cancers, as well as distinct triple-negative subtypes, which is currently an unmet clinical need paramount for an improved patient care. (2) Raman and FTIR (Fourier transform infrared) microspectroscopy state-of-the-art techniques were applied, as highly sensitive, specific and non-invasive methods for probing heterogeneous biological samples such as human cells. (3) Particular biochemical features of malignancy were unveiled based on the cells’ vibrational signature, upon principal component analysis of the data. This enabled discrimination between TNBC (triple-negative breast cancer) and non-TNBC, TNBC MSL (mesenchymal stem cell-like) and TNBC BL1 (basal-like 1) and TNBC BL1 highly metastatic and low-metastatic cell lines. This specific differentiation between distinct TNBC subtypes—mesenchymal from basal-like, and basal-like 1 with high-metastatic potential from basal-like 1 with low-metastatic potential—is a pioneer result, of potential high impact in cancer diagnosis and treatment. Full article
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22 pages, 4851 KiB  
Article
Combined Fluorescence and Optoacoustic Imaging for Monitoring Treatments against CT26 Tumors with Photoactivatable Liposomes
Cancers 2022, 14(1), 197; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14010197 - 31 Dec 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2188
Abstract
The newly developed multimodal imaging system combining raster-scan optoacoustic (OA) microscopy and fluorescence (FL) wide-field imaging was used for characterizing the tumor vascular structure with 38/50 μm axial/transverse resolution and assessment of photosensitizer fluorescence kinetics during treatment with novel theranostic agents. A multifunctional [...] Read more.
The newly developed multimodal imaging system combining raster-scan optoacoustic (OA) microscopy and fluorescence (FL) wide-field imaging was used for characterizing the tumor vascular structure with 38/50 μm axial/transverse resolution and assessment of photosensitizer fluorescence kinetics during treatment with novel theranostic agents. A multifunctional photoactivatable multi-inhibitor liposomal (PMILs) nano platform was engineered here, containing a clinically approved photosensitizer, Benzoporphyrin derivative (BPD) in the bilayer, and topoisomerase I inhibitor, Irinotecan (IRI) in its inner core, for a synergetic therapeutic impact. The optimized PMIL was anionic, with the hydrodynamic diameter of 131.6 ± 2.1 nm and polydispersity index (PDI) of 0.05 ± 0.01, and the zeta potential between −14.9 ± 1.04 to −16.9 ± 0.92 mV. In the in vivo studies on BALB/c mice with CT26 tumors were performed to evaluate PMILs’ therapeutic efficacy. PMILs demonstrated the best inhibitory effect of 97% on tumor growth compared to the treatment with BPD-PC containing liposomes (PALs), 81%, or IRI containing liposomes (L-[IRI]) alone, 50%. This confirms the release of IRI within the tumor cells upon PMILs triggering by NIR light, which is additionally illustrated by FL monitoring demonstrating enhancement of drug accumulation in tumor initiated by PDT in 24 h after the treatment. OA monitoring revealed the largest alterations of the tumor vascular structure in the PMILs treated mice as compared to BPD-PC or IRI treated mice. The results were further corroborated with histological data that also showed a 5-fold higher percentage of hemorrhages in PMIL treated mice compared to the control groups. Overall, these results suggest that multifunctional PMILs simultaneously delivering PDT and chemotherapy agents along with OA and FL multi-modal imaging offers an efficient and personalized image-guided platform to improve cancer treatment outcomes. Full article
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22 pages, 2877 KiB  
Article
Interrelation between Spectral Online Monitoring and Postoperative T1-Weighted MRI in Interstitial Photodynamic Therapy of Malignant Gliomas
Cancers 2022, 14(1), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14010120 - 27 Dec 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2450
Abstract
In a former study, interstitial photodynamic therapy (iPDT) was performed on patients suffering from newly diagnosed glioblastoma (n = 11; 8/3 male/female; median age: 68, range: 40–76). The procedure includes the application of 5-ALA to selectively metabolize protoporphyrin IX (PpIX) in tumor [...] Read more.
In a former study, interstitial photodynamic therapy (iPDT) was performed on patients suffering from newly diagnosed glioblastoma (n = 11; 8/3 male/female; median age: 68, range: 40–76). The procedure includes the application of 5-ALA to selectively metabolize protoporphyrin IX (PpIX) in tumor cells and illumination utilizing interstitially positioned optical cylindrical diffuser fibers (CDF) (2–10 CDFs, 2–3 cm diffusor length, 200 mW/cm, 635 nm, 60 min irradiation). Intraoperative spectral online monitoring (SOM) was employed to monitor treatment light transmission and PpIX fluorescence during iPDT. MRI was used for treatment planning and outcome assessment. Case-dependent observations included intraoperative reduction of treatment light transmission and local intrinsic T1 hyperintensity in non-contrast-enhanced T1-weighted MRI acquired within one day after iPDT. Intrinsic T1 hyperintensity was observed and found to be associated with the treatment volume, which indicates the presence of methemoglobin, possibly induced by iPDT. Based on SOM data, the optical absorption coefficient and its change during iPDT were estimated for the target tissue volumes interjacent between evaluable CDF-pairs at the treatment wavelength of 635 nm. By spatial comparison and statistical analysis, it was found that observed increases of the absorption coefficient during iPDT were larger in or near regions of intrinsic T1 hyperintensity (p = 0.003). In cases where PpIX-fluorescence was undetectable before iPDT, the increase in optical absorption and intrinsic T1 hyperintensity tended to be less. The observations are consistent with in vitro experiments and indicate PDT-induced deoxygenation of hemoglobin and methemoglobin formation. Further investigations are needed to provide more data on the time course of the observed changes, thus paving the way for optimized iPDT irradiation protocols. Full article
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14 pages, 4851 KiB  
Article
Identification of Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy Response in Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer by Fourier-Transform Infrared Micro-Imaging
Cancers 2022, 14(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14010021 - 21 Dec 2021
Viewed by 2107
Abstract
Background: Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) improves survival in responder patients. However, for non-responders, the treatment represents an ineffective exposure to chemotherapy and its potential adverse events. Predicting the response to treatment is a major issue in the therapeutic management of patients, particularly for patients [...] Read more.
Background: Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) improves survival in responder patients. However, for non-responders, the treatment represents an ineffective exposure to chemotherapy and its potential adverse events. Predicting the response to treatment is a major issue in the therapeutic management of patients, particularly for patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer. Methods: Tissue samples of trans-urethral resection of bladder tumor collected at the diagnosis time, were analyzed by mid-infrared imaging. A sequence of spectral data processing was implemented for automatic recognition of informative pixels and scoring each pixel according to a continuous scale (from 0 to 10) associated with the response to NAC. The ground truth status of the responder or non-responder was based on histopathological examination of the samples. Results: Although the TMA spots of tumors appeared histologically homogeneous, the infrared approach highlighted spectral heterogeneity. Both the quantification of this heterogeneity and the scoring of the NAC response at the pixel level were used to construct sensitivity and specificity maps from which decision criteria can be extracted to classify cancerous samples. Conclusions: This proof-of-concept appears as the first to evaluate the potential of the mid-infrared approach for the prediction of response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in MIBC tissues. Full article
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14 pages, 1172 KiB  
Article
Prognostic Features of Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Following Primary Radical Prostatectomy
Cancers 2021, 13(23), 6034; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13236034 - 30 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1404
Abstract
Background: Only a few biomarkers have been evaluated for their prognostic value with regard to biochemical recurrence (BCR) following primary radical prostatectomy. We explored the possibilities of using near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy as a prognostic biomarker for BCR-free survival (BCR-FS). Methods: Tissue specimens from [...] Read more.
Background: Only a few biomarkers have been evaluated for their prognostic value with regard to biochemical recurrence (BCR) following primary radical prostatectomy. We explored the possibilities of using near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy as a prognostic biomarker for BCR-free survival (BCR-FS). Methods: Tissue specimens from 82 prostate cancer patients were obtained. Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded slides (hematoxylin–eosin-stained) were analyzed using NIR spectroscopy. Prognostic features for BCR-FS were determined following normalization of the spectra. Results: Several differences were found throughout the NIR spectrum for the patients with or without BCR, for both the first derivative and second derivative of the NIR spectrum. Following categorization and Cox regression analysis, spectral regions at 5236 cm−1 (first derivative; median BCR-FS not reached versus 3.2 years; HRhigh = 0.18 [0.08–0.39]; and p < 0.0001) and at 5956 cm−1 (second derivative; median BCR-FS not reached versus 3.8 years; HRlow = 0.22 [0.10–0.48]; and p = 0.0002) showed prognostic properties for BCR-FS. The combination of both parameters further increased the prognostic value of NIR (p < 0.0001). Conclusions: We demonstrated NIR spectral variations between patients with or without BCR, which have been shown to have prognostic value. This easy-to-use technique could possibly further improve post-primary radical prostatectomy monitoring and swift referral to adjuvant local therapies. Further elaboration is highly recommended to fully elucidate these variations and to gain a deeper insight into the changing chemical and physical compositions of the prostate tumor architecture. Full article
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15 pages, 3544 KiB  
Article
Deep Learning Predicts EBV Status in Gastric Cancer Based on Spatial Patterns of Lymphocyte Infiltration
Cancers 2021, 13(23), 6002; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13236002 - 29 Nov 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2587
Abstract
EBV infection occurs in around 10% of gastric cancer cases and represents a distinct subtype, characterized by a unique mutation profile, hypermethylation, and overexpression of PD-L1. Moreover, EBV positive gastric cancer tends to have higher immune infiltration and a better prognosis. EBV infection [...] Read more.
EBV infection occurs in around 10% of gastric cancer cases and represents a distinct subtype, characterized by a unique mutation profile, hypermethylation, and overexpression of PD-L1. Moreover, EBV positive gastric cancer tends to have higher immune infiltration and a better prognosis. EBV infection status in gastric cancer is most commonly determined using PCR and in situ hybridization, but such a method requires good nucleic acid preservation. Detection of EBV status with histopathology images may complement PCR and in situ hybridization as a first step of EBV infection assessment. Here, we developed a deep learning-based algorithm to directly predict EBV infection in gastric cancer from H&E stained histopathology slides. Our model can not only predict EBV infection in gastric cancers from tumor regions but also from normal regions with potential changes induced by adjacent EBV+ regions within each H&E slide. Furthermore, in cohorts with zero EBV abundances, a significant difference of immune infiltration between high and low EBV score samples was observed, consistent with the immune infiltration difference observed between EBV positive and negative samples. Therefore, we hypothesized that our model’s prediction of EBV infection is partially driven by the spatial information of immune cell composition, which was supported by mostly positive local correlations between the EBV score and immune infiltration in both tumor and normal regions across all H&E slides. Finally, EBV scores calculated from our model were found to be significantly associated with prognosis. This framework can be readily applied to develop interpretable models for prediction of virus infection across cancers. Full article
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17 pages, 4621 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Ovarian Tumor Growth in Wild-Type and Lumican-Deficient Mice: Insights Using Infrared Spectral Imaging, Histopathology, and Immunohistochemistry
Cancers 2021, 13(23), 5950; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13235950 - 26 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2100
Abstract
Ovarian cancer remains one of the most fatal cancers due to a lack of robust screening methods of detection at early stages. Extracellular matrix (ECM) mediates interactions between cancer cells and their microenvironment via specific molecules. Lumican, a small leucine-rich proteoglycan (SLRP), maintains [...] Read more.
Ovarian cancer remains one of the most fatal cancers due to a lack of robust screening methods of detection at early stages. Extracellular matrix (ECM) mediates interactions between cancer cells and their microenvironment via specific molecules. Lumican, a small leucine-rich proteoglycan (SLRP), maintains ECM integrity and inhibits both melanoma primary tumor development, as well as metastatic spread. The aim of this study was to analyze the effect of lumican on tumor growth of murine ovarian epithelial cancer. C57BL/6 wild type mice (n = 12) and lumican-deficient mice (n = 10) were subcutaneously injected with murine ovarian epithelial carcinoma ID8 cells, and then sacrificed after 18 days. Analysis of tumor volumes demonstrated an inhibitory effect of endogenous lumican on ovarian tumor growth. The ovarian primary tumors were subjected to histological and immunohistochemical staining using anti-lumican, anti-αv integrin, anti-CD31 and anti-cyclin D1 antibodies, and then further examined by label-free infrared spectral imaging (IRSI), second harmonic generation (SHG) and Picrosirius red staining. The IR tissue images allowed for the identification of different ECM tissue regions of the skin and the ovarian tumor. Moreover, IRSI showed a good correlation with αv integrin immunostaining and collagen organization within the tumor. Our results demonstrate that lumican inhibits ovarian cancer growth mainly by altering collagen fibrilogenesis. Full article
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27 pages, 32375 KiB  
Article
Dual-Wavelength Fluorescence Monitoring of Photodynamic Therapy: From Analytical Models to Clinical Studies
Cancers 2021, 13(22), 5807; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13225807 - 19 Nov 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2142
Abstract
Fluorescence imaging modalities are currently a routine tool for the assessment of marker distribution within biological tissues, including monitoring of fluorescent photosensitizers (PSs) in photodynamic therapy (PDT). Conventional fluorescence imaging techniques provide en-face two-dimensional images, while depth-resolved techniques require complicated tomographic modalities. In [...] Read more.
Fluorescence imaging modalities are currently a routine tool for the assessment of marker distribution within biological tissues, including monitoring of fluorescent photosensitizers (PSs) in photodynamic therapy (PDT). Conventional fluorescence imaging techniques provide en-face two-dimensional images, while depth-resolved techniques require complicated tomographic modalities. In this paper, we report on a cost-effective approach for the estimation of fluorophore localization depth based on dual-wavelength probing. Owing to significant difference in optical properties of superficial biotissues for red and blue ranges of optical spectra, simultaneous detection of fluorescence excited at different wavelengths provides complementary information from different measurement volumes. Here, we report analytical and numerical models of the dual-wavelength fluorescence imaging of PS-containing biotissues considering topical and intravenous PS administration, and demonstrate the feasibility of this approach for evaluation of the PS localization depth based on the fluorescence signal ratio. The results of analytical and numerical simulations, as well as phantom experiments, were translated to the in vivo imaging to interpret experimental observations in animal experiments, human volunteers, and clinical studies. The proposed approach allowed us to estimate typical accumulation depths of PS localization which are consistent with the morphologically expected values for both topical PS administration and intravenous injection. Full article
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11 pages, 6363 KiB  
Article
FTIR Spectroscopic Imaging Supports Urine Cytology for Classification of Low- and High-Grade Bladder Carcinoma
Cancers 2021, 13(22), 5734; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13225734 - 16 Nov 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2015
Abstract
Bladder urothelial carcinoma (BC) is a common, recurrent, life-threatening, and unpredictable disease which is difficult to diagnose. These features make it one of the costliest malignancies. Although many possible diagnostic methods are available, molecular heterogeneity and difficulties in cytological or histological examination induce [...] Read more.
Bladder urothelial carcinoma (BC) is a common, recurrent, life-threatening, and unpredictable disease which is difficult to diagnose. These features make it one of the costliest malignancies. Although many possible diagnostic methods are available, molecular heterogeneity and difficulties in cytological or histological examination induce an urgent need to improve diagnostic techniques. Herein, we applied Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy in imaging mode (FTIR) to investigate patients’ cytology samples assigned to normal (N), low-grade (LG) and high-grade (HG) BC. With unsupervised hierarchical cluster analysis (UHCA) and hematoxylin-eosin (HE) staining, we observed a correlation between N cell types and morphology. High-glycogen superficial (umbrella) and low-glycogen piriform urothelial cells, both with normal morphology, were observed. Based on the spectra derived from UHCA, principal component analysis (PCA) and partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) were performed, indicating a variation of protein content between the patient groups. Moreover, BC spectral cytology identified a low number of high-glycogen cells for which a shift of the carbohydrate/phosphate bands was also observed. Despite high cellular heterogeneity, PLS-DA was able to classify the spectra obtained. The voided urine FTIR cytology is one of the options that might be helpful in BC diagnosis, as high sensitivity and specificity up to 97% were determined. Full article
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16 pages, 6851 KiB  
Article
Diagnostic Performance of Ex Vivo Fluorescence Confocal Microscopy in the Assessment of Diagnostic Biopsies of the Prostate
Cancers 2021, 13(22), 5685; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13225685 - 13 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1834
Abstract
Background: Fluorescence confocal microscopy (FCM) is a novel micro-imaging technique providing optical sections of examined tissue. The method has been well established for the diagnosis of tumors in dermatological specimens. Methods: We compare intraoperative diagnoses of the real-time application of FCM in pre-therapeutic [...] Read more.
Background: Fluorescence confocal microscopy (FCM) is a novel micro-imaging technique providing optical sections of examined tissue. The method has been well established for the diagnosis of tumors in dermatological specimens. Methods: We compare intraoperative diagnoses of the real-time application of FCM in pre-therapeutic prostate biopsies (35 patients, total number of biopsy specimens: n = 438) with the findings of conventional histology. Results: Prostate carcinoma was reliably diagnosed in all patients. Depending on scan quality and experience of the examiner, smaller lesions of well differentiated carcinoma (ISUP1) could not be consistently differentiated from reactive changes. Furthermore, in some cases there was difficulty to distinguish ISUP grade 2 from ISUP grade 1 tumors. ISUP grades 3–5 were reliably detected in FCM. Conclusions: Despite some limitations, FCM seems to be an effective tool for the timely assessment of prostate biopsies enabling reliable diagnosis of prostate cancer in patients requiring therapy. Full article
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21 pages, 32931 KiB  
Article
Towards Raman-Based Screening of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Type B (B-ALL) Subtypes
Cancers 2021, 13(21), 5483; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13215483 - 31 Oct 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2776
Abstract
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common type of malignant neoplasms in the pediatric population. B-cell precursor ALLs (BCP-ALLs) are derived from the progenitors of B lymphocytes. Traditionally, risk factors stratifying therapy in ALL patients included age at diagnosis, initial leukocytosis, and [...] Read more.
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common type of malignant neoplasms in the pediatric population. B-cell precursor ALLs (BCP-ALLs) are derived from the progenitors of B lymphocytes. Traditionally, risk factors stratifying therapy in ALL patients included age at diagnosis, initial leukocytosis, and the response to chemotherapy. Currently, treatment intensity is modified according to the presence of specific gene alterations in the leukemic genome. Raman imaging is a promising diagnostic tool, which enables the molecular characterization of cells and differentiation of subtypes of leukemia in clinical samples. This study aimed to characterize and distinguish cells isolated from the bone marrow of patients suffering from three subtypes of BCP-ALL, defined by gene rearrangements, i.e., BCR-ABL1 (Philadelphia-positive, t(9;22)), TEL-AML1 (t(12;21)) and TCF3-PBX1 (t(1;19)), using single-cell Raman imaging combined with multivariate statistical analysis. Spectra collected from clinical samples were compared with single-cell spectra of B-cells collected from healthy donors, constituting the control group. We demonstrated that Raman spectra of normal B cells strongly differ from spectra of their malignant counterparts, especially in the intensity of bands, which can be assigned to nucleic acids. We also showed that the identification of leukemia subtypes could be automated with the use of chemometric methods. Results prove the clinical suitability of Raman imaging for the identification of spectroscopic markers characterizing leukemia cells. Full article
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13 pages, 4184 KiB  
Article
A Tissue Section-Based Near-Infrared Spectroscopical Analysis of Salivary Gland Tumors
Cancers 2021, 13(21), 5356; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13215356 - 26 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1554
Abstract
SGTs vary in histological behavior. Mucins, a major component in salivary glands, consist of a glycosylated and sialylated protein core. Rapid evolutions in glycobiology have demonstrated the important role of glycoproteins in cancer development. NIR spectroscopy is a method for the biochemical analysis [...] Read more.
SGTs vary in histological behavior. Mucins, a major component in salivary glands, consist of a glycosylated and sialylated protein core. Rapid evolutions in glycobiology have demonstrated the important role of glycoproteins in cancer development. NIR spectroscopy is a method for the biochemical analysis of substrates. NIR spectra can be analyzed using specific chemometrics. Our aim was to explore the diagnostic possibilities of NIR spectroscopy in SGTs. 238 Hematoxylin and Eosine stained (H&E) SGT tissue sections were examined using NIR spectroscopy. 45 deparaffinized tissue sections were treated with neuraminidase to identify wavelengths in the NIR spectrum related to sialylation. NIR spectra were analyzed with chemometrics. NIR spectra could distinguish malignant SGTs from controls and benign SGTs. Prediction models based on the entire spectral range resulted in a 73.1% accurate classification of malignant SGTs and controls, while, based on neuraminidase experimental spectral peak differences (1436 nm; 1713 nm; 1783 nm; 1924 nm; 2032 nm; 2064 nm; 2178 nm; 2216 nm), an improved overall correct classification rate of 91.9% was obtained between healthy subjects and malignant tumors. H&E tissue section-based NIR spectroscopy can identify malignant SGTs from controls, promising an alternative method in the diagnosis of SGTs. Full article
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13 pages, 1602 KiB  
Article
Detection of Human Cholangiocarcinoma Markers in Serum Using Infrared Spectroscopy
Cancers 2021, 13(20), 5109; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13205109 - 12 Oct 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2449
Abstract
Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is a malignancy of the bile duct epithelium. Opisthorchis viverrini infection is a known high-risk factor for CCA and in found, predominantly, in Northeast Thailand. The silent disease development and ineffective diagnosis have led to late-stage detection and reduction in the [...] Read more.
Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is a malignancy of the bile duct epithelium. Opisthorchis viverrini infection is a known high-risk factor for CCA and in found, predominantly, in Northeast Thailand. The silent disease development and ineffective diagnosis have led to late-stage detection and reduction in the survival rate. Attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) is currently being explored as a diagnostic tool in medicine. In this study, we apply ATR-FTIR to discriminate CCA sera from hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), biliary disease (BD) and healthy donors using a multivariate analysis. Spectral markers differing from healthy ones are observed in the collagen band at 1284, 1339 and 1035 cm−1, the phosphate band (vsPO2) at 1073 cm−1, the polysaccharides band at 1152 cm−1 and 1747 cm−1 of lipid ester carbonyl. A Principal Component Analysis (PCA) shows discrimination between CCA and healthy sera using the 1400–1000 cm−1 region and the combined 1800—1700 + 1400–1000 cm−1 region. Partial Least Square-Discriminant Analysis (PLS-DA) scores plots in four of five regions investigated, namely, the 1400–1000 cm−1, 1800–1000 cm−1, 3000–2800 + 1800–1000 cm−1 and 1800–1700 + 1400–1000 cm−1 regions, show discrimination between sera from CCA and healthy volunteers. It was not possible to separate CCA from HCC and BD by PCA and PLS-DA. CCA spectral modelling is established using the PLS-DA, Support Vector Machine (SVM), Random Forest (RF) and Neural Network (NN). The best model is the NN, which achieved a sensitivity of 80–100% and a specificity between 83 and 100% for CCA, depending on the spectral window used to model the spectra. This study demonstrates the potential of ATR-FTIR spectroscopy and spectral modelling as an additional tool to discriminate CCA from other conditions. Full article
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21 pages, 10910 KiB  
Article
Automated Raman Micro-Spectroscopy of Epithelial Cell Nuclei for High-Throughput Classification
Cancers 2021, 13(19), 4767; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13194767 - 24 Sep 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1927
Abstract
Raman micro-spectroscopy is a powerful technique for the identification and classification of cancer cells and tissues. In recent years, the application of Raman spectroscopy to detect bladder, cervical, and oral cytological samples has been reported to have an accuracy greater than that of [...] Read more.
Raman micro-spectroscopy is a powerful technique for the identification and classification of cancer cells and tissues. In recent years, the application of Raman spectroscopy to detect bladder, cervical, and oral cytological samples has been reported to have an accuracy greater than that of standard pathology. However, despite being entirely non-invasive and relatively inexpensive, the slow recording time, and lack of reproducibility have prevented the clinical adoption of the technology. Here, we present an automated Raman cytology system that can facilitate high-throughput screening and improve reproducibility. The proposed system is designed to be integrated directly into the standard pathology clinic, taking into account their methodologies and consumables. The system employs image processing algorithms and integrated hardware/software architectures in order to achieve automation and is tested using the ThinPrep standard, including the use of glass slides, and a number of bladder cancer cell lines. The entire automation process is implemented, using the open source Micro-Manager platform and is made freely available. We believe that this code can be readily integrated into existing commercial Raman micro-spectrometers. Full article
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12 pages, 1378 KiB  
Article
Rapid Spectroscopic Liquid Biopsy for the Universal Detection of Brain Tumours
Cancers 2021, 13(15), 3851; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13153851 - 30 Jul 2021
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 5167
Abstract
Background: To support the early detection and diagnosis of brain tumours we have developed a rapid, cost-effective and easy to use spectroscopic liquid biopsy based on the absorbance of infrared radiation. We have previously reported highly sensitive results of our approach which can [...] Read more.
Background: To support the early detection and diagnosis of brain tumours we have developed a rapid, cost-effective and easy to use spectroscopic liquid biopsy based on the absorbance of infrared radiation. We have previously reported highly sensitive results of our approach which can discriminate patients with a recent brain tumour diagnosis and asymptomatic controls. Other liquid biopsy approaches (e.g., based on tumour genetic material) report a lower classification accuracy for early-stage tumours. In this manuscript we present an investigation into the link between brain tumour volume and liquid biopsy test performance. Methods: In a cohort of 177 patients (90 patients with high-grade glioma (glioblastoma (GBM) or anaplastic astrocytoma), or low-grade glioma (astrocytoma, oligoastrocytoma and oligodendroglioma)) tumour volumes were calculated from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) investigations and patients were split into two groups depending on MRI parameters (T1 with contrast enhancement or T2/FLAIR (fluid-attenuated inversion recovery)). Using attenuated total reflection (ATR)-Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy coupled with supervised learning methods and machine learning algorithms, 90 tumour patients were stratified against 87 control patients who displayed no symptomatic indications of cancer, and were classified as either glioma or non-glioma. Results: Sensitivities, specificities and balanced accuracies were all greater than 88%, the area under the curve (AUC) was 0.98, and cancer patients with tumour volumes as small as 0.2 cm3 were correctly identified. Conclusions: Our spectroscopic liquid biopsy approach can identify gliomas that are both small and low-grade showing great promise for deployment of this technique for early detection and diagnosis. Full article
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22 pages, 10255 KiB  
Article
Morpho-Molecular Metabolic Analysis and Classification of Human Pituitary Gland and Adenoma Biopsies Based on Multimodal Optical Imaging
Cancers 2021, 13(13), 3234; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13133234 - 29 Jun 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3020
Abstract
Pituitary adenomas count among the most common intracranial tumors. During pituitary oncogenesis structural, textural, metabolic and molecular changes occur which can be revealed with our integrated ultrahigh-resolution multimodal imaging approach including optical coherence tomography (OCT), multiphoton microscopy (MPM) and line scan Raman microspectroscopy [...] Read more.
Pituitary adenomas count among the most common intracranial tumors. During pituitary oncogenesis structural, textural, metabolic and molecular changes occur which can be revealed with our integrated ultrahigh-resolution multimodal imaging approach including optical coherence tomography (OCT), multiphoton microscopy (MPM) and line scan Raman microspectroscopy (LSRM) on an unprecedented cellular level in a label-free manner. We investigated 5 pituitary gland and 25 adenoma biopsies, including lactotroph, null cell, gonadotroph, somatotroph and mammosomatotroph as well as corticotroph. First-level binary classification for discrimination of pituitary gland and adenomas was performed by feature extraction via radiomic analysis on OCT and MPM images and achieved an accuracy of 88%. Second-level multi-class classification was performed based on molecular analysis of the specimen via LSRM to discriminate pituitary adenomas subtypes with accuracies of up to 99%. Chemical compounds such as lipids, proteins, collagen, DNA and carotenoids and their relation could be identified as relevant biomarkers, and their spatial distribution visualized to provide deeper insight into the chemical properties of pituitary adenomas. Thereby, the aim of the current work was to assess a unique label-free and non-invasive multimodal optical imaging platform for pituitary tissue imaging and to perform a multiparametric morpho-molecular metabolic analysis and classification. Full article
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17 pages, 3518 KiB  
Article
Unravelling the Encapsulation of DNA and Other Biomolecules in HAp Microcalcifications of Human Breast Cancer Tissues by Raman Imaging
Cancers 2021, 13(11), 2658; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13112658 - 28 May 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2722
Abstract
Microcalcifications are detected through mammography screening and, depending on their morphology and distribution (BI-RADS classification), they can be considered one of the first indicators of suspicious cancer lesions. However, the formation of hydroxyapatite (HAp) calcifications and their relationship with malignancy remains unknown. In [...] Read more.
Microcalcifications are detected through mammography screening and, depending on their morphology and distribution (BI-RADS classification), they can be considered one of the first indicators of suspicious cancer lesions. However, the formation of hydroxyapatite (HAp) calcifications and their relationship with malignancy remains unknown. In this work, we report the most detailed three-dimensional biochemical analysis of breast cancer microcalcifications to date, combining 3D Raman spectroscopy imaging and advanced multivariate analysis in order to investigate in depth the molecular composition of HAp calcifications found in 26 breast cancer tissue biopsies. We demonstrate that DNA has been naturally adsorbed and encapsulated inside HAp microcalcifications. Furthermore, we also show the encapsulation of other relevant biomolecules in HAp calcifications, such as lipids, proteins, cytochrome C and polysaccharides. The demonstration of natural DNA biomineralization, particularly in the tumor microenvironment, represents an unprecedented advance in the field, as it can pave the way to understanding the role of HAp in malignant tissues. Full article
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11 pages, 1382 KiB  
Article
Raman Spectroscopy of Liquid-Based Cervical Smear Samples as a Triage to Stratify Women Who Are HPV-Positive on Screening
Cancers 2021, 13(9), 2008; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13092008 - 22 Apr 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2238
Abstract
The role of persistent high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in the development of cervical precancer and cancer is now well accepted, and HPV testing has recently been introduced for primary cervical screening. However, the low specificity of HPV DNA testing can result in [...] Read more.
The role of persistent high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in the development of cervical precancer and cancer is now well accepted, and HPV testing has recently been introduced for primary cervical screening. However, the low specificity of HPV DNA testing can result in large numbers of women with an HPV-positive result, and additional triage approaches are needed to avoid over-referral to colposcopy and overtreatment. The aim of this study was to assess Raman spectroscopy as a potential triage test to discriminate between transient and persistent HPV infection. HPV DNA status and mRNA status were confirmed in ThinPrep® cervical samples (n = 60) using the Cobas 4800 and APTIMA HPV test, respectively. Raman spectra were recorded from single-cell nuclei and subjected to partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLSDA). In addition, the PLSDA classification model was validated using a blinded independent test set (n = 14). Sensitivity of 85% and specificity of 92% were achieved for the classification of transient and persistent HPV infection, and this increased to 90% sensitivity and 100% specificity when mean sample spectra were used instead of individual cellular spectra. This study showed that Raman spectroscopy has potential as a triage test for HPV-positive women to identify persistent HPV infection. Full article
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16 pages, 2481 KiB  
Article
Dual Switch in Lipid Metabolism in Cervical Epithelial Cells during Dysplasia Development Observed Using Raman Microscopy and Molecular Methods
Cancers 2021, 13(9), 1997; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13091997 - 21 Apr 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2241
Abstract
Cellular lipid metabolism is significantly transformed during oncogenesis. To assess how dysplasia development influences lipid cellular metabolisms and what is the molecular background behind it, cervical epithelial cells of 63 patients assigned to seven groups (based on the cytological examination and HPVhr test [...] Read more.
Cellular lipid metabolism is significantly transformed during oncogenesis. To assess how dysplasia development influences lipid cellular metabolisms and what is the molecular background behind it, cervical epithelial cells of 63 patients assigned to seven groups (based on the cytological examination and HPVhr test results) were studied using a multimethodological approach including Raman microscopy and molecular methods. The consistent picture obtained studying the lipid content, cell inflammation, SREBF1 gene methylation (hence SREBP1 inhibition) and level of mitochondrial DNA copies (indirectly the number of mitochondria) showed that changes in lipid metabolism were multidirectional. Cells from patients classified as mildly dysplastic (LSIL) exhibited a unique behavior (the highest level of inflammation and SREBF1 methylation, the lowest lipid content and mitochondrial DNA). On the contrary, cells from severe dysplastic (HSIL) and cancer (SCC) groups showed the opposite characteristics including the lowest SREBF1 gene methylation as well as the highest level of mitochondrial DNA and lipid cellular concentration (for HSIL/HPVhr+ and SCC groups). Following dysplastic progression, the lipid content decreases significantly (compared to the control) for mildly abnormal cells, but then increases for HSIL/HPVhr+ and SCC groups. This intriguing dual switch in lipid metabolism (reflected also in other studied parameters) on the way from normal to squamous carcinoma cells is of potential diagnostic interest. Full article
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14 pages, 4432 KiB  
Article
A Miniaturized Platform for Multiplexed Drug Response Imaging in Live Tumors
Cancers 2021, 13(4), 653; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13040653 - 06 Feb 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2550
Abstract
By observing the activity of anti-cancer agents directly in tumors, there is potential to greatly expand our understanding of drug response and develop more personalized cancer treatments. Implantable microdevices (IMD) have been recently developed to deliver microdoses of chemotherapeutic agents locally into confined [...] Read more.
By observing the activity of anti-cancer agents directly in tumors, there is potential to greatly expand our understanding of drug response and develop more personalized cancer treatments. Implantable microdevices (IMD) have been recently developed to deliver microdoses of chemotherapeutic agents locally into confined regions of live tumors; the tissue can be subsequently removed and analyzed to evaluate drug response. This method has the potential to rapidly screen multiple drugs, but requires surgical tissue removal and only evaluates drug response at a single timepoint when the tissue is excised. Here, we describe a “lab-in-a-tumor” implantable microdevice (LIT-IMD) platform to image cell-death drug response within a live tumor, without requiring surgical resection or tissue processing. The LIT-IMD is inserted into a live tumor and delivers multiple drug microdoses into spatially discrete locations. In parallel, it locally delivers microdose levels of a fluorescent cell-death assay, which diffuses into drug-exposed tissues and accumulates at sites of cell death. An integrated miniaturized fluorescence imaging probe images each region to evaluate drug-induced cell death. We demonstrate ability to evaluate multi-drug response over 8 h using murine tumor models and show correlation with gold-standard conventional fluorescence microscopy and histopathology. This is the first demonstration of a fully integrated platform for evaluating multiple chemotherapy responses in situ. This approach could enable a more complete understanding of drug activity in live tumors, and could expand the utility of drug-response measurements to a wide range of settings where surgery is not feasible. Full article
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14 pages, 3080 KiB  
Article
The Potential of Raman Spectroscopy in the Diagnosis of Dysplastic and Malignant Oral Lesions
Cancers 2021, 13(4), 619; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13040619 - 04 Feb 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2122
Abstract
Early diagnosis, treatment and/or surveillance of oral premalignant lesions are important in preventing progression to oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). The current gold standard is through histopathological diagnosis, which is limited by inter- and intra-observer errors and sampling errors. The objective of this [...] Read more.
Early diagnosis, treatment and/or surveillance of oral premalignant lesions are important in preventing progression to oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). The current gold standard is through histopathological diagnosis, which is limited by inter- and intra-observer errors and sampling errors. The objective of this work was to use Raman spectroscopy to discriminate between benign, mild, moderate and severe dysplasia and OSCC in formalin fixed paraffin preserved (FFPP) tissues. The study included 72 different pathologies from which 17 were benign lesions, 20 mildly dysplastic, 20 moderately dysplastic, 10 severely dysplastic and 5 invasive OSCC. The glass substrate and paraffin wax background were digitally removed and PLSDA with LOPO cross-validation was used to differentiate the pathologies. OSCC could be differentiated from the other pathologies with an accuracy of 70%, while the accuracy of the classifier for benign, moderate and severe dysplasia was ~60%. The accuracy of the classifier was lowest for mild dysplasia (~46%). The main discriminating features were increased nucleic acid contributions and decreased protein and lipid contributions in the epithelium and decreased collagen contributions in the connective tissue. Smoking and the presence of inflammation were found to significantly influence the Raman classification with respective accuracies of 76% and 94%. Full article
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16 pages, 4053 KiB  
Article
Fourier Transform Infrared Polarization Contrast Imaging Recognizes Proteins Degradation in Lungs upon Metastasis from Breast Cancer
Cancers 2021, 13(2), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13020162 - 06 Jan 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2988
Abstract
The current understanding of mechanisms underlying the formation of metastatic tumors has required multi-parametric methods. The tissue micro-environment in secondary organs is not easily evaluated due to complex interpretation with existing tools. Here, we demonstrate the detection of structural modifications in proteins using [...] Read more.
The current understanding of mechanisms underlying the formation of metastatic tumors has required multi-parametric methods. The tissue micro-environment in secondary organs is not easily evaluated due to complex interpretation with existing tools. Here, we demonstrate the detection of structural modifications in proteins using emerging Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) imaging combined with light polarization. We investigated lungs affected by breast cancer metastasis in the orthotopic murine model from the pre-metastatic phase, through early micro-metastasis, up to an advanced phase, in which solid tumors are developed in lung parenchyma. The two IR-light polarization techniques revealed, for the first time, the orientational ordering of proteins upon the progression of pulmonary metastasis of breast cancer. Their distribution was complemented by detailed histological examination. Polarized contrast imaging recognised tissue structures of lungs and showed deformations in protein scaffolds induced by inflammatory infiltration, fibrosis, and tumor growth. This effect was recognised by not only changes in absorbance of the spectral bands but also by the band shifts and the appearance of new signals. Therefore, we proposed this approach as a useful tool for evaluation of progressive and irreversible molecular changes that occur sequentially in the metastatic process. Full article
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20 pages, 3482 KiB  
Article
In Vitro Spectroscopy-Based Profiling of Urothelial Carcinoma: A Fourier Transform Infrared and Raman Imaging Study
Cancers 2021, 13(1), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13010123 - 02 Jan 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2915
Abstract
Markers of bladder cancer cells remain elusive, which is a major cause of the low recognition of this malignant neoplasm and its recurrence. This implies an urgent need for additional diagnostic tools which are based on the identification of the chemism of bladder [...] Read more.
Markers of bladder cancer cells remain elusive, which is a major cause of the low recognition of this malignant neoplasm and its recurrence. This implies an urgent need for additional diagnostic tools which are based on the identification of the chemism of bladder cancer. In this study, we employed label-free techniques of molecular imaging—Fourier Transform Infrared and Raman spectroscopic imaging—to investigate bladder cancer cell lines of various invasiveness (T24a, T24p, HT-1376, and J82). The urothelial HCV-29 cell line was the healthy control. Specific biomolecules discriminated spatial distribution of the nucleus and cytoplasm and indicated the presence of lipid bodies and graininess in some cell lines. The most prominent discriminators are the total content of lipids and sugar moieties as well as the presence of glycogen and other carbohydrates, un/saturated lipids, cytochromes, and a level of S-S bridges in proteins. The combination of the obtained hyperspectral database and chemometric methods showed a clear differentiation of each cell line at the level of the nuclei and cytoplasm and pointed out spectral signals which differentiated bladder cancer cells. Registered spectral markers correlated with biochemical composition changes can be associated with pathogenesis and potentially used for the diagnosis of bladder cancer and response to experimental therapies. Full article
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17 pages, 1663 KiB  
Article
Light Stability, Pro-Apoptotic and Genotoxic Properties of Silver (I) Complexes of Metronidazole and 4-Hydroxymethylpyridine against Pancreatic Cancer Cells In Vitro
Cancers 2020, 12(12), 3848; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123848 - 20 Dec 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3116
Abstract
Antimicrobial properties of silver (I) ion and its complexes are well recognized. However, recent studies suggest that both silver (I) ion and its complexes possess anticancer activity associated with oxidative stress-induced apoptosis of various cancer cells. In this study, we aimed to investigate [...] Read more.
Antimicrobial properties of silver (I) ion and its complexes are well recognized. However, recent studies suggest that both silver (I) ion and its complexes possess anticancer activity associated with oxidative stress-induced apoptosis of various cancer cells. In this study, we aimed to investigate whether silver nitrate and its complexes with metronidazole and 4-hydroxymethylpyridine exert anticancer action against human pancreatic cancer cell lines (PANC-1 and 1.2B4). In the study, we compared decomposition speed for silver complexes under the influence of daylight and UV-A (ultraviolet-A) rays. We employed the MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazonium bromide) assay to evaluate the cytotoxicity and the alkaline comet assay to determine genotoxicity of silver nitrate and its complexes. Flow cytometry and the Annexin V-FITC/PI apoptosis detection kit were used to detect the apoptosis of human pancreatic cancer cells. We found a dose dependent decrease of both pancreatic cancer cell line viability after exposure to silver nitrate and its complexes. The flow cytometry analysis confirmed that cell death occurred mainly via apoptosis. We also documented that the studied compounds induced DNA damage. Metronidazole and 4-hydroxymethylpyridine alone did not significantly affect viability and level of DNA damage of pancreatic cancer cell lines. Complex compounds showed better stability than AgNO3, which decomposed slower than when exposed to light. UV-A significantly influences the speed of silver salt decomposition reaction. To conclude, obtained data demonstrated that silver nitrate and its complexes exerted anticancer action against human pancreatic cancer cells. Full article
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22 pages, 6383 KiB  
Article
Interrogation of IDH1 Status in Gliomas by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy
Cancers 2020, 12(12), 3682; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123682 - 08 Dec 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3248
Abstract
Mutations in the isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) gene are found in a high proportion of diffuse gliomas. The presence of the IDH1 mutation is a valuable diagnostic, prognostic and predictive biomarker for the management of patients with glial tumours. Techniques involving [...] Read more.
Mutations in the isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) gene are found in a high proportion of diffuse gliomas. The presence of the IDH1 mutation is a valuable diagnostic, prognostic and predictive biomarker for the management of patients with glial tumours. Techniques involving vibrational spectroscopy, e.g., Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, have previously demonstrated analytical capabilities for cancer detection, and have the potential to contribute to diagnostics. The implementation of FTIR microspectroscopy during surgical biopsy could present a fast, label-free method for molecular genetic classification. For example, the rapid determination of IDH1 status in a patient with a glioma diagnosis could inform intra-operative decision-making between alternative surgical strategies. In this study, we utilized synchrotron-based FTIR microanalysis to probe tissue microarray sections from 79 glioma patients, and distinguished the