Scientists presented new optical methods for diagnosing cancer

30 September 2020

Springer has published a collective monograph on multimodal optical methods for diagnosing cancer. The book contains describes a wide range of optical methods that have recently been used for the specialized study of tumors of various organs and tissues. The authors are leading specialists in biophotonics from Russia, U.S., Canada, Germany, Finland, Bulgaria, and Great Britain. The proposed methods will increase the accuracy and speed of detecting oncopathologies and monitor treatment.

- The features of these methods make possible noninvasive diagnostics of oncological diseases, - says Yuri Kistenev, one of the authors of the monograph, head of the Laboratory of Biophotonics and executive director of the TSU Institute of Biomedicine. - The technologies proposed by the authors do not replace the main approaches, that is, the histological examination on which diagnosis is based.. But the multimodal approach using several different optical methods helps to obtain data that are very relevant to clinicians.

Many countries are trying to create and develop new approaches in biophotonics to bring the diagnosis of socially significant diseases to a qualitatively new level. TSU scientists presented two chapters in the monograph. One of them is devoted to the detection of oncological diseases using biological nano-objects - exosomes. These microscopic vesicles (bubbles) are secreted by cells, contain genetic information about them, and, in fact, are the mechanism of cellular communication.

- Exosomes are now considered one of the promising biomarkers that can be used in diagnostics, - explains Yuri Kistenev. - In the monograph, we with colleagues from the Research Institute of Oncology described the methods for isolating exosomes characteristic of oncological diseases and their analysis. In particular, the possibility of diagnosis is considered on the example of colorectal cancer, which is difficult to treat and is one of the three most common cancers in the world.

As the TSU scientist notes, exosomes are present in different body systems, but the easiest way to isolate them is from saliva and blood. Scientists use the method of multiphoton microscopy as a tool for analyzing nano-objects that act as biomarkers of malignant tumors.

In another chapter, TSU scientists talk about the technology they have developed for rapid noninvasive diagnostics suitable for screening lung cancer. It is based on the analysis of exhaled air using laser spectroscopy and machine learning.

The approach is based on the identification of molecular biomarkers in the exhaled air, but the difficulty lies in the fact that such markers are not highly specific. To reduce the amount of potential bias, the researchers are adopting an approach based on recording the profile of molecular biomarkers using pattern recognition techniques.