Can mid-infrared biomedical spectroscopy of cells, fluids and tissue aid improvements in cancer survival? A patient paradigm
This review will take a fresh approach from the patient perspective; offering insight into the applications of mid-infrared biomedical spectroscopy in a scenario whereby the patient presents with non-specific symptoms and via an extensive diagnostic process multiple lesions are discovered but no clear sign of the primary tumour; a condition known as cancer of unknown primary (CUP). With very limited options to diagnose the cancer origin, treatment options are likely to be ineffective and prognosis is consequentially very poor. CUP has not yet been targeted by infrared biospectroscopy, however, this timely, concise dissemination will focus on a series of research highlights and breakthroughs from the field for the management of a variety of cancer-related diseases – many examples of which have occurred within this year alone. The case for integration of mid-infrared (MIR) technology into clinical practice will be demonstrated largely via diagnostic, but also therapeutic and prognostic avenues by means of including cytological, bio-fluid and tissue analysis. The review is structured around CUP but is relevant for all cancer diagnoses. Infrared spectroscopy is fast developing a reputation as a valid and powerful tool for the detection and diagnosis of cancer using a variety of sample formats. The technology will produce data and tools that are designed to complement routine clinical practice; enhancing the ability of the clinician to make a reliable and non-subjective decision and enabling decreased levels of mortality and morbidity and gains in patient quality of life.
- This article is part of the themed collections: Clinical spectroscopy, Celebrating the 2017 RSC Prize and Award Winners and Innovative Tools for Cancer Screening, Detection and Diagnostics