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Article

Rapid Spectroscopic Liquid Biopsy for the Universal Detection of Brain Tumours

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Technology and Innovation Centre, Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G1 1RD, UK
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Translational Neurosurgery, Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH16 4SB, UK
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The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust, Lower Lane, Liverpool L9 7LJ, UK
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Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Institute of System, Molecular and Integrative Biology, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 7ZB, UK
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Department of Biochemistry and Systems Biology, Institute of Systems, Molecular and Integrative Biology, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 7ZB, UK
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Dxcover Limited, 204 George Street, Glasgow G1 1XW, UK
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Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry, University of Strathclyde, Thomas Graham Building, Glasgow G1 1XL, UK
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: David Wong
Cancers 2021, 13(15), 3851; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13153851
Received: 24 June 2021 / Revised: 22 July 2021 / Accepted: 29 July 2021 / Published: 30 July 2021
Due to the non-specific symptoms of brain cancer (e.g., headaches or memory changes), gliomas will often remain undetected until they are larger or at a higher grade, reducing the patient’s likelihood of a good clinical outcome. Earlier detection and diagnosis of brain tumours is vital to improve patient outcomes, leading to safer surgeries and earlier treatments. A liquid biopsy for brain tumour would prove revolutionary however in order to detect disease earlier the liquid biopsy needs to be able to detect smaller tumours; and current liquid biopsies perform worse when detecting smaller or earlier stage tumours. Here, for the first time, we confirm the applicability of a validated spectroscopic liquid biopsy approach to detect both small and low-grade gliomas proving that the spectroscopic liquid biopsy approach is insensitive to tumour volume unlike other liquid biopsies.
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: vibrational spectroscopy; glioma; chemometrics; clinical translation; early detection vibrational spectroscopy; glioma; chemometrics; clinical translation; early detection
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MDPI and ACS Style

Theakstone, A.G.; Brennan, P.M.; Jenkinson, M.D.; Mills, S.J.; Syed, K.; Rinaldi, C.; Xu, Y.; Goodacre, R.; Butler, H.J.; Palmer, D.S.; Smith, B.R.; Baker, M.J. Rapid Spectroscopic Liquid Biopsy for the Universal Detection of Brain Tumours. Cancers 2021, 13, 3851. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13153851

AMA Style

Theakstone AG, Brennan PM, Jenkinson MD, Mills SJ, Syed K, Rinaldi C, Xu Y, Goodacre R, Butler HJ, Palmer DS, Smith BR, Baker MJ. Rapid Spectroscopic Liquid Biopsy for the Universal Detection of Brain Tumours. Cancers. 2021; 13(15):3851. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13153851

Chicago/Turabian Style

Theakstone, Ashton G., Paul M. Brennan, Michael D. Jenkinson, Samantha J. Mills, Khaja Syed, Christopher Rinaldi, Yun Xu, Royston Goodacre, Holly J. Butler, David S. Palmer, Benjamin R. Smith, and Matthew J. Baker. 2021. "Rapid Spectroscopic Liquid Biopsy for the Universal Detection of Brain Tumours" Cancers 13, no. 15: 3851. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13153851

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