Prostate Cancer (PC) is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in American men. While prostate specific antigen (PSA) test has been widely used for screening PC, >60% of the PSA detected cancers are indolent, leading to unnecessary clinical interventions. An alternative approach, active surveillance (AS), also suffer from high expense, discomfort and complications associated with repeat biopsies (every 1-3 years), limiting its acceptance. Hence, a technique that can differentiate indolent from aggressive PC would attenuate the harms from over-treatment. Combining microscopy with spectroscopy, our group has developed partial wave spectroscopic (PWS) microscopy, which can quantify intracellular nanoscale organizations (e.g. chromatin structures) that are not accessible by conventional microscopy. PWS microscopy has previously been shown to predict the risk of cancer in seven different organs (N ~ 800 patients). Herein we use PWS measurement of label-free histologically-normal prostatic epithelium to distinguish indolent from aggressive PC and predict PC risk. Our results from 38 men with low-grade PC indicated that there is a significant increase in progressors compared to non-progressors (p=0.002, effect size=110%, AUC=0.80, sensitivity=88% and specificity=72%), while the baseline clinical characteristics were not significantly different. We further improved the diagnostic power by performing nuclei-specific measurements using an automated system that separates in real-time the cell nuclei from the remaining prostate epithelium. In the long term, we envision that the PWS based prognostication can be coupled with AS without any change to the current procedure to mitigate the harms caused by over-treatment.
Di Zhang, Taylor Graff, Susan Crawford, Hariharan Subramanian, Sebastian Thompson, Justin R. Derbas, Radha Lyengar, Hemant K. Roy, Charles B. Brendler, and Vadim Backman, "Partial wave spectroscopic microscopy can predict prostate cancer progression and mitigate over-treatment (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9689, Photonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics XII, 96891N (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 13, 2016; Published: 27 April 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2213734.4828143233001.
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