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Journal of Biomedical Optics

Investigation of nuclear nano-morphology marker as a biomarker for cancer risk assessment using a mouse model
Author(s): Rajan K. Bista; Shikhar Uttam; Douglas J. Hartman; Wei Qiu; Jian Yu; Lin Zhang; Randall E. Brand; Yang Liu
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Paper Abstract

The development of accurate and clinically applicable tools to assess cancer risk is essential to define candidates to undergo screening for early-stage cancers at a curable stage or provide a novel method to monitor chemoprevention treatments. With the use of our recently developed optical technology—spatial-domain low-coherence quantitative phase microscopy (SL-QPM), we have derived a novel optical biomarker characterized by structure-derived optical path length (OPL) properties from the cell nucleus on the standard histology and cytology specimens, which quantifies the nano-structural alterations within the cell nucleus at the nanoscale sensitivity, referred to as nano-morphology marker. The aim of this study is to evaluate the feasibility of the nuclear nano-morphology marker from histologically normal cells, extracted directly from the standard histology specimens, to detect early-stage carcinogenesis, assess cancer risk, and monitor the effect of chemopreventive treatment. We used a well-established mouse model of spontaneous carcinogenesis—ApcMin mice, which develop multiple intestinal adenomas (Min) due to a germline mutation in the adenomatous polyposis coli (Apc) gene. We found that the nuclear nano-morphology marker quantified by OPL detects the development of carcinogenesis from histologically normal intestinal epithelial cells, even at an early pre-adenomatous stage (six weeks). It also exhibits a good temporal correlation with the small intestine that parallels the development of carcinogenesis and cancer risk. To further assess its ability to monitor the efficacy of chemopreventive agents, we used an established chemopreventive agent, sulindac. The nuclear nano-morphology marker is reversed toward normal after a prolonged treatment. Therefore, our proof-of-concept study establishes the feasibility of the SL-QPM derived nuclear nano-morphology marker OPL as a promising, simple and clinically applicable biomarker for cancer risk assessment and evaluation of chemopreventive treatment.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 June 2012
PDF: 7 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 17(6) 066014 doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.17.6.066014
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 17, Issue 6
Show Author Affiliations
Rajan K. Bista, Univ. of Pittsburgh (United States)
Shikhar Uttam, Univ. of Pittsburgh (United States)
Douglas J. Hartman, UPMC Presbyterian (United States)
Wei Qiu, UPMC Presbyterian (United States)
Jian Yu, Univ. of Pittsburgh (United States)
Lin Zhang, Univ. of Pittsburgh (United States)
Randall E. Brand, Univ. of Pittsburgh (United States)
Yang Liu, Univ. of Pittsburgh (United States)

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