Developing a minimally invasive and cost-effective prescreening strategy for colon cancer is critical because of the impossibility of conducting colonoscopy on the entire at-risk population. The concept of field carcinogenesis, in which normal-appearing tissue away from a tumor has molecular and, consequently, nano-architectural abnormalities, offers one attractive approach to identify high-risk patients. In this study, we investigated whether the novel imaging technique partial wave spectroscopic (PWS) microscopy could risk-stratify patients harboring precancerous lesions of the colon, using an optically measured biomarker (L d) obtained from microscopically normal but nanoscopically altered cells. Rectal epithelial cells were examined from 146 patients, including 72 control patients, 14 patients with diminutive adenomas, 20 patients with nondiminutive/nonadvanced adenomas, 15 patients with advanced adenomas/high-grade dysplasia, 12 patients with genetic mutation leading to Lynch syndrome, and 13 patients with cancer. We found that the L d obtained from rectal colonocytes was well correlated with colon tumorigenicity in our patient cohort and in an independent validation set of 39 additional patients. Therefore, our findings suggest that PWS-measured Ld is an accurate marker of field carcinogenesis. This approach provides a potential prescreening strategy for risk stratification before colonoscopy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research