Detecting Endometrial Cancer by Blood Spectroscopy: A Diagnostic Cross-Sectional Study

Paraskevaidi, Maria, Medeiros-De-morais, Camilo De lelis orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-2573-787X, Ashton, Katherine M., Stringfellow, Helen F., McVey, Rhona J., Ryan, Neil A.J., O’Flynn, Helena, Sivalingam, Vanitha N., Kitson, Sarah J. et al (2020) Detecting Endometrial Cancer by Blood Spectroscopy: A Diagnostic Cross-Sectional Study. Cancers, 12 (5). e1256. ISSN 2072-6694

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Endometrial cancer is the sixth most common cancer in women, with a rising incidence worldwide. Current approaches for the diagnosis and screening of endometrial cancer are invasive, expensive or of moderate diagnostic accuracy, limiting their clinical utility. There is a need for cost-effective and minimally invasive approaches to facilitate the early detection and timely management of endometrial cancer. We analysed blood plasma samples in a cross-sectional diagnostic accuracy study of women with endometrial cancer (n = 342), its precursor lesion atypical hyperplasia (n = 68) and healthy controls (n = 242, total n = 652) using attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy and machine learning algorithms. We show that blood-based infrared spectroscopy has the potential to detect endometrial cancer with 87% sensitivity and 78% specificity. Its accuracy is highest for Type I endometrial cancer, the most common subtype, and for atypical hyperplasia, with sensitivities of 91% and 100%, and specificities of 81% and 88%, respectively. Our large-cohort study shows that a simple blood test could enable the early detection of endometrial cancer of all stages in symptomatic women and provide the basis of a screening tool in high-risk groups. Such a test has the potential not only to differentially diagnose endometrial cancer but also to detect its precursor lesion atypical hyperplasia—the early recognition of which may allow fertility sparing management and cancer prevention.

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