Spectroscopic imaging for prognostic applications in breast and oesophageal cancer treatment (SPECPREDICT)

Each cancer patient has a unique response to cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy. An individual patients response to cancer treatment is to a significant degree determined by their own biology (genetic profile) and other environmental factors such as diet and lifestyle. With the evolution of technologies such as gene sequencing and associated computational methods it is now possible to link a patients biological profile and lifestyle characteristics to measurements of their treatment response. This can supply clinicians with a prediction of the risk of recurrence or probability of regression of cancer for a particular patient and for a particular treatment option. While there are a number of costly commercial genetic tests (such as the Oncotype DX assay) that can predict which patients have a higher risk of cancer recurrence, they fail to predict those who have a low to intermediate risk of recurrence (at least 60% of patients).
This project will develop a novel low cost, rapid assay based on biochemical imaging of patient tissue which will identify the risk of recurrence of breast and oesophageal cancer before treatment by chemotherapy or radiotherapy. The project will employ Raman spectral imaging which uses laser light to image patient tissue and does not require special labelling. A limited pilot study with the technology has already shown that it predicts radiotherapy response in oesophageal cancer patients with 85% accuracy. The research will deliver a revolutionary assay clinicians may use to accurately prescribe the most appropriate therapy option for a given patient with oesophageal or breast cancer and will form the basis of a technique which can be rolled out for other cancer types in the future. The assay will lead to a reduced number of patients in whom inappropriate therapies are prescribed with an associated reduction in healthcare costs.

Award Date
23 October 2015
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Professor Aidan Meade
Host Institution
Dublin Institute of Technology
Health Research Awards