Colorectal cancer

Non-invasive spectroscopic methods to diagnose Colorectal Neoplasia

A project led by Ihtesham ur Rehman and Abdullah Talari at Lancaster University.

It is important to develop non-invasive point of care methods for the diagnosis of colorectal
neoplasia (polyps and carcinomas) that are highly sensitive and specific. Existing methods
such as FIT (Faecal Immunohistochemistry Test) have shortcomings (sensitivity for cancer is
>70% and for advanced polyps <20%). Analysis of body fluids via Raman and Infrared
spectroscopy could augment or potentially replace FIT because of superior sensitivity and
specificity plus improved patient acceptability. In this pilot study, we aim to explore
sensitivity and specificity in colorectal cancer patients and controls using existing biobank
samples. We aim to investigate Raman micro-spectroscopy - combined with chemometric
analysis to understand the dynamics of colorectal neoplasia by analysing biofluids.
Therefore, a prospective study is planned to collect body fluids from patients undergoing
colonoscopy. We believe that Infrared and Raman could be used to identify changes in the
chemical structure of normal vs cancerous samples, which will be used to detect and monitor
cancer non-invasively. A major outcome of the project will be to establish a new detection
method and develop a new research partnership of interdisciplinary and translational nature.

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