Molecular Diagnosis of Glial Cell Brain Cancers Using Handheld Mass Spectrometry Device

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Gowda, Prajwal

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Gliomas are a class of brain tumors characterized by a diverse range of histologies and subtypes, requiring accurate and rapid diagnosis for effective and personalized care. Often times, the primary treatment plan for these tumors involves removing the cancerous tissue by means of surgical resection, the extent of which correlates with improved patient prognosis; however, difficulty can arise when determining tumor margins. Currently, pathologists use histopathology to evaluate regions surrounding the brain tumor to ascertain an accurate diagnosis, but ambiguity is commonplace in these time-consuming diagnoses. The MasSpec Pen, a biocompatible handheld mass spectrometry system developed by the Eberlin Lab, was used to analyze astrocytoma and glioblastoma tumor samples to assess the system’s ability to perform real-time, nondestructive, and accurate tissue diagnoses. Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (Lasso) models were generated from mass spectra gathered from tissue analysis to distinguish healthy human brain tissue from gliomas. Analysis of tissue samples in negative ion mode yielded characteristic mass spectra for each tissue type with a diverse array of molecules detected, including glycerophosphoserines (PS), glycophosphoinositols (PI), glycerophosphoethanolamines (PE), and ceramides. The Lasso model built from MasSpec Pen spectra had overall accuracies greater than 95% for distinguishing glioma and normal brain tissue.



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