Oral brush biopsy analysis by MALDI-ToF Mass Spectrometry for early cancer diagnosis
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Objectives Intact cell peptidome profiling (ICPP) with MALDI-ToF Mass Spectrometry holds promise as a non-invasive method to detect head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) objectively, which may significantly improve the early diagnosis of oral cancer. The present study was designed to discriminate between tumour samples and non-cancer controls (healthy mucosa and oral lesions) by analysing complete spectral patterns of intact cells using MALDI-ToF MS. Materials and methods In the first step, a database consisting of 26 patients suffering from HNSCC was established by taking brush biopsy samples of the diseased area and of the healthy buccal mucosa of the respective contralateral area. After performing MALDI-ToF MS on these samples, classification analysis was used as the basis for further classification of an additional 26 blinded samples including HNSCC, oral lesions and healthy mucosa. Results By analysing spectral patterns of the blinded samples, all cancerous lesions were defined accurately. One incorrect evaluation (false positive) occurred in the lesion cohort, leading to a sensitivity of 100%, a specificity of 93% and an overall accuracy of 96.5%. Conclusion ICPP using MALDI-ToF MS is able to distinguish between healthy and cancerous mucosa and between oral lesions and oral cancer with excellent sensitivity and specificity, which may lead to more accurate early diagnosis of HNSCC.
Oral Medicine and Pathology