Purpose: To develop a near-infrared spectroscopic method to identify breast cancer biomarkers and to retrospectively determine if benign and malignant breast lesions could be distinguished by using this method.
Materials and methods: The study was HIPAA compliant and was approved by the university institutional review board. Written informed consent was obtained. By using self-referencing differential spectroscopy (SRDS) analysis, the existence of specific spectroscopic signatures of breast lesions on images acquired by using diffuse optical spectroscopy imaging in the wavelength range (650-1000 nm) was established. The SRDS method was tested in 60 subjects (mean age, 38 years; age range, 22-74 years). There were 17 patients with benign breast tumors and 22 patients with malignant breast tumors. There were 21 control subjects.
Results: Discrimination analysis helped separate malignant from benign tumors. A total of 40 lesions (22 malignant and 18 benign) were analyzed. Twenty were true-positive lesions, 17 were true-negative lesions, one was a false-positive lesion, and two were false-negative lesions (sensitivity, 91% [20 of 22]; specificity, 94% [17 of 18]; positive predictive value, 95% [20 of 21]; and negative predictive value, 89% [17 of 19]).
Conclusion: The SRDS method revealed localized tumor biomarkers specific to pathologic state.