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Z Med Phys. 2005;15(4):265-72.

Recognition of malignant processes with neural nets from ESR spectra of serum albumin.

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Institute of Medical Physics and Biophysics, University Leipzig, Germany.


Cancer diseases are the focus of intense research due to their frequent occurrence. It is known from the literature that serum proteins are changed in the case of malignant processes. Changes of albumin conformation, transport efficiency, and binding characteristics can be determined by electron spin resonance spectroscopy (ESR). The present study analysed the binding/dissociation function of albumin with an ESR method using 16-doxyl stearate spin probe as reporter molecule and ethanol as modifier of hydrophobic interactions. Native and frozen plasma of healthy donors (608 samples), patients with malignant diseases (423 samples), and patients with benign conditions (221 samples) were analysed. The global specificity was 91% and the sensitivity 96%. In look-back samples of 27 donors, a malignant process could be detected up to 30 months before clinical diagnosis. To recognise different entities of malignant diseases from the ESR spectra, Artificial neural networks were implemented. For 48 female donors with breast cancer, the recognition specificity was 85%. Other carcinoma entities (22 colon, 18 prostate, 12 stomach) were recognised with specificities between 75% and 84%. Should these specificity values be reproduced in larger studies, the described method could be used as a new specific tumour marker for the early detection of malignant processes. Since transmission of cancer via blood transfusion cannot be excluded as yet, the described ESR method could also be used as a quality test for plasma products.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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