Send to

Choose Destination
Cancer Res. 2009 Jul 1;69(13):5357-63. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-08-3895. Epub 2009 Jun 23.

Nanoscale cellular changes in field carcinogenesis detected by partial wave spectroscopy.

Author information

Biomedical Engineering Department, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA.


Understanding alteration of cell morphology in disease has been hampered by the diffraction-limited resolution of optical microscopy (>200 nm). We recently developed an optical microscopy technique, partial wave spectroscopy (PWS), which is capable of quantifying statistical properties of cell structure at the nanoscale. Here we use PWS to show for the first time the increase in the disorder strength of the nanoscale architecture not only in tumor cells but also in the microscopically normal-appearing cells outside of the tumor. Although genetic and epigenetic alterations have been previously observed in the field of carcinogenesis, these cells were considered morphologically normal. Our data show organ-wide alteration in cell nanoarchitecture. This seems to be a general event in carcinogenesis, which is supported by our data in three types of cancer: colon, pancreatic, and lung. These results have important implications in that PWS can be used as a new method to identify patients harboring malignant or premalignant tumors by interrogating easily accessible tissue sites distant from the location of the lesion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center