Cheek Swab May Detect Lung Cancer
"This study is important because it provides the proof of concept that a minimally intrusive, risk-stratification technique may allow us to tailor screening for lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer deaths in Americans,"
- physician and researcher Hemant Roy of NorthShore University HealthSystems
Early detection is critical for improving cancer survival rates. Yet, one of the deadliest cancers in the United States, lung cancer, is notoriously difficult to detect in its early stages.
Now, researchers have developed a method to detect lung cancer by merely shining diffuse light on cells swabbed from patients' cheeks.
In a new clinical study, the analysis technique—called partial wave spectroscopic (PWS) microscopy—was able to differentiate individuals with lung cancer from those without, even if the non-cancerous patients had been lifetime smokers or suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).