Non-invasive screening of breast cancer from fingertip smears—a proof of concept study

Article


Russo, C., Wyld, L., Da Costa Aubreu, M., Bury, C., Heaton, C., Cole, L. and Francese, S. 2023. Non-invasive screening of breast cancer from fingertip smears—a proof of concept study. Scientific Reports. 13 (1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-023-29036-7
TypeArticle
TitleNon-invasive screening of breast cancer from fingertip smears—a proof of concept study
AuthorsRusso, C., Wyld, L., Da Costa Aubreu, M., Bury, C., Heaton, C., Cole, L. and Francese, S.
Abstract

Breast cancer is a global health issue affecting 2.3 million women per year, causing death in over 600,000. Mammography (and biopsy) is the gold standard for screening and diagnosis. Whilst effective, this test exposes individuals to radiation, has limitations to its sensitivity and specificity and may cause moderate to severe discomfort. Some women may also find this test culturally unacceptable. This proof-of-concept study, combining bottom-up proteomics with Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionisation Mass Spectrometry (MALDI MS) detection, explores the potential for a non-invasive technique for the early detection of breast cancer from fingertip smears. A cohort of 15 women with either benign breast disease (n = 5), early breast cancer (n = 5) or metastatic breast cancer (n = 5) were recruited from a single UK breast unit. Fingertips smears were taken from each patient and from each of the ten digits, either at the time of diagnosis or, for metastatic patients, during active treatment. A number of statistical analyses and machine learning approaches were investigated and applied to the resulting mass spectral dataset. The highest performing predictive method, a 3-class Multilayer Perceptron neural network, yielded an accuracy score of 97.8% when categorising unseen MALDI MS spectra as either the benign, early or metastatic cancer classes. These findings support the need for further research into the use of sweat deposits (in the form of fingertip smears or fingerprints) for non-invasive screening of breast cancer.

Sustainable Development Goals3 Good health and well-being
Middlesex University ThemeHealth & Wellbeing
LanguageEnglish
PublisherNature Publishing Group
JournalScientific Reports
ISSN2045-2322
Publication dates
Online01 Feb 2023
Print01 Feb 2023
Publication process dates
Deposited19 Jun 2023
Submitted30 Jun 2022
Accepted30 Jan 2023
Output statusPublished
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Open
Copyright Statement

Copyright © 2023, The Author(s)
Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-023-29036-7
Web of Science identifierWOS:000954545400013
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