Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 405, Issue 23, pp 7347–7355 | Cite as

Investigating the rapid diagnosis of gliomas from serum samples using infrared spectroscopy and cytokine and angiogenesis factors

  • James R. Hands
  • Peter AbelEmail author
  • Katherine Ashton
  • Timothy Dawson
  • Charles Davis
  • Robert W Lea
  • Alastair J S McIntosh
  • Matthew J BakerEmail author
Research Paper


The ability to diagnose brain cancer rapidly from serum samples is of great interest; such a diagnosis would allow for rapid testing and time to results providing a responsive diagnostic environment, ability to monitor treatment efficacy, early detection of recurrent tumours and screening techniques. Current methods rely upon subjective, time-consuming tests such as histological grading and are particularly invasive with the diagnostic test requiring hospitalisation of 2–3 days. A rapid diagnostic method based upon serum samples would allow for a relatively non-invasive test and open up the possibility of screening for brain cancer. We report for the first time the use of a Bioplex immunoassay to provide cytokine and angiogenesis factor levels that differ between serum from glioma and non-cancer patients specifically angiopoietin, follistatin, HGF, IL-8, leptin, PDGF-BB and PECAM-1 providing sensitivities and specificities as high as 88 % and 81 %, respectively. We also report, for the first time, the use of serum ATR-FTIR combined with a RBF SVM for the diagnosis of gliomas from non-cancer patients with sensitivities and specificities as high as 87.5 % and 100 %, respectively. We describe the combination of these techniques in an orthogonal diagnostic regime, providing strength to the diagnosis through data combinations, in a rapid diagnostic test within 5 h from serum collection (10 min for ATR-FTIR and 4 h for the Bioplex Immunoassay). This regime has the ability to revolutionise the clinical environment by providing objective measures for diagnosis allowing for increased efficiency with corresponding decreases in mortality, morbidity and economic impact upon the health services.


Infrared Orthogonal Rapid Glioma Cytokines Angiogenesis 



The authors acknowledge the support and funding provided by the Brain Tumour North West collaborations (, the Sydney Driscoll Neuroscience Foundation, School of Forensic and Investigative Sciences, School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences and the Centre for Materials Science at the University of Central Lancashire and to the Association of British Spectroscopists for a travel grant for MJB. The authors also acknowledge Dr Joseph M Hayes for his protein image and thoughtful discussions.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • James R. Hands
    • 1
  • Peter Abel
    • 2
    Email author
  • Katherine Ashton
    • 3
  • Timothy Dawson
    • 3
  • Charles Davis
    • 3
  • Robert W Lea
    • 2
  • Alastair J S McIntosh
    • 1
    • 4
  • Matthew J Baker
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Centre for Materials Science, Division of ChemistryUniversity of Central LancashirePrestonUK
  2. 2.School of Pharmacy and Biomedical SciencesUniversity of Central LancashirePrestonUK
  3. 3.Department of PathologyLancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Royal Preston HospitalPreston, LancashireUK
  4. 4.Department of Chemistry, Imperial College LondonLondonUK

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