Diagnosing diffuse malignant mesothelioma (DMM) typically relies on tumor characteristics like structure and the presence of certain biomarkers. However, DMM is often hard to distinguish from other cancers of the lung and between its three subtypes: epithelioid, sarcomatoid and biphasic. To help ease the confusion, German researchers have developed a new tissue-sample imaging and collecting technique for DMM, according to Mesothelioma Research News.
The new technique is reported to provide a more accurate picture of DMM tissue samples to help better identify and treat the deadly cancer. Specifically, the new imagining technique makes it easier to identify tissue biomarkers by using advanced imaging techniques and micro-dissection, which involves using a microscope to help dissect tissue. “Researchers used Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) imaging guided tissue annotation instead of standard tissue staining to identify subtypes of DMM,” Mesothelioma Research News explains. Using FTIR, scientists can illuminate thin tissue samples and determine which DMM subtype it belongs to by analyzing how the tissue sample absorbs and reflects light.
The study identified DMM subtypes in 17 tissue samples taken from 14 DMM patients with the new technique and was found to be more accurate than current methods of identification, according to the results. “Coupling the imaging with laser-based micro-dissection allowed the team to collect micro-scale tissue samples without picking up adjacent tissue that could contaminate the results,” the news source states. The technique also could lead to more accurate protein level readings, which could lead to new biomarkers for DMM and its subtypes, according to the research team.