Transcutaneous computed bioconductance measurement in lung cancer: a treatment enabling technology useful for adjunctive risk stratification in the evaluation of suspicious pulmonary lesions.

Author: Yung RC, Zeng MY, Stoddard GJ, Garff M, Callahan K.
Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.
Conference/Journal: J Thorac Oncol.
Date published: 2012 Apr
Other: Volume ID: 7 , Issue ID: 4 , Pages: 681-9 , Word Count: 305

Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer deaths in North America and is rapidly increasing worldwide. Although there are advances being made in the multidisciplinary management and combined-modality therapies of lung cancers, most cases are still diagnosed in later noncurable stages. Early detection has hinged on clinical risk assessment and on the future possibility of screening by low-dose computed tomography of the chest; however, this will only vastly increase the number of indeterminate pulmonary lesions (IPLs) being detected. Given that the majority of radiographically detected lung lesions are benign, and tissue confirmation by various invasive biopsy tests has increased risks and costs, a noninvasive adjunctive test that can stratify likelihood of an indeterminate lung lesion as malignant or benign will be a useful treatment-enabling technology to speed up diagnosis and treatment of lung cancers at a more curable stage and defer unnecessary invasive procedures that have potential for harm. Measurement of transcutaneous bioconductance using the differential conductivity properties of cancerous versus benign tissue has been previously demonstrated on nonlung lesions. Thus, it has the potential of being a noninvasive, simple-to-perform and repeatable test that may be valuable in assessing lung lesions. In this prospective study of subjects with known thoracic malignancies, computed bioconductance measurements discriminated between malignant lesions (29 primary lung cancers) from benign pathology (12) across a range of IPL sizes (0.8 cm and greater) with a sensitivity of 89.7% (positive predictive value 96.3%) and specificity of 91.7% (negative predictive value 78.5%). The technology seems to be effective across a range of tumor thoracic locations, cell types, and stages. Additional cohorts of subjects will be used to validate testing and for refinement of the current algorithm, which at present has a test performance with a receiver operating characteristic of 90.7%. Noninvasive transcutaneous computed bioconductance measurement can become a standard risk assessment and therapy-enabling tool in the evaluation of IPLs.
PMID: 22425917