New diagnostic technique reveals a protein biomarker that accurately differentiates bladder cancer from benign inflammation
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IMAGE: Label-free Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) imaging (left) classifies the unaltered tissue thin section (red: tumor, cyan: connective tissue, blue: muscle). This information is then used to cut out tissue samples… view more 

Credit: American Journal of Pathology

Philadelphia, PA, February 12, 2019 – Label-free digital pathology using infrared (IR) imaging with subsequent proteomic analysis for bladder cancer (BC) has revealed the first protein biomarker (AHNAK2) for BC. AHNAK2 differentiates between chronic cystitis (inflammation of the bladder) and a non-muscle invasive-type BC (carcinoma in situ) which is challenging to diagnose. A report in the American Journal of Pathology describes this new diagnostic procedure, which is label-free, automated, observer-independent, and as sensitive and specific as established histopathological methods.

Distinguishing benign inflammatory conditions in the bladder from low-grade and advanced cancers can be difficult, especially since some BC treatments induce inflammation.

“We developed this label-free digital pathology annotation system by IR imaging to support the pathologist, similar to driver assistance in cars. This technique in combination with a proteomics approach allowed us to identify AHNAK2 as an important new biomarker for BC, and the results encourage us to transfer this label-free digital technique to other pathologies,” explained Klaus Gerwert, PhD, Chairman

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