Imaging the redox states of human breast cancer core biopsies.

Advances in experimental medicine and biology

PubMedID: 22879054

Xu HN, Tchou J, Chance B, Li LZ. Imaging the redox states of human breast cancer core biopsies. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2013;765343-9.
Currently, the gold standard to establish benign vs. malignant breast tissue diagnosis requires an invasive biopsy followed by tissue fixation for subsequent histopathological examination. This process takes at least 24 h resulting in tissues that are less suitable for molecular, functional, or metabolic analysis. We have recently conducted redox scanning (cryogenic NADH/flavoprotein fluorescence imaging) on snap-frozen breast tissue biopsy samples obtained from human breast cancer patients at the time of their breast cancer surgery. The redox state was readily determined by the redox scanner at liquid nitrogen temperature with extraordinary sensitivity, giving oxidized flavoproteins (Fp) an up to tenfold discrimination of cancer to non-cancer of breast in our preliminary data. Our finding suggests that the identified metabolic parameters could discriminate between cancer and non-cancer breast tissues without subjecting tissues to fixatives. The remainder of the frozen tissue is available for additional analysis such as molecular analysis and conventional histopathology. We propose that this novel redox scanning procedure may assist in tissue diagnosis in ex vivo tissues.