2011 Participants
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NAME: Emily Beckelhimer

PROJECT TITLE: FT-IR Microspectroscopic Evaluation of Human Lung Tissues Sections: A Study Employing Chemometric Analysis

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There is a need for highly objective and reliable techniques for the early detection of pre-malignant and malignant lesions of all types. One approach for improving patient care and reducing healthcare expenditures is to treat cancer at its early stages, a process requiring focus on innovative and noninvasive technologies for cancer detection.  Recent studies have shown that FT-IR spectroscopy can provide important clues regarding changes in the biochemical composition of cells allowing prediction of abnormal proliferation limiting the need for biopsies. Our FT-IR microspectroscopy studies focused on mathematical methods to correlate spectral variations to pathological diagnosis. The objective of this project is to extend the application of Mid FT-IR microspectroscopy to the study of human lung tissues, especially, since malignancies of the lung are the one of leading causes of cancer death in the US.  The question to be answered is twofold: 1) Can FT-IR microspectroscopy, in combination with Support Vector Machine and Partial Least Squares algorithms, provide an alternative approach to biopsy; i.e. aid in distinguishing normal lung tissues from malignant tissues, and 2) Can FT-IR microspectroscopy, in combination with SVM and PLS, distinguish between different forms of lung cancer?