Support from the Strategic Priority Fund Award will allow Dr. Haishan Zeng, distinguished scientist, imaging unit – integrative oncology, to embark on his project titled Improving periphery lung cancer detection by endoscopic laser raman spectroscopy

Project Summary

Early detection is crucial for increasing the survival rate of lung cancer and reduces the cost of treatment. If lung cancer can be detected early in the pre-invasive stage, the 5-year survival is >90%. However, with current diagnostic techniques, lung cancer is generally asymptomatic until it has reached an advanced stage, when the treatment outcome is poor. Periphery lung lesions are usually spotted by CT scans as nodules on the images. Then radial ultrasound imaging (under bronchoscopy/virtual CT guidance) plus biopsy are conducted to determine if a nodule is malignant or benign. However, this procedure has high false positives.

This project will develop a technology called Laser Raman Spectroscopy (LRS) for improving lung cancer detection. LRS probes molecular vibration and gives fingerprint-like spectral features. It has high accuracy for differentiation between malignant and benign cells/tissues. Dr. Zeng and team hopes to develop LRS into a new clinical tool for improving periphery lung cancer diagnosis.

“I am so thankful to the BC Cancer Foundation for the award,” says Dr. Zeng.