Development of an assay to predict response to chemotherapy has remained an elusive goal in cancer research. We report a phenotypic chemosensitivity assay for epithelial ovarian cancer based on Doppler spectroscopy of infrared light scattered from intracellular motions in living three-dimensional tumor biopsy tissue measured in vitro. The study analyzed biospecimens from 20 human patients with epithelial ovarian cancer. Matched primary and metastatic tumor tissues were collected for 3 patients, and an additional 3 patients provided only metastatic tissues. Doppler fluctuation spectra were obtained using full-field optical coherence tomography through off-axis digital holography. Frequencies in the range from 10 mHz to 10 Hz are sensitive to changes in intracellular dynamics caused by platinum-based chemotherapy. Metastatic tumor tissues were found to display a biodynamic phenotype that was similar to primary tissue from patients who had poor clinical outcomes. The biodynamic phenotypic profile correctly classified 90% [88–91% c.i.] of the patients when the metastatic samples were characterized as having a chemoresistant phenotype. This work suggests that Doppler profiling of tissue response to chemotherapy has the potential to predict patient clinical outcomes based on primary, but not metastatic, tumor tissue.
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