Intracellular optical doppler phenotypes of chemosensitivity in human epithelial ovarian cancer

Zhe Li, Ran An, Wendy M. Swetzig, Margaux Kanis, Nkechiyere Nwani, John Turek, Daniela Matei, David Nolte*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number17354
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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