Detecting Endometrial Cancer by Blood Spectroscopy: A Diagnostic Cross-Sectional Study

Maria Paraskevaidi*, Camilo L M Morais, Katherine M Ashton, Helen F Stringfellow, Rhona J McVey, Neil A J Ryan, Helena O'Flynn, Vanitha N Sivalingam, Sarah J Kitson, Michelle L MacKintosh, Abigail E Derbyshire, Cecilia Pow, Olivia Raglan, Kássio M G Lima, Maria Kyrgiou, Pierre L Martin-Hirsch, Francis L Martin, Emma J Crosbie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
107 Downloads (Pure)


Endometrial cancer is the sixth most common cancer in women, with a rising incidence worldwide. Current approaches for the diagnosis and screening of endometrial cancer are invasive, expensive or of moderate diagnostic accuracy, limiting their clinical utility. There is a need for cost-effective and minimally invasive approaches to facilitate the early detection and timely management of endometrial cancer. We analysed blood plasma samples in a cross-sectional diagnostic accuracy study of women with endometrial cancer (n = 342), its precursor lesion atypical hyperplasia (n = 68) and healthy controls (n = 242, total n = 652) using attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy and machine learning algorithms. We show that blood-based infrared spectroscopy has the potential to detect endometrial cancer with 87% sensitivity and 78% specificity. Its accuracy is highest for Type I endometrial cancer, the most common subtype, and for atypical hyperplasia, with sensitivities of 91% and 100%, and specificities of 81% and 88%, respectively. Our large-cohort study shows that a simple blood test could enable the early detection of endometrial cancer of all stages in symptomatic women and provide the basis of a screening tool in high-risk groups. Such a test has the potential not only to differentially diagnose endometrial cancer but also to detect its precursor lesion atypical hyperplasia-the early recognition of which may allow fertility sparing management and cancer prevention.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1256
Number of pages17
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2020


  • blood diagnostics
  • endometrial cancer
  • screening
  • spectroscopy


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