• ATR-FTIR spectroscopy;
  • biospectroscopy;
  • blood;
  • ovarian cancer;
  • PCA-LDA;
  • Raman spectroscopy


Despite numerous advances in “omics” research, early detection of ovarian cancer still remains a challenge. The aim of this study was to determine whether attenuated total reflection Fourier-transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) or Raman spectroscopy could characterise alterations in the biomolecular signatures of human blood plasma/serum obtained from ovarian cancer patients compared to non-cancer controls. Blood samples isolated from ovarian cancer patients (n = 30) and healthy controls (n = 30) were analysed using ATR-FTIR spectroscopy. For comparison, a smaller cohort of samples (n = 8) were analysed using an InVia Renishaw Raman spectrometer. Resultant spectra were pre-processed prior to being inputted into principal component analysis (PCA) and linear discriminant analysis (LDA). Statistically significant differences (P < 0.001) were observed between spectra of ovarian cancer versus control subjects for both biospectroscopy methods. Using a support vector machine classifier for Raman spectra of blood plasma, a diagnostic accuracy of 74% was achieved, while the same classifier showed 93.3% accuracy for IR spectra of blood plasma. These observations suggest that a biospectroscopy approach could be applied to identify spectral alterations associated with the presence of insidious ovarian cancer. (© 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)