Translation of fiber-based molecular spectroscopy to in situ analysis of pancreatic tumor tissue

Duration of the project

01.02.2024. - 31.10.2024.

Countries and institutions involved in the project

Vilnius University
Dresden University of Technology

Project manager

Prof. Dr. Valdas Šablinskas

Aims of the project

This research project aims to transfer new developments in fiber-based infrared (IR) spectroscopy from Vilnius University for in situ detection of pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) represents the fourth most fatal cancer in the Western world with increasing incidence. Any medical progress so far has not been able to increase overall survival significantly above 7-9% across all stages. The main reason for the poor outcome of patients is rapid lymph node and distant metastasis and high resistance to chemotherapeutic agents. The present project takes a novel, innovative, time-saving approach to subtyping PDAC using infrared (IR) spectroscopic studies. Using histologically characterized tissue thin sections of human primary tumors, a differentiation from normal tissue will be achieved. The investigations are transferred to in-situ measurements at the clinic in Dresden. These will initially be performed on freshly resected human tissue in the operating room.

In the context of preliminary work for the current project application, IR spectroscopy has already been successfully applied to pancreatic tissue. It was shown that already in a small sample tumor tissue can be distinguished from non-tumor adjacent normal and stromal tissue. As the results show, the different tissue types can be differentiated on the basis of their spectral fingerprint with an accuracy of more than 90%. With this work, important prerequisites for the implementation of the project plan are already in place.

Main activities of the project and possible venues where the project activities will take place:

  1. Development, testing of a fiber probe for IR spectroscopy. Criteria for handling and sterilization will be developed. The technical work and testing will be done at Vilnius University. After successful testing, the probe will be handed over to the University of Dresden, University Hospital Carl-Gustav Carus.
  2. IR spectroscopic images of human pancreatic primary tissue are taken, which are assigned to the respective tissue type using evaluation algorithms based on the molecular spectra.(in Dresden / Germany)

Direct and indirect target group of the project

Direct: The direct target group of the project – researchers taking part in the project and patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma in the last step.


Indirect: Indirect target group – patients with other tumorous diseases, especially liver and kidney.