Non-Invasive, Topical Sampling of Potential, Low-Molecular Weight, Skin Cancer Biomarkers: A Study on Healthy Volunteers

Skaidre Jankovskaja, Maxim Morin, Anna Gustafsson, Chris D. Anderson, Boglarka Lehoczki, Johan Engblom, Sebastian Björklund, Melinda Rezeli, György Marko-Varga, Tautgirdas Ruzgas

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskriftPeer review


Monitoring of low-molecular weight cancer biomarkers, such as tryptophan (Trp) and its derivative kynurenine (Kyn), might be advantageous to non-invasive skin cancer detection. Thus, we assessed several approaches of topical sampling of Trp and Kyn, in relation to phenylalanine (Phe) and tyrosine (Tyr), on the volar forearm of six healthy volunteers. The sampling was performed with three hydrogels (made of agarose or/and chitosan), hydrated starch films, cotton swabs, and tape stripping. The biomarkers were successfully sampled by all approaches, but the amount of collected Kyn was low, 20 ± 10 pmol/cm2. Kyn quantification was below LOQ, and thus, it was detected only in 20% of topical samples. To mitigate variability problems of absolute amounts of sampled amino acids, Tyr/Trp, Phe/Trp, and Phe/Tyr ratios were assessed, proving reduced inter-individual variation from 79 to 45% and intra-individual variation from 42 to 21%. Strong positive correlation was found between Phe and Trp, pointing to the Phe/Trp ratio (being in the 1.0-2.0 range, at 95% confidence) being least dependent on sampling materials, approaches, and sweating. This study leads to conclusion that due to the difficulty in quantifying less abundant Kyn, and thus the Trp/Kyn ratio, the Phe/Trp ratio might be a possible, alternative biomarker for detecting skin cancers.

Sidor (från-till)5856-5865
Antal sidor10
TidskriftAnalytical Chemistry
StatusPublished - 2022 apr. 19

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Analytisk kemi


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