Early-Stage Lung Cancer Diagnosis by Deep Learning-Based Spectroscopic Analysis of Circulating Exosomes

Hyunku Shin, Seunghyun Oh, Soonwoo Hong, Minsung Kang, Daehyeon Kang, Yong Gu Ji, Byeong Hyeon Choi, Ka Won Kang, Hyesun Jeong, Yong Park, Hyun Koo Kim, Yeonho Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

165 Citations (Scopus)


Lung cancer has a high mortality rate, but an early diagnosis can contribute to a favorable prognosis. A liquid biopsy that captures and detects tumor-related biomarkers in body fluids has great potential for early-stage diagnosis. Exosomes, nanosized extracellular vesicles found in blood, have been proposed as promising biomarkers for liquid biopsy. Here, we demonstrate an accurate diagnosis of early-stage lung cancer, using deep learning-based surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) of the exosomes. Our approach was to explore the features of cell exosomes through deep learning and figure out the similarity in human plasma exosomes, without learning insufficient human data. The deep learning model was trained with SERS signals of exosomes derived from normal and lung cancer cell lines and could classify them with an accuracy of 95%. In 43 patients, including stage I and II cancer patients, the deep learning model predicted that plasma exosomes of 90.7% patients had higher similarity to lung cancer cell exosomes than the average of the healthy controls. Such similarity was proportional to the progression of cancer. Notably, the model predicted lung cancer with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.912 for the whole cohort and stage I patients with an AUC of 0.910. These results suggest the great potential of the combination of exosome analysis and deep learning as a method for early-stage liquid biopsy of lung cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5435-5444
Number of pages10
JournalACS nano
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020 May 26


  • deep learning
  • exosome
  • liquid biopsy
  • lung cancer diagnosis
  • surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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