Discrimination of gastric cancer from normal by serum RNA based on surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) and multivariate analysis

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I. INTRODUCTION

Currently gastric cancer is the second leading cause of cancerassociated death; accounting for approximately 600 000 annual deaths worldwide.1 The patients with gastric cancer have poor survival rates mainly due to the advanced stages upon the initial time of diagnosis when cancer cells have metastasized into other parts of the body. Early diagnosis and localization of malignant lesions together with appropriate curative treatment is critical to reduce the mortality rates of the patients.2 However, at present conventional methods such as gastroscope, barium meal, fecal occult blood testing, and conventional tumor markers cannot meet all of the desired criteria of an ideal screening tool which is highly sensitive and specific, fast, and widely accessible.3

Since the discovery of circulating nucleic acids in 1948, many researchers speculated that circulating RNA markers not only provide new targets for cancer detection but also open up the possibility of noninvasive gene expression profiling for cancers.4, 5 Development of rapid and sensitive circulating nucleic acids profiling methods is essential for evaluating the pattern of circulating nucleic acids expression that varies across normal and diseased states. Recently, surfaceenhanced Raman scattering (SERS) has emerged as such a technology with great promise for ultrasensitive detection of RNA/DNA.

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