Raman ‘optical biopsy’ of human breast cancer

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Abstract

Raman imaging (RI) is a novel method of medical diagnostics of human breast cancer and has a potential to become a routine optical biopsy. Up to date the present study is the most statistically reliable Raman analysis based on data of normal, benign, and cancerous breast tissues for 146 patients. This paper present the first Raman ‘optical biopsy’ images of the normal and cancerous breast tissue of the same patient. The results presented here demonstrate the ability of Raman spectroscopy to accurately characterize cancer tissue and distinguish between normal (noncancerous), and cancerous types. The results provide evidence that carotenoids and lipids composition of cancerous breast tissues differs significantly from that of the surrounding noncancerous breast tissue and may be a key factor responsible for mechanisms of carcinogenesis. We have found that fatty acid composition of the cancerous breast tissue is markedly different from that of the surrounding noncancerous breast tissue. The cancerous breast tissue seems to be dominated by the metabolism products of the arachidonic acid - derived cyclic eicosanoids catalyzed by cyclooxygenase, while the noncancerous breast tissue is dominated by monounsaturated oleic acid and its derivatives.

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