Cancer Detection in Human Tissue Samples using Fiber Optic Probes

Optical fiber spectroscopy enables to develop fiber optic equipment for oncology. It can be used for differentiation of cancer and normal tissue by in-vitro and ex-vivo methods. In the future, it is planned to use such fiber optic equipment in-vivo. The main challenge for cancer specialists is to select the most sensitive, specific, and accurate type of fiber spectroscopy while all spectroscopy methods can help to detect tumor margins for complete and minimally invasive cancer removal. Cancer is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide with approximately 14 million new cases and 8.8 million cancer-related deaths per year, according to the World Health Organization (WOH). Late-stage presentation and inaccessible diagnosis and treatment are common. In 2017, only 26% of low-income countries reported having pathology services generally available in the public sector. Only one in five low- and middle-income countries have the necessary data to drive cancer policy. The recommended management strategy, which can significantly reduce the cancer mortality, is early diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Early diagnosis consists of three steps that must be integrated and provided in a timely manner:

  • awareness and accessing care
  • clinical evaluation, diagnosis, and staging
  • access to treatment

Early diagnosis is relevant in all settings and the majority of cancers. In absence of an early diagnosis, patients are diagnosed at late stages when curative treatment may no longer be an option. However, it should be noted, biopsy and histopathology are invasive, costly, and time-consuming procedures, although they are necessary for a clinical examination of the suspicious lesion.

A novel alternative for rapid cancer diagnostic and label-free cancer specification is a non-invasive spectroscopic investigation or “spectral histopathology”. Cancer specialists can “see into future” and identify deadly diseases before can break out thanks to spectroscopy fiber probe technology. Fiber optic probes can detect inflammation in the thinnest folds of the human digestive system that is invisible to the naked eye. Fiber optic probes allow remote sensing for tissue samples both in a laboratory and clinical environment. Thin Raman fiber optic probes, for example, allow bringing high sensitivity measurements to the clinical surgery room. Malignant and healthy tissue can be differentiated by NIR-diffuse reflection, Raman scattering, MID IR absorption, or fluorescence spectroscopy. They can be also combined in any configuration to enhance sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, and level of predictive value for in-vivo diagnostics. Fiber optic probes for MSF-systems and tumor margin sensors should be miniaturized to enable their integration in endoscopes and must be produced as disposable or sterilizable for clinical applications.

Optromix offers Fiber Optic Probes for process spectroscopy and Fiber Optic ATR-probes for laboratory applications. All ATR probes from FlexiSpec® product line are compatible with any type of FT-IR and other IR-spectrometers, photometers, and sensors. If you would like to buy Optromix spectroscopy fiber probes, please contact us at

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