Raman spectroscopy is a relatively new fiber optic technology that allows scientists to distinguish between benign and cancerous thyroid lesions in a non-invasive way. The technology of Raman spectroscopy was already demonstrated during the diagnosis of thyroid cancer that took the ninth most commonplace with about 50.000 novel cases diagnosed in the US each year.
The researchers confirm that the obtained results demonstrate a very potential application of Raman spectroscopy technique that enables to give up on invasive procedures to diagnose thyroid cancer by offering the necessary biochemical data information that is not now available. Thus, Raman spectroscopy technique may have an impact on the medicine in the whole and bring new ways to diagnose various diseases.
To be more precise, the tested Raman spectroscopy can differentiate between healthy and cancerous human thyroid cells with 97 percent precision. Moreover, it is the first case of using human clinical thyroid cells to demonstrate that Raman spectroscopy technique allows detecting cancer subtypes at the single-cell level. Nevertheless, it is necessary to increase the number of examined patients and the number of cells as well to affirm the precision of Raman spectroscopy technology.
It should be noted that a lump (nodule) in the neck is considered to be a common symptom of thyroid cancer, herewith, most thyroid lumps are not cancerous. The current technique does not allow detecting of about 15 to 30 percent of cases, while the technology of Raman spectroscopy is recognized to become a possible solution. Moreover, Raman spectroscopy offers such benefits as non-invasiveness, no need for sample preparation or straining.
The main aim of Raman spectroscopy application is the creation of more accurate pathologist’s analysis of the cells to minimize the number of thyroidectomies required that finally will contribute to minimal surgical complications and the reduction of health care costs.
The principle of Raman spectroscopy technique is based on the use of a line-scan Raman microscope that helps the researchers to rapidly obtain Raman signals from an entire cell volume. Therefore, it will be easier to more precisely capture the chemical composition of entire cells due to Raman spectroscopy compared to other methods.
The technology of Raman spectroscopy has been tested on individual cells elicited from 10 patient thyroid lumps diagnosed as benign or cancerous. The analysis of the obtained data information shows unique spectral differences that could differentiate cancerous cells from benign with 97 percent diagnostic precision. Herewith, the data also demonstrates that other subtypes could be detected by their spectral differences resulting in a new potential Raman spectroscopy applications soon.
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