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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence



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Experimental and Molecular Pathology, Vol.82, 2, 2007, pp.121-129 (invited contribution for a special issue)


Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women worldwide with 80% of cases arising in the developing world. The mortality associated with cervical cancer can be reduced if this disease is detected at the early stages of development or at the pre-malignant state (cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia, CIN). The aim of this study was to investigate the potential of Raman spectroscopy as a diagnostic tool to detect biochemical changes accompanying cervical cancer progression. Raman spectra were acquired from proteins, nucleic acids, lipids and carbohydrates in order to gain an insight into the biochemical composition of cells and tissues. Spectra were also obtained from histological samples of normal, CIN and invasive carcinoma tissue from 40 patients. Multivariate analysis of the spectra was carried out to develop a classification model to discriminate normal from abnormal tissue. The results show that Raman spectroscopy displays a high sensitivity to biochemical changes in tissue during disease progression resulting in an exceptional prediction accuracy when discriminating between normal cervical tissue, invasive carcinoma and cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia (CIN). Raman spectroscopy shows enormous clinical potential as a rapid non invasive diagnostic tool for cervical and other cancers.



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