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Photochem Photobiol. 2001 Feb;73(2):178-83.

In vivo fluorescence spectroscopy of nonmelanoma skin cancer.

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  • 1Wellman Laboratories of Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA. brancaleon@visto.com

Abstract

In vivo and ex vivo tissue autofluorescence (endogenous fluorescence) have been employed to investigate the presence of markers that could be used to detect tissue abnormalities and/or malignancies. We present a study of the autofluorescence of normal skin and tumor in vivo, conducted on 18 patients diagnosed with nonmelanoma skin cancers (NMSC). We observed that both in basal cell carcinomas (BCC) and squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) the endogenous fluorescence due to tryptophan residues was more intense in tumor than in normal tissue, probably due to epidermal thickening and/or hyperproliferation. Conversely, the fluorescence intensity associated with dermal collagen crosslinks was generally lower in tumors than in the surrounding normal tissue, probably because of degradation or erosion of the connective tissue due to enzymes released by the tumor. The decrease of collagen fluorescence in the connective tissue adjacent to the tumor loci was validated by fluorescence imaging on fresh-frozen tissue sections obtained from 33 NMSC excised specimens. Our results suggest that endogenous fluorescence of NMSC, excited in the UV region of the spectrum, has characteristic features that are different from normal tissue and may be exploited for noninvasive diagnostics and for the detection of tumor margins.

PMID:
11272732
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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