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Cancer Res. 2008 Jun 1;68(11):4424-30. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-07-6557.

Advanced transmission Raman spectroscopy: a promising tool for breast disease diagnosis.

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Biophotonics Research Unit, Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, Gloucester, United Kingdom.


A novel approach to noninvasively probe the composition of endogenous materials concealed deeply within mammalian tissue is presented. The method relies upon transmission Raman spectroscopy and permits the detailed characterization of the chemical composition of the probed volume. The technique has been enhanced by the deployment of chemometric methods and the use of a dielectric optical element at the surface to force escaping photons back into the tissue and, thus, enhance the relatively weak signals from the deeper tissue and its components. This permitted reaching both the clinically relevant depth and sufficient sensitivity in phantoms for the noninvasive identification of the calcification types associated with benign or malignant breast disease. Both calcium hydroxyapatite and calcium oxalate monohydrate have been chemically identified from depths of up to 2.7 cm within a breast phantom made up of porcine tissues. The technique has shown significant potential for probing human breasts to provide complementary data in the early diagnosis of breast cancer.

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