Detection of Skin and other forms of cancer may become non-invasive thanks to a new method developed by researchers thereby possibly replacing the currently used methods.
Previous studies have already established Raman spectroscopy as a capable, non-invasive tool for the detection of various melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSC) in a number of studies. However, all these studies have been based on ex vivo approach.
In the latest study, researchers adopted the in vivo clinical evaluation and applied Raman spectroscopy using a fibre-coupled probe that allows access to a multitude of affected body sites. The probe design is optimized for epithelial sensitivity, whereby a large part of the detected signal originates from within the epidermal layer’s depth down to the basal membrane where early stages of skin cancer develop.
Investigators found that malignant melanoma could be detected with an accuracy of 91 per cent and non-melanoma skin cancers could be detected with accuracy between 73 per cent and 85 per cent. Researchers say that the results they achieved are within the range of comparable in vivo studies and the accuracies achieved by trained dermatologists using dermoscopy.
“The non-invasive and label-free nature of Raman spectroscopy enables the application in various medical fields. The method could be applied through an endoscope in order to reach internal organs. Besides the detection of skin cancer, applications to detect cancer of the urinary bladder, esophagus or cervix have been shown,” said Dr. Johannes Schleusener, co-author of the Experimental Dermatology article.