Raman profile alterations of irradiated human nasopharyngeal cancer cells detected with laser tweezer Raman spectroscopy
Radiotherapy has been widely used for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) treatment, which causes DNA damage and alterations of macromolecules of cancer cells. However, the Raman profile alterations of irradiated NPC cells remain unclear. In the present study, we used laser tweezers Raman spectroscopy (LTRS) to monitor internal structural changes and chemical modifications in NPC cells after exposure at a clinical dose (2.3 Gy) to X-ray irradiation (IR) at a single-cell level. Two types of NPC cell lines, CNE2 (EBV-negative cell line) and C666-1 (EBV-positive cell line), were used. The Raman spectra of cells before and after radiation treatment were recorded by LTRS. The analysis of spectral differences indicated that the IR caused Raman profile alterations of intracellular proteins, DNA base and lipids. Moreover, by using the multivariate statistical analysis including principal component analysis (PCA) and linear discriminant analysis (LDA) algorithm, an accuracy of 90.0% for classification between CNE2 cells before and after IR could be achieved, which was 10% better than that of C666-1 cells. The results demonstrated that CNE2 cells were more sensitive to IR in comparison to C666-1 cells, providing useful information for creating a treatment strategy in clinical practice. This exploratory study suggested that LTRS combined with multivariate statistical analysis would be a novel and effective tool for evaluating the radiotherapeutic effect on tumor cells, and for detection of the corresponding alterations at the molecular level.