Raman spectroscopy for rapid intra-operative margin analysis of surgically excised tumour specimens
Raman spectroscopy, a form of vibrational spectroscopy, has the ability to provide sensitive and specific biochemical analysis of tissue. This review article provides an in-depth analysis of the suitability of different Raman spectroscopy techniques in providing intra-operative margin analysis in a range of solid tumour pathologies. Surgical excision remains the primary treatment of a number of solid organ cancers. Incomplete excision of a tumour and positive margins on histopathological analysis is associated with a worse prognosis, the need for adjuvant therapies with significant side effects and a resulting financial burden. The provision of intra-operative margin analysis of surgically excised tumour specimens would be beneficial for a number of pathologies, as there are no widely adopted and accurate methods of margin analysis, beyond histopathology. The limitations of Raman spectroscopic studies to date are discussed and future work necessary to enable translation to clinical use is identified. We conclude that, although there remain a number of challenges in translating current techniques into a clinically effective tool, studies so far demonstrate that Raman Spectroscopy has the attributes to successfully perform highly accurate intra-operative margin analysis in a clinically relevant environment.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Bioanalytical tools for enabling precision medicine