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Keywords:

  • brain neoplasms;
  • glioblastoma/*pathology;
  • spectrum analysis, Raman/*methods;
  • RNA expression profiling;
  • cancer research

Raman spectroscopy is a molecular spectroscopic technique that can measure the molecular composition of tissue samples within seconds without any extraction processes or dyes. In microbiology, Raman spectroscopy is used to identify bacteriae. In glioblastoma tissue, it was reported that necrosis, normal brain and tumor can be discriminated using Raman spectroscopy. Therefore, we hypothesized that Raman spectroscopy could discriminate glioblastoma tissue from different glioma subtypes defined by RNA expression profiling.

We analyzed 20 glioma samples from two distinct molecular subtypes. Both subtypes consisted of glioblastoma samples showing a variety in glioma grading and typing.

The Raman spectroscopic results could be grouped in two distinct clusters in an unsupervised cluster analysis. Further analysis of these clusters showed that they were fully congruent with the two clusters as defined by RNA expression profiling.

Conclusion: our results demonstrate that Raman spectroscopy can discriminate between different molecular subtypes of glioma and, therefore, may prove to be a valuable tool in in vitro cancer research. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.