Intraoperative Raman spectroscopy of soft tissue sarcomas

John Q. Nguyen, Zain S. Gowani, Maggie O'Connor, Isaac J. Pence, The Quyen Nguyen, Ginger E. Holt, Herbert S. Schwartz, Jennifer L. Halpern, Anita Mahadevan-Jansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background and Objective: Soft tissue sarcomas (STS) are a rare and heterogeneous group of malignant tumors that are often treated through surgical resection. Current intraoperative margin assessment methods are limited and highlight the need for an improved approach with respect to time and specificity. Here we investigate the potential of near-infrared Raman spectroscopy for the intraoperative differentiation of STS from surrounding normal tissue. Materials and Methods: In vivo Raman measurements at 785 nm excitation were intraoperatively acquired from subjects undergoing STS resection using a probe based spectroscopy system. A multivariate classification algorithm was developed in order to automatically identify spectral features that can be used to differentiate STS from the surrounding normal muscle and fat. The classification algorithm was subsequently tested using leave-one-subject-out cross-validation. Results: With the exclusion of well-differentiated liposarcomas, the algorithm was able to classify STS from the surrounding normal muscle and fat with a sensitivity and specificity of 89.5% and 96.4%, respectively. Conclusion: These results suggest that single point near-infrared Raman spectroscopy could be utilized as a rapid and non-destructive surgical guidance tool for identifying abnormal tissue margins in need of further excision. Lasers Surg. Med. 48:774–781, 2016.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)774-781
Number of pages8
JournalLasers in Surgery and Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • near-infrared Raman spectroscopy
  • soft tissue sarcomas
  • surgical guidance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Dermatology


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