Raman spectral imaging of prostate cancer: Can Raman molecular imaging be used to augment standard histopathology?

Matthew Tollefson, James Magera, Thomas Sebo, Jeffrey Cohen, Amy Drauch, John Maier, Igor Frank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Study Type - Diagnostic (exploratory cohort) Level of Evidence 2b Objective: To evaluate whether Raman molecular imaging (RMI, which combines digital imaging and analytical spectroscopy to evaluate the biochemical composition of interrogated material) can be used to identify biochemical differences in patients with Gleason 7 prostate cancer who progress to metastatic disease and die from prostate cancer. Patients and Methods: We identified 38 patients who had a radical prostatectomy for Gleason 7 adenocarcinoma of the prostate. Half progressed to metastatic disease and half had no evidence of disease after treatment. Patients were matched for preoperative prostate-specific antigen level, surgical margin status, pathological stage, tumour volume, age at surgery, year of surgery and DNA ploidy. Sequential 5 μm sections were obtained from paraffin-embedded tissue and one genitourinary pathologist selected areas of tumour for study. Principal component analysis was used to investigate the correlation between spectral response and clinical outcome. Results: The analysis was able to distinguish between those with progressive disease and those with no evidence of disease, most notably within the Gleason 3 regions when evaluating the epithelium and stroma as separate histological elements. A two-sample t-test gave P < 0.01 for both the Gleason 3 and 4 epithelium and stroma classes. Conclusions: RMI is a novel technique that shows promise for identifying patients at risk of progression by visualizing molecular information not seen using other current methods. In Gleason 7 disease, RMI shows distinctive chemical differences in patients who progress to metastatic disease in both Gleason pattern 3 and 4 regions. This preliminary work lays the foundation for the further study of RMI for evaluating prostate tissue. Journal Compilation

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)484-488
Number of pages5
JournalBJU international
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Gleason score
  • Raman imaging
  • prostate cancer
  • prostate specific antigen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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