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Journal of Spectroscopy
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 5383948, 10 pages
Review Article

The Clinical Application of Raman Spectroscopy for Breast Cancer Detection

1Department of Breast Surgery, The First Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun 130021, China
2Department of Breast Surgery, The Second Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan 250033, China
3State Key Laboratory for Supramolecular Structure and Materials, Jilin University, Changchun 130012, China
4Department of Mechanical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Chao Zheng and Zhimin Fan

Received 27 November 2016; Revised 7 February 2017; Accepted 16 February 2017; Published 15 May 2017

Academic Editor: Christoph Krafft

Copyright © 2017 Pin Gao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Raman spectroscopy has been widely used as an important clinical tool for real-time in vivo cancer diagnosis. Raman information can be obtained from whole organisms and tissues, at the cellular level and at the biomolecular level. The aim of this paper is to review the newest developments of Raman spectroscopy in the field of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Raman spectroscopy can distinguish malignant tissues from noncancerous/normal tissues and can assess tumor margins or sentinel lymph nodes during an operation. At the cellular level, Raman spectra can be used to monitor the intracellular processes occurring in blood circulation. At the biomolecular level, surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy techniques may help detect the biomarker on the tumor surface as well as evaluate the efficacy of anticancer drugs. Furthermore, Raman images reveal an inhomogeneous distribution of different compounds, especially proteins, lipids, microcalcifications, and their metabolic products, in cancerous breast tissues. Information about these compounds may further our understanding of the mechanisms of breast cancer.