Oral cancers suffer from poor 5-year survival rates, owing to late detection of the disease. Current diagnostic/screening tools need to be upgraded in view of disadvantages like invasiveness, tedious sample preparation, long output times, and interobserver variances. Raman spectroscopy has been shown to identify many disease conditions, including oral cancers, from healthy conditions. Further studies in exploring sequential changes in oral carcinogenesis are warranted. In this Raman spectroscopy study, sequential progression in experimental oral carcinogenesis in Hamster buccal pouch model was investigated using 3 approaches—ex vivo, in vivo sequential, and in vivo follow-up. In all these studies, spectral changes show lipid dominance in early stages while later stages and tumors showed increased protein to lipid ratio and nucleic acids. On similar lines, early weeks of 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene-treated and control groups showed higher overlap and low classification. The classification efficiency increased progressively, reached a plateau phase and subsequently increased up to 100% by 14 weeks. The misclassifications between treated and control spectra suggested some changes in controls as well, which was confirmed by a careful reexamination of histopathological slides. These findings suggests Raman spectroscopy may be able to identify microheterogeneity, which may often go unnoticed in conventional biochemistry wherein tissue extracts are employed, as well as in histopathology. In vivo findings, quite comparable to gold-standard supported ex vivo findings, give further proof of Raman spectroscopy being a promising label-free, noninvasive diagnostic adjunct for future clinical applications.
- Hamster buccal pouch
- Raman spectroscopy
- sequential oral carcinogenesis