Looking Below the Surface of Breast Tissue during Surgery

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In this article, we present a method that provides prompt detection of the presence of cancer cells inside the 2-mm margin of tissue surrounding the tumor after excision using spatially offset Raman spectroscopy (SORS). SORS was developed to detect subtle changes in soft tissue spectra in the 100–2000 μm range and tested on excised breast tissues. The results display a very high specificity and sensitivity (100% and 95%, respectively) of classification between positive and negative tumor margins. SORS is a clinically feasible method, suitable for the real-time, intraoperative assessment of tumor margins at the micrometer level.

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