Breast cancer diagnosis using N2 laser excited autofluorescence spectroscopy

Lasers Surg Med. 1997;21(5):417-22. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1096-9101(1997)21:5<417::aid-lsm2>;2-t.


Background and objective: This article reports results of an in vitro study involving 63 patients for the evaluation of the diagnostic potential of N2 laser excited autofluorescence spectroscopy of human breast tissues.

Materials and methods: The N2 laser-excited spectra were recorded from benign (fibroadenomas, 35 patients), cancerous (ductal carcinomas, 28 patients), and normal (the uninvolved areas of the resected cancerous specimens). A stepwise multivariate linear regression (MVLR) analysis was developed to analyze the diagnostic content of the breast tissue fluorescence spectra.

Results: Significant changes were observed in the autofluorescence from normal, benign, and cancerous breast tissues, particularly in the spectrally integrated fluorescence intensity. The ratio of mean spectrally integrated intensity from cancerous tissues to that from benign tumor and normal tissues were 3.2 and 2.8, respectively. A discrimination parameter based on spectrally integrated intensity alone provided a sensitivity and specificity of up to 99.6% over the sample size investigated for discrimination of cancerous breast tissues from benign/normal.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that a straightforward measurement of the total integrated fluorescence intensity can provide excellent discrimination between cancerous and benign/ normal breast tissues.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / diagnosis*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Fibroadenoma / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Lasers*
  • Nitrogen
  • Regression Analysis
  • Spectrometry, Fluorescence*


  • Nitrogen