Researchers UCBM and ISM-CNR propose Raman microscopy to improve diagnosis

3 January 2017 – The one proposed by the researchers of is a latest generation diagnostic Anatomical Pathology ofUniversità Campus Bio-Medico di Roma together with Ism-Cnr scholars, in order to distingmore effectively differentiate benign thyroid tumors from malignant ones.

At the center of the study recently published in Scientific Reports there is a combined technique of microscopy and spectroscopy called Raman through which it was possible to "distingue better and classify healthy tissues from neoplastic ones and to discriminate follicular neoplasms between malignant (carcinoma) and benign (adenoma) forms, with a diagnostic accuracy of approximately 90%”, said Julietta V. Rau, researcher at the Ism -Cnr and first author of the study.

The conclusion of this first study is an important step towards increasing the reliability of the diagnosis of thyroid follicular lesions, thanks to Raman spectroscopy coupled with histopathological investigations. “In the future we hope to be able to transfer this technique to the patient in the pre-surgical phase, at the time of the evaluation for the choice of treatment, in order to give the most appropriate therapeutic indication”, adds Anna Crescenzi, director of the complex operational unit of Pathological anatomy ofUniversità Campus Bio-Medico di Roma and principal investigator of the research.

Currently, in fact, to decide whether a patient with a thyroid nodule needs surgery or can be followed up clinically, ultrasound and needle aspiration are used, two diagnostic tools that are not discriminating in follicular lesions. “This situation occurs in about 20% of nodules subjected to needle aspiration. Therefore, these patients receive surgery for 'diagnostic' purposes, which in more than half of the cases could have been avoided", concluded the lecturer and researcher UCBM.

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