Raman spectroscopy could be a good tool to diagnose cholangiocarcinoma, according to results of a new study published in Spectrochimica Acta, Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy.

Currently available diagnostic methods such as contrast-enhanced ultrasonography, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging have a number of limitations and often fail to detect early neoplastic changes in the bile ducts. Since cholangiocarcinoma usually shows no symptoms in its early stages, diagnosis is usually delayed until later stages of the disease, which translates as a very low 5-year survival rate.

The efficiency of Raman spectroscopy has been shown in many clinical studies. The approach also has the advantage of being minimally invasive as it only requires a blood sample from the patient.

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Here, a team of researchers led by Zozan Guleken, MD, from the Faculty of Medicine at Uskudar University in Istanbul, Turkey investigated the diagnostic potential of Raman spectroscopy in cholangiocarcinoma.

Read more about cholangiocarcinoma prognosis

In the present study, the researchers showed that in healthy people, the Raman spectra had lower intensity peaks corresponding to amino acids and proteins and higher intensity peaks originating from lipid vibrations compared to patients with cancer.

In addition, partial last square, principal component analysis, and hierarchical component analysis of Raman spectra could also distinguish cancer patients from healthy individuals.

“The obtained results showed, that Raman spectroscopy is a good candidate, to become in future one of the diagnostic tools of cholangiocarcinoma,” the researchers wrote.

Raman spectroscopy is a chemical analysis technique that provides information about the chemical structure of a sample and molecular interactions within it. It detects changes in wavelengths caused by inelastic light scattering from the molecules. Since each type of molecule gives a different combination of Raman shifts, it is possible to healthy and unhealthy biomaterials using this approach.


Depciuch J, Parlinska-Wojtan M, Rahmi Serin K, et al. Differential of cholangiocarcinoma disease using Raman spectroscopy combined with multivariate analysis. Spectrochim Acta A Mol Biomol Spectrosc. 2022;5(272):121006. doi:10.1016/j.saa.2022.121006