Elastic scattering spectroscopy for monitoring skin cancer transformation and therapy in the near infrared window

  • Kawthar ShurrabEmail author
  • Nabil Kochaji
  • Wesam Bachir
Original Article


There is a pressing need for monitoring cancerous tissue response to laser therapy. In this work, we evaluate the viability of elastic scattering spectroscopy (ESS) to monitor malignant transformations and effects of laser therapy of induced skin cancer in a hamster model. Skin tumors were induced in 35 mice, half of which were irradiated with 980 nm laser diode. Physiological and morphological transformations in the tumor were monitored over a period of 36 weeks using elastic scattering spectroscopy, in the near infrared window. Analytical model for light scattering was used to derive scattering optical properties for both transformed tissue and laser-treated cancer. The tissue scattering over the wavelength range (700–950 nm) decreased remarkably as the carcinogen-induced tissue transformed towards higher stages. Conversely, reduced scattering coefficient noticeably increased with increasing the number of laser irradiation sessions for the treated tumors. The relative changes in elastic scattering signal for transformed tissue were significantly different (p < .05). Elastic scattering signal intensity for laser-treated tissue was also significantly different (p < .05). Reduced scattering coefficient of treated tissue exhibited nearly 80% recovery of its normal skin value at the end of the experiment, and the treatment outcome could be improved by adjusting the number of sessions, which we can predict through spectroscopic optical feedback. This study demonstrates that ESS can quantitatively provide functional information that closely corresponds to the degree of pathologic transformation. ESS may well be a viable technique to optimize systemic melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer treatment based on noninvasive tumor response.


Optical properties Elastic scattering Skin cancer Diode laser Spectroscopy 



The authors gratefully acknowledge extend their gratitude to all colleagues at Damascus University and Higher Institute for Laser Research and Applications who cooperated in this study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures were approved by institutional ethical, according to Damascus University ethical committee decision no. 3164


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biomedical Photonics Laboratory, Higher Institute for Laser Research and ApplicationsDamascus UniversityDamascusSyria
  2. 2.Faculty of DentistryAl-Sham Private UniversityDamascusSyria
  3. 3.Biomedical Photonics Laboratory, Higher Institute for Laser Research and ApplicationsDamascus UniversityDamascusSyria
  4. 4.Faculty of Informatics EngineeringAl-Sham Private UniversityDamascusSyria

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