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1 February 2001 In vivo Fluorescence Spectroscopy of Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer
Lorenzo Brancaleon, Anthony J. Durkin, John H. Tu, Gregg Menaker, Jerome D. Fallon, Nikiforos Kollias
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In vivo and ex vivo tissue autofluorescence (endogenous fluorescence) have been employed to investigate the presence of markers that could be used to detect tissue abnormalities and/or malignancies. We present a study of the autofluorescence of normal skin and tumor in vivo, conducted on 18 patients diagnosed with nonmelanoma skin cancers (NMSC). We observed that both in basal cell carcinomas (BCC) and squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) the endogenous fluorescence due to tryptophan residues was more intense in tumor than in normal tissue, probably due to epidermal thickening and/or hyperproliferation. Conversely, the fluorescence intensity associated with dermal collagen crosslinks was generally lower in tumors than in the surrounding normal tissue, probably because of degradation or erosion of the connective tissue due to enzymes released by the tumor. The decrease of collagen fluorescence in the connective tissue adjacent to the tumor loci was validated by fluorescence imaging on fresh-frozen tissue sections obtained from 33 NMSC excised specimens. Our results suggest that endogenous fluorescence of NMSC, excited in the UV region of the spectrum, has characteristic features that are different from normal tissue and may be exploited for noninvasive diagnostics and for the detection of tumor margins.

Lorenzo Brancaleon, Anthony J. Durkin, John H. Tu, Gregg Menaker, Jerome D. Fallon, and Nikiforos Kollias "In vivo Fluorescence Spectroscopy of Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer," Photochemistry and Photobiology 73(2), 178-183, (1 February 2001).<0178:IVFSON>2.0.CO;2
Received: 24 July 2000; Accepted: 1 November 2000; Published: 1 February 2001

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