Oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC) are among the most common cancers worldwide. Late diagnosis and loco-regional recurrences results in poor prognosis. It is extremely important, therefore, to develop a good non-invasive method to detect cancers in early enough stage that they can be treated and improve prognosis. The differentiation of neoplastic tissue alterations from normal epithelium is the main goal in secondary prevention. Conventional visual and tactile examination alone may not always help in discriminating innocuous and suspicious lesions. Wide range methods have been studied as a supplement to the clinical examination in primary care settings, among which cytologic testing, and light-based methods gain some clinical attention. Although most of these non-invasive detection techniques are highly sensitivity and show great potential for screening and monitoring, these methods are subjective to the observer interpretation and suffer from low specificity, which may limit their use.
Nano-photonics has emerged as a revolutionized way in the field of medicine to detect and treat cancer. We present a novel non-invasive cancer-detection technique that utilizes the unique absorption properties of gold-nanorods (GNRs) in the near infrared region. The method is based on diffusion reflection (DR) measurement of gold-nanorods bio-conjugated (C-gold-nanorods) to anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) monoclonal antibodies exclusively attached to OSCC cells. The ability to specifically deliver and target high concentration of GNRs exclusively to the tumor significantly change its optical properties, enabling the discrimination between cancerous and non-cancerous tissues.
Conclusion: The presented nanophotonic optical detection method can provide a highly sensitive and simple tool for cancer detection to guide treatment and accurately detect tumor margins, hence, improving the outcome of oral cancer