Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States and is a recognized public health issue. Diagnosis of
skin cancer involves biopsy of the suspicious lesion followed by histopathology. Biopsies, which involve excision of the
lesion, are invasive, at times unnecessary, and are costly procedures (~$2.8B/year in the US). An unmet critical need
exists to develop a non-invasive and inexpensive screening method that can eliminate the need for unnecessary biopsies.
To address this need, our group has reported on the continued development of a noninvasive method that utilizes
multimodal spectroscopy towards the goal of a “spectral biopsy” of skin. Our approach combines Raman spectroscopy,
fluorescence spectroscopy, and diffuse reflectance spectroscopy to collect comprehensive optical property information
from suspicious skin lesions. We previously described an updated spectral biopsy system that allows acquisition of all
three forms of spectroscopy through a single fiber optic probe and is composed of off-the-shelf OEM components that
are smaller, cheaper, and enable a more clinic-friendly system. We present initial patient data acquired with the spectral
biopsy system, the first from an extensive clinical study (n = 250) to characterize its performance in identifying skin
cancers (basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma). We also present our first attempts at analyzing
this initial set of clinical data using statistical-based models, and with models currently being developed to extract
biophysical information from the collected spectra, all towards the goal of noninvasive skin cancer diagnosis.