Determination of HER2 amplification status in breast cancer cells using Raman spectroscopy

Xiaohong Bi, Brent Rexer, Carlos L. Arteaga, Mingsheng Guo, Ming Li, Anita Mahadevan-Jansen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


The overexpression of HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2) in breast cancer is associated with increased disease recurrence and worse prognosis. Current diagnosis of HER2 positive breast cancer is time consuming with an estimated 20% inaccuracy. Raman spectroscopy is a proven method for pathological diagnosis based on the molecular composition of tissues. This study aimed to determine the feasibility of Raman spectroscopy to differentially identify the amplification of HER2 in cells. Three cell lines including BT474 (HER2 overexpressing breast cancer cell), MCF-10A (human breast epithelial cell), and MCF-10A with overexpressing HER2, were investigated using a bench top confocal Raman system. A diagnostic algorithm based on generalized linear model (GLM) with elastic-net penalties was established to discriminate 318 spectra collected from the cells, and to identify the spectra regions that differentiate the cell lines. The algorithm was able to differentially identify BT474 breast cancer cells with an overall sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 99%. The results demonstrate the capability of Raman spectroscopy to determine HER2 status in cells. Raman spectroscopy shows promise for application in the diagnosis of HER2 positive breast cancer in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBiomedical Vibrational Spectroscopy IV
Subtitle of host publicationAdvances in Research and Industry
StatePublished - May 7 2010
EventBiomedical Vibrational Spectroscopy IV: Advances in Research and Industry - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 23 2010Jan 25 2010

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherBiomedical Vibrational Spectroscopy IV: Advances in Research and Industry
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA


  • Breast cancer
  • Cell culture
  • HER2
  • Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2
  • Raman spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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