Cancer diagnosis and classification is extremely complicated and, for the most part, relies on subjective interpretation of biopsy material. Such methods are laborious and in some cases might result in different results depending on the histopathologist doing the examination. Automated, real-time diagnostic procedures would greatly facilitate cancer diagnosis and classification. Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is used for the first time to our knowledge to distinguish normal and malignant tumor cells from histological sections. We found that the concentration of trace elements in normal and tumor cells was significantly different. For comparison, the tissue samples were also analyzed by an inductively coupled plasma emission spectroscopy (ICPES) system. The results from the LIBS measurement and ICPES analysis were in good agreement.
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