Resistance to radiotherapy has been an impediment in the treatment of cancer, and the inability to detect it at an early stage further exacerbates the prognosis. We have assessed the feasibility of Raman spectroscopy as a rapid assay for predicting radiosensitivity of cancer cells in comparison to the conventional biological assays. Cell lines derived from breast adenocarcinoma (MCF7), gingivobuccal squamous cell carcinoma (ITOC-03), and human embryonic kidney (HEK293) were subjected to varying doses of ionizing radiation. Cell viability of irradiated cells was assessed at different time points using MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) assay and Raman spectroscopy, and colony-forming capability was evaluated by clonogenic assay. Radiosensitivity observed using MTT assay was limited by the finding of similar cell viability in all the three cell lines 24 h post-irradiation. However, cell survival assessed using clonogenic assay and principal component linear discriminant analysis (PC-LDA) classification of Raman spectra showed correlating patterns. Irradiated cells showed loss of nucleic acid features and enhancement of 750 cm−1 peak probably attributing to resonance Raman band of cytochromes in all three cell lines. PC-LDA analysis affirmed MCF7 to be a radioresistant cell line as compared to ITOC-03 and HEK293 to be the most radiosensitive cell line. Raman spectroscopy is shown to be a rapid and alternative assay for identification of radiosensitivity as compared to the gold standard clonogenic assay.
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