Integrated photodynamic Raman theranostic system for cancer diagnosis, treatment, and post-treatment molecular monitoring

Conor C. Horgan, Mads S. Bergholt, Anika Nagelkerke, May Zaw Thin, Isaac J. Pence, Ulrike Kauscher, Tammy L. Kalber, Daniel J. Stuckey, Molly M. Stevens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Theranostics, the combination of diagnosis and therapy, has long held promise as a means to achieving personalised precision cancer treatments. However, despite its potential, theranostics has yet to realise significant clinical translation, largely due the complexity and overriding toxicity concerns of existing theranostic nanoparticle strategies. Methods: Here, we present an alternative nanoparticle-free theranostic approach based on simultaneous Raman spectroscopy and photodynamic therapy (PDT) in an integrated clinical platform for cancer theranostics. Results: We detail the compatibility of Raman spectroscopy and PDT for cancer theranostics, whereby Raman spectroscopic diagnosis can be performed on PDT photosensitiser-positive cells and tissues without inadvertent photosensitiser activation/photobleaching or impaired diagnostic capacity. We further demonstrate that our theranostic platform enables in vivo tumour diagnosis, treatment, and post-treatment molecular monitoring in real-time. Conclusion: This system thus achieves effective theranostic performance, providing a promising new avenue towards the clinical realisation of theranostics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2006-2019
Number of pages14
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer
  • Nanoparticle-free
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • Theranostics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (miscellaneous)


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