An apparatus and method for cancer diagnosis are disclosed. The diagnostic method includes the steps of irradiating a tissue sample with monochromatic excitation light, producing a laser-induced fluorescence spectrum from emission radiation generated by interaction of the excitation light with the tissue sample, and dividing the intensity at each wavelength of the laser-induced fluorescence spectrum by the integrated area under the laser-induced fluorescence spectrum to produce a normalized spectrum. A mathematical difference between the normalized spectrum and an average value of a reference set of normalized spectra which correspond to normal tissues is calculated, which provides for amplifying small changes in weak signals from malignant tissues for improved analysis. The calculated differential normalized spectrum is correlated to a specific condition of a tissue sample.
This invention was made with Government support under contract DE-AC05-840R21400 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc. and the Government has certain rights in this invention.