Acute lymphoblastic leukemia type B (B-ALL) is a neoplastic disorder that shows high mortality rates due to immature lymphocyte B-cell proliferation. B-ALL diagnosis requires identification and classification of the leukemia cells. Here, we demonstrate the use of Raman spectroscopy to discriminate normal lymphocytic B-cells from three different B-leukemia transformed cell lines (i.e., RS4;11, REH, MN60 cells) based on their biochemical features. In combination with immunofluorescence and Western blotting, we show that these Raman markers reflect the relative changes in the potential biological markers from cell surface antigens, cytoplasmic proteins, and DNA content and correlate with the lymphoblastic B-cell maturation/differentiation stages. Our study demonstrates the potential of this technique for classification of B-leukemia cells into the different differentiation/maturation stages, as well as for the identification of key biochemical changes under chemotherapeutic treatments. Finally, preliminary results from clinical samples indicate high consistency of, and potential applications for, this Raman spectroscopy approach.
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