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Raman spectroscopy and colorectal cancer: towards early diagnosis and personalised medicine


REC: 14/WA/0028


Chief Investigator: Prof Dean Harris
Trial & Data Manager: Dr Kym Thorne
RAMAN-CRC Trial Office Email:; Tel: 01792 606372 / 606645

To explore the feasibility of detecting presence of differing stages of colorectal cancer at different phases of treatment using Raman spectroscopy

Sample size
300 patients with colorectal symptoms presenting to their GP for the first time

Raman spectroscopy is an established technology based upon the spectroscopic analysis of inelastically scattered light for changes that reflect the molecular and structural composition of the biological sample under investigation. The resultant Raman spectrum directly reflects the molecular composition of the interrogated sample which may be considered unique for individual disease states, including certain cancer types. Raman therefore has potential not only as a diagnostic tool for the identification of malignancy, but also for personalised cancer medicine, disease monitoring and even nanoparticle-targeted delivery of chemotherapeutics.
As colorectal cancer is such a high profile condition, positive results will be of enormous public interest, particularly if a simple blood test could predict an individual’s risk of having bowel cancer. As such the study will enrol patients from primary care with colorectal symptoms/signs towards reducing the requirement for invasive diagnostic tests.

Participating sites
We are open to all GP practices within Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board.
If your practice is keen to be involved as a recruiting site, please email the Trial Manager on

Inclusion criteria
Symptoms raising suspicion of colorectal cancer (anaemia, rectal bleeding, alteration in bowel habit, weight loss, abdominal pain and over the age of 50)

Exclusion criteria
Patients with genetic conditions associated with colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome and familial adenomatous polyposis)
Patients with inflammatory bowel disease
Unwilling/ unable to consent to trial participation
Patients from vulnerable groups

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