Label-Free Quantification of Anticancer Drug Imatinib in Human Plasma with Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy

Stefano Fornasaro*, Alois Bonifacio, Elena Marangon, Mauro Buzzo, Giuseppe Toffoli, Tomas Rindzevicius, Michael Stenbæk Schmidt, Valter Sergo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) for anticancer drug imatinib has been suggested as the best way to improve the treatment response and minimize the risk of adverse reactions in chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) and gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) patients. TDM of oncology treatments with standard analytical methods, such as liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) is, however, complex and demanding. This paper proposes a new method for quantitation of imatinib in human plasma, based on surface enhanced raman spectroscopy (SERS) and multivariate calibration using partial least-squares regression (PLSR). The best PLSR model was obtained with three latent variables in the range from 123 to 5000 ng/mL of imatinib, providing a standard error of prediction (SEP) of 510 ng/mL. The method was validated in accordance with international guidelines, through the estimate of figures of merit, such as precision, accuracy, systematic error, analytical sensitivity, limits of detection, and quantitation. Moreover, the feasibility and clinical utility of this approach have also been verified using real plasma samples taken from deidentified patients. The results were in good agreement with a clinically validated LC-MS/MS method. The new SERS method presented in this preliminary work showed simplicity, short analysis time, good sensitivity, and could be considered a promising platform for TDM of imatinib treatment in a point-of-care setting.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number21
Pages (from-to)12670-12677
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2018


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