Multiple myeloma (MM) is a hematological malignancy characterized by abnormal plasma cell proliferation within the bone marrow which leads to progressive bone marrow failure, skeletal osteolytic lesions, and renal insufficiency, thus severely affecting the quality of life. MM is always preceded by monoclonal gammopathy of uncertain significance (MGUS), which progresses to asymptomatic-MM (aMM) or symptomatic-MM (sMM) at a rate of 1% per year. Despite impressive progress in the therapy of the disease, MM remains incurable. Based on these premises, the identification of biomarkers of MGUS progression to MM is a crucial issue in disease management. In this regard, exosomes (EXs) and their precious biomolecular cargo could play a pivotal role in MM detection, stratification, and follow-up. Raman spectroscopy, a label- and manipulation-free technique, and its enhanced version, surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), have been used for characterizing MGUS, aMM, and sMM patient-derived EXs.
Researchers from Università Magna Graecia have demonstrated the capability of Raman spectroscopy for discriminating EXs along the progression from MGUS to aMM and sMM, thus providing useful clinical indications for patient care. The used SERS devices, based on random nanostructures, have shown good potential in terms of sensitivity, but further developments are needed for achieving reproducible and quantitative SERS results.