The present research investigates whether infrared spectra can be related to the biological characteristics of glioma cell lines. We used nine human glioma cell lines for which a series of in vitro and in vivo biological features had already been established [Glia 36 (2001) 375] and were able to show that their characteristic infrared spectra reflect their in vitro migration (i.e., motility and invasiveness) properties and their in vivo aggressiveness. More particularly, the infrared data evidenced correlations at the level of the lipid/protein ratio. These relationships were found to be tissue-dependent when controlled on seven pancreatic carcinoma cell lines. We also showed that oligodendroglial and astrocytic tumor cells, whose identification remains difficult, can easily be identified by their infrared spectra in the lipid acyl chain region as well as in the nucleic acid region. We concluded that infrared spectroscopy could usefully complement information provided by more conventional diagnostic and prognostic (e.g., morphological and molecular) approaches.