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Technol Cancer Res Treat. 2010 Apr;9(2):211-7.

Emerging roles for multimodal optical imaging in early cancer detection: a global challenge.

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  • 1Department of Bioengineering, Rice University, Houston, TX 77005, USA. noah.bedard@rice.edu


Medical imaging technologies have become increasingly important in the clinical management of cancer, and now play key roles in cancer screening, diagnosis, staging, and monitoring response to treatment. Standard imaging modalities such as MRI, PET, and CT require significant financial resources and infrastructure, which limits access to these modalities to those patients in high-resource settings. In contrast, optical imaging strategies, with the potential for reduced cost and enhanced portability, are emerging as additional tools to facilitate the early detection and diagnosis of cancer. This article presents a vision for an expanding role for optical imaging in global cancer management, including screening, early detection at the point-of-care, biopsy guidance, and real-time histology. Multi-modal optical imaging - the combination of widefield and high resolution imaging - has the potential to aid in the detection and management of precancer and early cancer for traditionally underserved populations. Several recent widefield and high-resolution optical imaging technologies are described, along with requirements for implementing such devices into lower-resource - settings.

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