Issue title: Functional Imaging of Early Markers of Disease
Article type: Research Article
Authors: Sokolov, Konstantin | Sung, Kung-Bin | Collier, Tom | Clark, Anne | Arifler, Dizem | Lacy, Alicia | Descour, Michael | Richards-Kortum, Rebecca
Affiliations: Department of Imaging Physics, UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA | Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712, USA | Optical Sciences Center, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA
Note:  Corresponding author. Department of Biomedical Engineering, ENS 8, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712, USA. Tel.: +1 512 471 2104; Fax: +1 512 475 8854; E-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: In vivo endoscopic optical microscopy provides a tool to assess tissue architecture and morphology with contrast and resolution similar to that provided by standard histopathology – without need for physical tissue removal. In this article, we focus on optical imaging technologies that have the potential to dramatically improve the detection, prevention, and therapy of epithelial cancers. Epithelial pre-cancers and cancers are associated with a variety of morphologic, architectural, and molecular changes, which currently can be assessed only through invasive, painful biopsy. Optical imaging is ideally suited to detecting cancer-related alterations because it can detect biochemical and morphologic alterations with sub-cellular resolution throughout the entire epithelial thickness. Optical techniques can be implemented non-invasively, in real time, and at low cost to survey the tissue surface at risk. Our manuscript focuses primarily on modalities that currently are the most developed: reflectance confocal microscopy (RCM) and optical coherence tomography (OCT). However, recent advances in fluorescence-based endoscopic microscopy also are reviewed briefly. We discuss the basic principles of these emerging technologies and their current and potential applications in early cancer detection. We also present research activities focused on development of exogenous contrast agents that can enhance the morphological features important for cancer detection and that have the potential to allow vital molecular imaging of cancer-related biomarkers. In conclusion, we discuss future improvements to the technology needed to develop robust clinical devices.
Journal: Disease Markers, vol. 18, no. 5-6, pp. 269-291, 2002