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This chapter describes the University of Michigan approach to translating a multimodal imaging platform for early detection of colorectal cancer. This research was performed in a setting provided by the Network for Translational Research: Optical Imaging in Multimodal Platforms. The network environment allows for interactions with academic institutions, industrial partners, and regulatory agencies that were key to advancing the novel imaging strategy into the clinic. In this case study, we present the complexities faced in performing bench-to-bedside translation, and how the challenges encountered were overcome with support of the NTR. A multimodal approach is undertaken to improve the sensitivity and specificity over a single mode of imaging. The combination and integration of multiple molecular-imaging modalities create a robust solution for this important clinical problem. Also, we demonstrate a multispectral imaging design to visualize multiple molecular targets simultaneously to address the heterogeneity of gene expression in colorectal cancer. This approach has the potential to detect cancers at the earliest stages, minimize overdiagnosis, reduce false positives, and identify lethal cancers from nonlethal disease.
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