Translational research transforms scientific discoveries arising from laboratory, clinical, or population studies into clinical applications to reduce cancer incidence, morbidity, and mortality. Optical imaging in medicine is a rapidly growing field, showing promise for delivering new low-cost, point-of-care capabilities with dramatic increases in measurement sensitivity. Unfortunately, despite all of the promises offered by optical imaging, few concepts are making it through the translational pipeline from laboratory demonstration to commercialization for clinical use.
The National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health focused a research program on the study of optical imaging for translational advancement into clinical applications for reduction of cancer morbidity and mortality. This book highlights the translational activities of four research groups created for this program, called the Network for Translational Research (NTR). The research leads were Lihong Wang, Eva Sevick-Muraca, Thomas D. Wang, and Christopher Contag. While detailed insight into the nature of the research accomplished at each of these centers is provided, the purpose of this text is to demonstrate that the NTR centers with their industrial partners created significant pathways along the direction of translational research, and that these pathways can now be followed by other researchers seeking to bring these ideas closer to commercial reality. This book will be useful for academic researchers interested in taking concepts and devices beyond the usual “proof-of-principle” barrier into areas concerned with good laboratory practices and good manufacturing practices in order to prepare for the translation to FDA discussions.