Darryl J. Bornhop Texas Tech Univ. (United States) Christopher H. Contag Stanford Univ. School of Medicine (United States) Kai Licha Freie Univ. Berlin (Germany) Catherine J. Murphy Univ. of South Carolina (United States)
The use of exogenous probes to gain a deeper understanding of physiological and molecular processes in vivo through the acquisition of optical signals, particularly via enhanced contrast using molecular probes ~physiologically transported, site-directed, or via reporter genes! has emerged with tremendous vigor in the past few years. One such area of expanded activity is in the area of early cancer detection, in great part because it is so critical to the clinical outcome in the treatment.1–3 As an example, in colon cancer, which accounts for 15% of all U.S. cancer-related deaths, only 37% are found early enough for moderate treatment1 and once these types of cancer reach metastatic activity the survival rate is only 7%.