Combining multiple photonic imaging techniques could allow for new, noninvasive approaches to tumor detection and assessment, meeting clinical challenges at a time of rising global cancer incidence.
Aging populations, exposure to environmental contamination in developing countries, and other factors are driving significant increases in cancer worldwide. The World Health Organization estimates that globally, the number of cancer cases will reach 21.6 million by 2030, nearly double the 14 million patients in 2012. In Germany alone, malignant tumors are responsible for a quarter of all deaths.
That kind of growth will raise new challenges—in the early detection of malignant lesions, which can significantly improve patient outcomes; in precise determination of tumor boundaries for surgery, which can avoid incomplete resections and cancer recurrence; and in rapid determination of tumor type and grade, which can cut back on the number of surgeries and save precious time in the operating room.