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Optical molecular imaging (OMI) is an emerging technology capable of qualitatively and quantitatively studying life processes at the cellular or molecular level. Compared with traditional medical imaging technologies (e.g., computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound imaging (UI)), ...

Optical molecular imaging (OMI) is an emerging technology capable of qualitatively and quantitatively studying life processes at the cellular or molecular level. Compared with traditional medical imaging technologies (e.g., computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound imaging (UI)), it can detect the occurrence of diseases in advance without obvious morphological changes in the early stages of pathological process, and can perform real-time, non-invasive continuous dynamic monitoring in vivo. Because of the above advantages, OMI has played a significant role in cancer detection, anti-cancer drug development, therapeutic evaluation and intraoperative navigation.

OMI technology has developed rapidly in recent years owing to its high sensitivity, strong specificity, and fast imaging speed. OMI technologies mainly include bioluminescence imaging (BLI), fluorescence molecular imaging (FMI), x-ray luminescence imaging (XLI), Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI), photoacoustic imaging (PAI), etc, which can monitor the biological and pathological activities of small animals at the cellular or molecular level. Since the conventional OMI technology can only detect two-dimensional (2D) images, the corresponding three-dimensional (3D) imaging technologies, including bioluminescence tomography (BLT), fluorescence molecular tomography (FMT), x-ray luminescence tomography (XLT), Cerenkov luminescence tomography (CLT), photoacoustic tomography (PAT), diffusion optical tomography (DOT), etc, are also intensively explored and developed to provide 3D quantitative information.

The objective of this Research Topic is to highlight multiple applications of 2D and 3D OMI technologies used to carry out cancer studies. The submissions involving the studies of novel imaging systems, imaging methods, probes, drugs and biological applications in the field of cancer research using 2D and 3D OMI technologies are all welcomed. Since each imaging technique might have its advantages and limitations, a combination strategy will be also considered. For this Research Topic in vivo studies will be prioritized.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

• The biological applications of optical molecular imaging technology in cancers
• The development of optical molecular imaging systems for early detection and analysis of cancers
• Two-dimensional analysis methods of optical molecular imaging for cancer research
• Three-dimensional reconstruction algorithms of optical molecular tomography for cancer research
• The studies of fluorescence imaging for cancer research (including NIR-I and NIR-II windows)
• The design of optical molecular probes for cancer research
• The evaluation of anti-cancer drugs based on optical molecular imaging
• The intraoperative navigation of cancers based on optical molecular imaging

Please note: manuscripts consisting solely of bioinformatics or computational analysis of public genomic or transcriptomic databases which are not accompanied by validation (independent cohort or biological validation in vitro or in vivo) are out of scope for this section and will not be accepted as part of this Research Topic.

Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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