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Fluorescence emission‐based detection and diagnosis of malignancy

Published Web Location Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

Over the past decades, laser use in medicine has expanded from its initial application as a light-based scalpel to a plethora of clinical uses, ranging from surgical treatment through composite polymerization, dental ablation, vision correction, and skin resurfacing to diverse diagnostic modalities. Recently, the concept of light-based diagnostics and therapy has come under investigation. Low light intensities are used to excite endogenous or exogenous fluorophores, some of which have characteristic fluorescence emissions in pathological tissues. Thus, premalignancy and malignancy potentially can be detected and diagnosed. Photosensitized superficial lesions can subsequently be destroyed selectively by using higher intensities of laser light. The application of fluorescence emission-based detection and diagnosis of precancer and cancer is reviewed, based on its application to the oral cavity-the author's primary anatomical area of expertise. This approach is justified as the same principles apply throughout the human body; to any area accessible to the clinician either directly or by some sort of fiber-optic probe.

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