The application of optical coherence tomography (OCT) in the field of oncology has been prospering over the past decade. OCT imaging has been used to image a broad spectrum of malignancies, including those arising in the breast, brain, bladder, the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and reproductive tracts, the skin, and oral cavity, among others. OCT imaging has initially been applied for guiding biopsies, for intraoperatively evaluating tumor margins and lymph nodes, and for the early detection of small lesions that would often not be visible on gross examination, tasks that align well with the clinical emphasis on early detection and intervention. Recently, OCT imaging has been explored for imaging tumor cells and their dynamics, and for the monitoring of tumor responses to treatments. This paper reviews the evolution of OCT technologies for the clinical application of OCT in surgical and noninvasive interventional oncology procedures and concludes with a discussion of the future directions for OCT technologies, with particular emphasis on their applications in oncology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number121711
JournalJournal of biomedical optics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2017


  • Cancer
  • Intraoperative
  • Oncology
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Surgery
  • Tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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