Oral and oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) together rank as the sixth most common cancer worldwide, accounting for approximately 400,000 new cases each year. The 5-year survival rate in the U.S. for OSCC is 62%, the survival rate is only 10-40% and the cure rate around 30% in the developing world. Low survival rate is primarily attributed to the delay in diagnosis and the resultant progression of disease to an advanced stage at diagnosis. Early diagnosis offers the best chance to improved treatment outcomes and survival for an individual diagnosed with OSCC. The objective of this proposed project focuses on developing and evaluating a low-cost, compact, smartphone compatible multimodal intraoral confocal probe for noninvasive in situ detection of oral dysplasia and early stage cancer. The key innovation of the proposed intraoral confocal probe is low-cost and compact confocal intraoral probe using actively addressable point source array - microLED (LED) without any moving parts to achieve 3D confocal imaging. The wide-FOV autofluorescence imaging (AFI) and polarized white light imaging (pWLI) will identify the suspicious regions with the help of trained neural network and guide confocal scan to obtain tissue microstructure for accurate diagnosis. We will achieve this objective through the following two Aims: (1) develop multimodal confocal imaging probe with LED array and (2) evaluate the performance and clinical feasibility of multimodal intraoral probe. The proposed project has a great significance. The compact, multimodal handheld intraoral imaging probe, in conjunction with the deep learning image classification method, will enable noninvasive in situ early detection and diagnosis of oral dysplasia and cancer from benign conditions in a clinical setting, significantly reducing disease progression, reducing death rates from oral cancer and improving the quality of life. The cost-effective, smartphone compatible design is extremely suitable for screening oral cancer through remote diagnosis in low- resource setting, significantly improve the survive rate of oral cancers in low- and middle- income countries.

Public Health Relevance

Early detection of oral cancer is the effective method for improving both the survival rate and the quality of the lives of the patients. We propose to develop and validate a low-cost, compact, smartphone compatible multimodal intraoral confocal probe for noninvasive in situ detection of oral dysplasia and early stage cancer in clinical settings.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
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Imaging Technology Development Study Section (ITD)
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Wang, Chiayeng
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University of Arizona
Schools of Optometry/Opht Tech
United States
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