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This study demonstrates the use of diffuse optical spectroscopy (DOS) for the noninvasive measurement of gold nanoshell concentrations in tumors of live mice. We measured the diffuse optical spectra (500-800 nm) using an optical fiber probe placed in contact with the tissue surface. We performed in vitro studies on tissue phantoms illustrating an accurate measurement of gold-silica nanoshell concentration within 12.6% of the known concentration. In vivo studies were performed on a mouse xenograft tumor model. DOS spectra were measured at preinjection, immediately postinjection, 1 and 24 h postinjection times, and the nanoshell concentrations were verified using neutron activation analysis.