Tissue diagnostic features generated by a bimodal technique integrating scanning time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy (TRFS) and ultrasonic backscatter microscopy (UBM) are investigated in an in vivo hamster oral carcinoma model. Tissue fluorescence is excited by a pulsed nitrogen laser and spectrally and temporally resolved using a set of filters/dichroic mirrors and a fast digitizer, respectively. A 41-MHz focused transducer (37-μm axial, 65-μm lateral resolution) is used for UBM scanning. Representative lesions of the different stages of carcinogenesis show that fluorescence characteristics complement ultrasonic features, and both correlate with histological findings. These results demonstrate that TRFS-UBM provide a wealth of co-registered, complementary data concerning tissue composition and structure as it relates to disease status. The direct co-registration of the TRFS data (sensitive to surface molecular changes) with the UBM data (sensitive to cross-sectional structural changes and depth of tumor invasion) is expected to play an important role in pre-operative diagnosis and intra-operative determination of tumor margins.