Near-infrared fluorescence-enhanced diffuse optical tomography (fDOT) is used to localize tumors in mice using fluorescent nanoparticles as a blood pool contrast agent. The infrared dye DiR is loaded in the lipid core of nontargeted nanoparticles (DiR-lipidots) and injected systemically via the tail vein in mice bearing U87 tumors. Distribution and time-course of DiR-lipidots are followed using in vivo fluorescence reflectance imaging and reveal enhanced fluorescent signal within the subcutaneous tumors up to seven days due to the enhanced permeability and retention effect. Tumor growth into the brain is followed using bioluminescent imaging, and tumor localization is further determined by magnetic resonance imaging. The fDOT provides three-dimensional fluorescent maps that allow for consistent localization for both subcutaneous and brain tumors.