ARTICLE ABSTRACTPatients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) colitis are at an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer and are currently recommended to undergo extensive annual or biennial colonoscopy, a costly and invasive procedure. Most surveillance colonoscopies are negative with no existing objective measures for assessing their risk of developing cancer. We have recently developed a less invasive, cost-effective and objective method to assess cancer risk by detecting the presence of colonic neoplasia via 3-dimensional (3D) nanoscale nuclear architecture mapping (nanoNAM) of normal-appearing rectal biopsies. To establish its translational relevance, we prospectively recruited 103 patients with IBD colitis undergoing surveillance colonoscopy and measured submicroscopic alterations in aberrant intrinsic nuclear architecture of epithelial cells from normal-appearing rectal biopsies with nanoNAM. The results were correlated with the histologic diagnoses from all random biopsies obtained during initial and follow-up colonoscopy within 3 years. Using nanoNAM-based structural characterization as input features into a soft margin–based ν-SVM risk classifier, we show that nanoNAM detects colonic neoplasia with AUC of 0.87 ± 0.04, sensitivity of 0.81 ± 0.09, and specificity of 0.82 ± 0.07 in the independent validation set. In addition, projecting nanoNAM features onto a 2-sphere reveals patients with low-risk and high-risk IBD colitis existing on separate hemispheres. Finally, we show that this ability to assess cancer risk translates to clinically-relevant estimation of individual-patient likelihood of being truly at risk. We demonstrate the potential of nanoNAM to identify patients with IBD at higher risk of developing cancer from normal-appearing rectum tissue, which may aid clinicians in patients with personalized IBD colitis surveillance.