Molecular imaging: what can be used today

P L Jager, M A de Korte, M N Lub-de Hooge, A van Waarde, K P Koopmans, P J Perik, Liesbeth de Vries

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Biochemical cellular targets and more general metabolic processes in cancer cells can be visualised. Extensive data are available on molecular imaging in preclinical models. However, innovative tracers move slowly to the clinic. This review provides information on the currently available methods of metabolic imaging, especially using PET in humans. The uptake mechanisms of tracer methods and a brief discussion of the more 'molecular' targeted methods are presented. The main focus is on the different classes of tracers and their application in various types of cancer within each class of tracers, based on the current literature and our own experience. Studies with [18F]FDG (energy metabolism), radiolabelled amino acids (protein metabolism), [18F]FLT (DNA metabolism), [11C]choline (cell membrane metabolism) as general metabolic tracer methods and [18F]DOPA (biogenic amine metabolism) as a more specific tracer method are discussed. As an example, molecular imaging methods that target the HER2 receptor and somatostatin receptor are described.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S27-S32
Number of pages6
JournalCancer imaging
Issue numberSpec No A
Publication statusPublished - 23-Nov-2005


  • Animals
  • Biochemical Phenomena
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Dideoxynucleosides
  • Fluorine Radioisotopes
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Humans
  • Medical Oncology
  • Neoplasms
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Receptor, ErbB-2
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Tumor Markers, Biological

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