Date: 17 Feb 2007

How early? ASAP: molecular and functional imaging!

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The term “early” is used to mean near the beginning of a period of time, of a course, process, or series, as well as before the usual or expected time [1]. In terms of the medical profession, it means that doctors are expected to diagnose and initiate a treatment near the beginning of the disease as well as to monitor the treatment response near the beginning of its course, during the progression/remission of the disease and, if this is the case, at intervals when a series of treatments are required. Early also means that all such interventions are required before the usual or expected time.

Therefore, during the course of applying diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, one of the key challenges is time and, in particular, the anticipation of the usual or expected time to achieve a diagnosis, to initiate a therapy, and to proceed to a response assessment and patient revaluation. Can molecular and functional imaging be synonymous of early and accurate?

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The commentaries in this section derive from a literature search and include summaries of articles compiled and linked to each other by using extensively the text contained in the articles examined.