European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 358–377

Molecular imaging in cancer treatment

Review Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00259-010-1569-z

Cite this article as:
Michalski, M.H. & Chen, X. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging (2011) 38: 358. doi:10.1007/s00259-010-1569-z


The success of cancer therapy can be difficult to predict, as its efficacy is often predicated upon characteristics of the cancer, treatment, and individual that are not fully understood or are difficult to ascertain. Monitoring the response of disease to treatment is therefore essential and has traditionally been characterized by changes in tumor volume. However, in many instances, this singular measure is insufficient for predicting treatment effects on patient survival. Molecular imaging allows repeated in vivo measurement of many critical molecular features of neoplasm, such as metabolism, proliferation, angiogenesis, hypoxia, and apoptosis, which can be employed for monitoring therapeutic response. In this review, we examine the current methods for evaluating response to treatment and provide an overview of emerging PET molecular imaging methods that will help guide future cancer therapies.


Molecular imagingTherapy responseMetabolismProliferationAngiogenesisHypoxiaApoptosis

Copyright information

© US Government 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Laboratory of Molecular Imaging and Nanomedicine (LOMIN), National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)National Institutes of Health (NIH)BethesdaUSA