Small Animal Imaging in Oncology Drug Development

  • Joseph D. Kalen
  • James L. Tatum


Major advances in small animal imaging have been made during the last two decades encompassing a full array of platforms that image along the electromagnetic spectrum from MRI (100–101 m), optical (10−6 m), X-ray (10−9 m), to nuclear (10−11–10−12 m). This in part has been facilitated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH) through the support of Small Animal Imaging Research Programs (SAIRP), and other initiatives to increase the availability of small animal imaging platforms and develop the expertise in the use of these methods. While the primary application of these new techniques has been research tools to answer scientific questions especially related to the understanding of in vivo systems, another area of interest has been the introduction of imaging-based in vivo assay systems for drug development in oncology. In fact, a major effort has been undertaken to integrate in vivo imaging biomarker development with in vitro biomarker development in contrast to the historical scenario of applying imaging only late in the development plan, leading to the conundrum of validation of imaging while trying to employ imaging as a biomarker.



This project has been funded in whole or in part with federal funds from the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, under Contract No. HHSN261200800001E. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Health and Human Services, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government Modified per federal agency (NIH).

Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research is accredited by AAALAC International and follows the Public Health Service Policy for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. Animal care was provided in accordance with the procedures outlined in the “Guide for Care and Use of Laboratory Animals” (National Research Council, 2011; National Academies Press, Washington, D.C.).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Small Animal Imaging Program, Laboratory Animal Sciences ProgramFrederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research Sponsored by the National Cancer InstituteFrederickUSA
  2. 2.Cancer Imaging Program, Division of Cancer Treatment and DiagnosisNational Cancer Institute, NIHBethesdaUSA

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