Molecular imaging in prostate cancer

J Cell Biochem. 2003 Oct 15;90(3):473-83. doi: 10.1002/jcb.10636.


Prostate cancer (PCa) is the most common non-cutaneous malignancy in men. New ways to diagnose this cancer in its early stages are needed. Unique genetic and biochemical changes in the cell pave the way for tumors to grow and metastasize. Novel imaging approaches attempt to detect pathological processes in cancer cells at the molecular level. This has led to the establishment and development of the field of molecular imaging. Positron emission tomography (PET), magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and radiolabeled antibodies are a few of the modalities that can detect abnormal tumor metabolic processes in the clinical setting. Other imaging techniques are still in their early phase of development but hold promise for the future, including bioluminescence imaging (BLI), measurement of tumor oxygenation, and measurement of uptake of iodine by tumors. These techniques are non-invasive and can spare the patient undue morbidity, while potentially providing early diagnosis, accurate follow-up and, finally, valuable prognostic information.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Surface / metabolism
  • Cell Hypoxia
  • Fluorine Radioisotopes
  • Glutamate Carboxypeptidase II / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Luminescent Measurements
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Male
  • Prostate / diagnostic imaging
  • Prostate / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Rats
  • Symporters / metabolism
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed
  • Ultrasonography


  • Antigens, Surface
  • Fluorine Radioisotopes
  • Symporters
  • sodium-iodide symporter
  • FOLH1 protein, human
  • Glutamate Carboxypeptidase II