Imaging in the era of molecular oncology

Nature. 2008 Apr 3;452(7187):580-9. doi: 10.1038/nature06917.


New technologies for imaging molecules, particularly optical technologies, are increasingly being used to understand the complexity, diversity and in vivo behaviour of cancers. 'Omic' approaches are providing comprehensive 'snapshots' of biological indicators, or biomarkers, of cancer, but imaging can take this information a step further, showing the activity of these markers in vivo and how their location changes over time. Advances in experimental and clinical imaging are likely to improve how cancer is understood at a systems level and, ultimately, should enable doctors not only to locate tumours but also to assess the activity of the biological processes within these tumours and to provide 'on the spot' treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods
  • Diagnostic Imaging / trends*
  • Fluorescence
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Humans
  • Microscopy
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques / methods
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques / trends*
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / pathology