The biology underlying molecular imaging in oncology: from genome to anatome and back again

Clin Radiol. 2010 Jul;65(7):517-21. doi: 10.1016/j.crad.2010.04.005.


Cancers are complex, evolving, multiscale ecosystems that are characterized by profound spatial and temporal heterogeneity. The interactions in cancer are non-linear in that small changes in one variable can have large changes on another. These multiple interacting phenotypes and spatial scales can best be understood with appropriate mathematical and computational models. Imaging is central to this investigation because it can non-destructively and longitudinally characterize spatial variations in the tumour phenotype and environment so that the system dynamics over time can be captured quantitatively.

MeSH terms

  • Disease Progression
  • Gene Expression Regulation / genetics*
  • Genome / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Imaging / methods*
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Phenotype
  • Tumor Microenvironment / genetics*