Purpose of review: (18)F-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose PET-computed tomography (CT) has a major clinical impact in oncology not only for diagnostics but also for staging, response assessment, and relapse detection. However, several other PET tracers are needed for a more complete molecular characterization of cancers which has great importance in the era of individualized targeted therapies. PET-CT is an exquisite tool for molecular imaging because it allows detection of nanomolar quantities of tracer molecules targeting different hallmarks of cancer.
Recent findings: This article reviews the most recent findings (published in 2010-2011) on the use of molecular imaging for assessing tumour proliferation, apoptosis, growth receptor expression, bone metabolism, and hypoxia.
Summary: Molecular imaging using PET-CT constitutes a major opportunity in translational research bringing fundamental molecular insights to the clinical area. Such information results invaluable for patient selection and prediction of response to therapy and serves as a crucial diagnostic tool in the era of personalized medicine.