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New Technologies for Cancer Imaging

February 26, 2009
Written by: , Filed in: Nuclear Medicine
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There are 6 imaging modalities available to clinicians for diagnosis, staging, and treatment of human cancer.

The 6 cancer imaging modalities are:

  1. x-ray (both plain film and computed tomography (CT))
  2. ultrasound
  3. magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  4. single photon emission CT (SPECT)
  5. positron emission tomography (PET)
  6. optical imaging


Cancer imaging issues

The difficulty in cancer imaging is one of scale. The present detection threshold for solid tumors is on the order of 1 g of tissue, or 10(9) cells.

It is difficult to diagnose cancer until it is relatively advanced, and conversely, it is impossible to be certain of remission.

There are 3 categories of contrast generation:

  • endogenous contrast
  • exogenous nontargeted contrast
  • exogenous targeted contrast

These have various sensitivity and resolution, and also are more or less amenable to targeted contrast.

CME Courses Available:

 

PET/CT and SPECT/CT To Plan and Monitor the Treatment of Cancer The precise tailoring of treatment for patients with cancer is an unmet challenge. The goal is to only administer treatments that have a high probability of being effective. Imaging with PET/CT and SPECT/CT provides methods that will help achieve this goal. The program covers the current clinical challenges, the new emerging answers from imaging, and how these methods can be applied to patient care. Read more: Nuclear Medicine: PET/CT and SPECT/CT

 

-- Diagnostic Imaging Review: For Residents, Fellows and Radiologists UCSF’s Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging recently conducted its annual radiology review course. It will soon be available in two video formats to meet your needs— DVD and MP4. Order now to get your special pre-publication discount. Read more or order: Diagnostic Imaging Review

The method that is least known to clinical radiologists is optical imaging. When light interacts with tissue, it can be absorbed or scattered, and these 2 processes can be used for imaging.

Most optimal methods use image-reflected excitation light, or fluorescence emission light, from a surface.

These methods are high resolution, but are limited to imaging of superficial structures, typically up to approximately 3 mm in depth.

The authors go on to identify new imaging technologies and consider the imaging of difficult cancers that continue to present a challenge, including ovarian cancer, leukemia, and childhood cancers.

Reviewer’s Comments

I have paraphrased this review in this presentation. It represents a fair “snapshot” of where we are in the imaging of cancer at the present time.

Author: Lionel S. Zuckier, MD

Reference:
Frangioni JV. New Technologies for Human Cancer Imaging. J Clin Oncol; 2008; (August 20): 4012-4021.

CME Courses Available:

 

PET/CT and SPECT/CT To Plan and Monitor the Treatment of Cancer The precise tailoring of treatment for patients with cancer is an unmet challenge. The goal is to only administer treatments that have a high probability of being effective. Imaging with PET/CT and SPECT/CT provides methods that will help achieve this goal. The program covers the current clinical challenges, the new emerging answers from imaging, and how these methods can be applied to patient care. Read more: Nuclear Medicine: PET/CT and SPECT/CT

 

-- Diagnostic Imaging Review: For Residents, Fellows and Radiologists UCSF’s Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging recently conducted its annual radiology review course. It will soon be available in two video formats to meet your needs— DVD and MP4. Order now to get your special pre-publication discount. Read more or order: Diagnostic Imaging Review
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