New Technologies

Molecular imaging technologies under development include:

  • Optical imaging

Optical imaging is primarily used as a research tool although some applications are entering initial clinical testing. Potential applications include imaging gene expression; cell trafficking, therapeutic monitoring, drug delivery and the detection of ovarian cancer, malignant skin lesions, lymphoma, and intestinal adenoma.

  • Targeted Ultrasound

This ultrasound technique may provide differential diagnoses of cancer, including breast, ovarian, head and neck, prostate, liver and pancreatic as well as a means of drug delivery.

  • High-field MR spectroscopy

This MRI technique may help:

  • distinguish malignant from benign breast tissue
  • differentiate between recurrent brain tumors and changes due to radiation treatments
  • guide radiation treatment of recurrent brain tumors and prostate cancer.
  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI)

This MRI technique, which analyzes microscopic water molecules surrounding the brain’s white matter fibers, may be used to diagnose cerebral ischemia and to investigate brain disorders including tumors.

  • Fusion imaging

Also called co-registration, fusion imaging combines images produced by two imaging techniques into one. This capability can be applied to PET, ultrasound, SPECT, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), MR spectroscopy and a growing range of optical technologies.

Subcutaneous human ovarian

Subcutaneous human ovarian adenocarcinoma xenograft tumor (arrows) imaged with targeted contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging Part A.  Subcutaneous human ovarian adenocarcinoma xenograft tumor (arrows) imaged with targeted contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging Part B.

http://jnm.snmjournals.org/content/51/3/433.full