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Published Online: 1 May 2009

Small Animal PET in Oncology: The Road from Bench to Bedside

Publication: Cancer Biotherapy and Radiopharmaceuticals
Volume 24, Issue Number 2

Abstract

Positron emission tomography (PET) is routinely performed in patients with cancer for disease staging, assessment of relapse, and evaluation of therapy response. In addition to its well-established value in human malignant diseases, the use of special small animal PET (SA-PET) scanners have allowed for accurate assessment of small animals bearing human tumors. This application of PET provides whole-body, noninvasive, functional data of tumor lesions and can be used to assess abnormalities in the metabolic pathways of cancer, such as uncontrolled proliferation, increased apoptosis, and angiogenesis. Several positron-emitting tracers labeled with 18-fluorine and 11-carbon are currently available for PET studies to image abnormal biologic pathways of tumors. Moreover, SA-PET can be used to evaluate tumor-cell-receptor expression, a sign of tumor cells differentiation that is relevant for planning targeted therapies. Another advantage of SA-PET is the quantitation capability: Semiquantitation of the tumor activity can be performed at each scan and compared in the same animal over time to monitor tumor growth or to assess the response to new therapies. This review focuses on the applications of SA-PET for the visualization of the pathophysiologic pathways of tumor cells.

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cover image Cancer Biotherapy and Radiopharmaceuticals
Cancer Biotherapy and Radiopharmaceuticals
Volume 24Issue Number 2April 2009
Pages: 277 - 285
PubMed: 19409051

History

Published online: 1 May 2009
Published in print: April 2009

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Valentina Ambrosini
Department of Nuclear Medicine, Policlinico “S. Orsola-Malpighi,” Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria di Bologna, Bologna, Italy.
Carmelo Quarta
Department of Nuclear Medicine, Policlinico “S. Orsola-Malpighi,” Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria di Bologna, Bologna, Italy.
Cristina Nanni
Department of Nuclear Medicine, Policlinico “S. Orsola-Malpighi,” Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria di Bologna, Bologna, Italy.
Cinzia Pettinato
Medical Physics Unit, Policlinico “S. Orsola-Malpighi,” Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria di Bologna, Bologna, Italy.
Roberto Franchi
Department of Nuclear Medicine, Policlinico “S. Orsola-Malpighi,” Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria di Bologna, Bologna, Italy.
Gaia Grassetto
Department of Nuclear Medicine, “S. Maria della Misericordia” Hospital, Rovigo, Italy.
Adil Al-Nahhas
Department of Nuclear Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital, London, United Kingdom.
Stefano Fanti
Department of Nuclear Medicine, Policlinico “S. Orsola-Malpighi,” Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria di Bologna, Bologna, Italy.
Domenico Rubello
Department of Nuclear Medicine, “S. Maria della Misericordia” Hospital, Rovigo, Italy.

Notes

Address correspondence to: Domenico Rubello; Department of Nuclear Medicine–PET Centre, “S. Maria della Misericordia” Hospital; Viale Tre Martiri 140, 45100 Rovigo, Italy; Tel.: +39 (0)425-39-4431-27; Fax: +39 (0)425-39-4434
E-mail: [email protected]

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