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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(3), 4918-4946; doi:10.3390/ijms16034918

Cancer Stratification by Molecular Imaging

Heidelberg University Hospital, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Im Neuenheimer Feld 400, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: William Chi-Shing Cho
Received: 15 October 2014 / Revised: 13 February 2015 / Accepted: 17 February 2015 / Published: 4 March 2015
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Abstract

The lack of specificity of traditional cytotoxic drugs has triggered the development of anticancer agents that selectively address specific molecular targets. An intrinsic property of these specialized drugs is their limited applicability for specific patient subgroups. Consequently, the generation of information about tumor characteristics is the key to exploit the potential of these drugs. Currently, cancer stratification relies on three approaches: Gene expression analysis and cancer proteomics, immunohistochemistry and molecular imaging. In order to enable the precise localization of functionally expressed targets, molecular imaging combines highly selective biomarkers and intense signal sources. Thus, cancer stratification and localization are performed simultaneously. Many cancer types are characterized by altered receptor expression, such as somatostatin receptors, folate receptors or Her2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2). Similar correlations are also known for a multitude of transporters, such as glucose transporters, amino acid transporters or hNIS (human sodium iodide symporter), as well as cell specific proteins, such as the prostate specific membrane antigen, integrins, and CD20. This review provides a comprehensive description of the methods, targets and agents used in molecular imaging, to outline their application for cancer stratification. Emphasis is placed on radiotracers which are used to identify altered expression patterns of cancer associated markers. View Full-Text
Keywords: cancer stratification; molecular imaging; radiotracers; positron emission tomography (PET); single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT); biomarkers; target structure cancer stratification; molecular imaging; radiotracers; positron emission tomography (PET); single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT); biomarkers; target structure
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Weber, J.; Haberkorn, U.; Mier, W. Cancer Stratification by Molecular Imaging. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16, 4918-4946.

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