SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • molecular imaging;
  • positron emission tomography;
  • prognosis;
  • radioisotope;
  • thoracic neoplasm

ABSTRACT

Molecular imaging provides an opportunity to study biological processes in vivo. Specific molecular ‘probes’ are labelled with radioactive tracers, and imaging is carried out using either PET or gamma-cameras. The imaging is quantitative, and therefore the activity of a specific biological process (e.g. metabolism or proliferation) can be numerically assessed, which may be important for prognosis or therapy monitoring. The use of molecular imaging may lead to the development of a ‘molecular profile’ of a disease, therefore facilitating individualization of therapy and rational treatment approaches. This review article summarizes the most commonly used molecular imaging agents and their role in lung and pleural diseases. This is a rapidly developing field as new targets and imaging probes are being developed and as their clinical roles are being established.