E2095. Molecular Imaging: A Primer for the Radiologist
Most physicians, including radiologists, come from an educational background of biology. Despite this, most are unaware of the headway and breakthroughs in the fields of genetics, genomics, proteomics, and nanotechnology in the last few decades that are impacting medicine. While it is true that much of this has remained at the level of the laboratory bench rather than at the patient bedside, the last few years have seen the scientific and medical community working together to channel this knowledge into clinical application - and radiology is one of those direct areas of impact.
Educational Goals / Teaching Points
By the end of this educational exhibit, the viewer would have:
1. Basic understanding of the definition of molecular imaging.
2. Understanding of the intermodal variety in terms of agents and various molecular imaging techniques, such as hypoxia imaging, cell proliferation imaging, angiogenesis imaging, immuno-imaging etc.
3. Understanding of the utility via examples of clinical applications in the field of cardiovascular, neuropsychiatry, and oncology imaging.
Key Anatomic/Physiologic Issues and Imaging Findings/Techniques
Unlike conventional imaging, which typically provides anatomic information, molecular imaging allows for in vivo characterization and measurement of biological processes with greater specificity to answer targeted clinical questions e.g. hypoxia PET imaging using 18F-FMISO can identify hypoxic areas within tumors to facilitate targeted radiotherapy. Such information can be used to improve disease screening and early diagnosis, facilitate personalized therapy, and assess early treatment response. These techniques are also actively supporting the field of Theranostics, a subset of molecular imaging, which is emerging rapidly in evaluation and treatment of certain malignancies.
Molecular imaging is significantly impacting radiology by facilitating personalized medicine, and is changing the way we diagnose, treat, and monitor disease.