Recent advances in Cancer Imaging

Richard Steinman from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in “The Oncologist” (the journal of the Society of Translational Oncology), comments on the importance of the noncancerous cells in tumors (the stroma):

“The stroma, including fibroblasts, adipocytes, endothelial cells, and immune cells, had been demonstrated to provide critical metabolites to cancer cells and engages in tumor-promoting crosstalk with cancer cells.”


PET scan of enzyme MAO-B Image Source: NIH

Recent research has shown the ability to image metabolic markers of tumor activity.  On Biotech Strategy Blog, Pieter Droppert writes about a metabolic marker of malignant glioma cells, 5-ALA (5-Amino-Levulinic-Acid) and how this may help glioblastoma surgery.

Meanwhile on Pharma Strategy Blog, Sally Church discusses the use of folate receptor alpha fluorescence imaging in ovarian cancer.

Imaging of metabolic markers may assist in the identification and targeting of critical mediators of cancer-stromal crosstalk.  This is an interesting area to watch.

The forthcoming AACR-NCI-EORTC conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics has a plenary session on “Targeting the Tumor Stroma Interaction.

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