Using molecular imaging, clinicians today are employing biology and technology to delve deeper into the pathways of disease, thereby turning shades of gray into a colorful array of precise biologic answers.
"Molecular imaging is a growth area that will likely dominate and influence the daily practice of medicine for years to come, and contribute to improved patient care from diagnosis to therapy," says Jean-Luc Vanderheyden, global head of molecular imaging at GE Healthcare (Chalfont St. Giles, UK).
|GE Healthcare is working in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh to develop the molecular probe Pittsburgh Compound-B, a PET imaging agent for Alzheimer's disease.
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Molecular imaging provides the means to look inside cells in the body to see how they are functioning. It also enables clinicians to visualize defects that may have been caused by disease or other clinical conditions. By combining these functions with the ability to track cellular changes over time, molecular imaging provides a powerful, highly specific analytical and monitoring capability.
"Imaging agents that look at the ability of cancer cells to grow, die, or form new blood vessels are all examples of the potential of molecular imaging," says Vanderheyden. "We are clinically developing a number of promising agents, including a PET imaging agent for Alzheimer's disease, and have the research and development capacity to evaluate hundreds more."