Cancer imaging: Gene transcription-based imaging and therapeutic systems

Hyo Eun C. Bhang, Martin G. Pomper

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Molecular-genetic imaging of cancer is in its infancy. Over the past decade gene reporter systems have been optimized in preclinical models and some have found their way into the clinic. The search is on to find the best combination of gene delivery vehicle and reporter imaging system that can be translated safely and quickly. The goal is to have a combination that can detect a wide variety of cancers with high sensitivity and specificity in a way that rivals the current clinical standard, positron emission tomography with [ 18F]fluorodeoxyglucose. To do so will require systemic delivery of reporter genes for the detection of micrometastases, and a nontoxic vector, whether viral or based on nanotechnology, to gain widespread acceptance by the oncology community. Merger of molecular-genetic imaging with gene therapy, a strategy that has been employed in the past, will likely be necessary for such imaging to reach widespread clinical use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)684-689
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012


  • Cancer imaging
  • Theranostics
  • Tumor-specific promoter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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