Molecular imaging of the tumor microenvironment for precision medicine and theranostics

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

43 Scopus citations


Morbidity and mortality from cancer and their associated conditions and treatments continue to extract a heavy social and economic global burden despite the transformative advances in science and technology in the twenty-first century. In fact, cancer incidence and mortality are expected to reach pandemic proportions by 2025, and costs of managing cancer will escalate to trillions of dollars. The inability to establish effective cancer treatments arises from the complexity of conditions that exist within tumors, the plasticity and adaptability of cancer cells coupled with their ability to escape immune surveillance, and the co-opted stromal cells and microenvironment that assist cancer cells in survival. Stromal cells, although destroyed together with cancer cells, have an ever-replenishing source that can assist in resurrecting tumors from any residual cancer cells that may survive treatment. The tumor microenvironment landscape is a continually changing landscape, with spatial and temporal heterogeneities that impact and influence cancer treatment outcome. Importantly, the changing landscape of the tumor microenvironment can be exploited for precision medicine and theranostics. Molecular and functional imaging can play important roles in shaping and selecting treatments to match this landscape. Our purpose in this review is to examine the roles of molecular and functional imaging, within the context of the tumor microenvironment, and the feasibility of their applications for precision medicine and theranostics in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Cancer Research
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages22
StatePublished - 2014

Publication series

NameAdvances in Cancer Research
ISSN (Print)0065-230X
ISSN (Electronic)2162-5557


  • Cancer
  • Molecular imaging
  • Precision medicine
  • Theranostics
  • Tumor microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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