Molecular Imaging Core Unit

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  • Guillermo Garaulet
  • Guillermo Medrano

Molecular Imaging enables the visualisation of cellular function and the follow-up of the molecular processes in living organisms without perturbing them. Molecular imaging offers significant advantages to the scientist over traditional research paradigms. While traditional studies of tumour response to a therapeutic agent involve a large cohort of animals analysed at multiple time points, molecular imaging allows characterisation of tumour development and response to a therapy within the same small set of animals imaged longitudinally at multiple time points. This reduces the number of mice used and increases the statistical power of the study because each animal serves as its own control. Other advantages include the ability to interrogate the whole body, and to visualise the molecular target of interest in 3-dimensional space. Finally, molecular imaging is becoming a key bridging technology for the translation of experimental preclinical findings into the clinical environment and, currently, with the theranostic strategy, we can treat the tumours with the same molecule used for PET visualisation by simply changing the isotope for the beta emitter pair.