Molecular imaging using PET/CT or magnetic resonance spectroscopy and chemical shift imaging provides added value compared to modalities of anatomic imaging alone, and yields higher specificity in identifying cancers. The absence of ionizing radiation means that molecular imaging by magnetic resonance is particularly appropriate for the surveillance of persons at increased risk of certain solid cancers and for post-therapeutic monitoring of patients, especially pediatric cases. Molecular imaging is important for “targeted therapies” in the detection, monitoring and prediction of the widely varying responses of individual cancer patients, for example to the same type of drugs. In addition molecular imaging can guide the treatment of individual patients, thus enabling the practical implementation of the concept of “personalized cancer medicine”.
If recent advances in the analysis of molecular imaging data are judiciously incorporated into clinical practice, advances can be expected in all aspects of oncology, including earlier cancer detection especially for persons at high risk. This article describes how MR-based molecular imaging in which signal processing methods are mathematically optimized has the potential to improve early cancer detection.
By Dr Dž. Belkič & Dr K. Belkič