Characterizing tumors using metabolic imaging: PET imaging of cellular proliferation and steroid receptors

David A. Mankoff, Farrokh Dehdashti, Anthony F. Shields

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Treatment decisions in oncology are increasingly guided by information on the biologic characteristics of tumors. Currently, patient-specific information on tumor biology is obtained from the analysis of biopsy material. Positron emission tomography (PET) provides quantitative estimates of regional biochemistry and receptor status and can overcome the sampling error and difficulty in performing serial studies inherent with biopsy. Imaging using the glucose metabolism tracer, 2-deoxy-2-fluoro-D-glucose (FDG), has demonstrated PET's ability to guide therapy in clinical oncology. In this review, we highlight PET approaches to imaging two other aspects of tumor biology: cellular proliferation and tumor steroid receptors. We review the biochemical and biologic processes underlying the imaging, positron- emitting radiopharmaceuticals that have been developed, quantitative image- analysis considerations, and clinical studies to date. This provides a basis for evaluating future developments in these promising applications of PET metabolic imaging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-88
Number of pages18
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2000


  • Cellular proliferation
  • Estrogen receptors
  • Oncology
  • PET
  • Response


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