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Commercial Small Animal Imaging Could Aid Disease Detection

Authors: Mark Little


The development of anticancer metastatic therapies for human clinical trials requires meticulous evaluation of efficacy and optimization of small animal test models in preclinical experimentation. Critical information on morphology and the molecular microenvironment of tumors is currently obtained and monitored using noninvasive, in vivo imaging methods. Detection of individual, small tumors (separated by 2 mm or less) pushes the limits of small animal imaging modalities currently on the market, which can prohibit noninvasive quantification of the volume of metastatic lesions. Commercial small animal imaging platforms that enable rendering and anatomical registration of metastatic lesions with true 3D isotropic submillimeter spatial resolution would help solve this problem. Such platforms would alleviate subjective interpretation and provide molecular and functional information on blood content. A multimodal approach could provide a more cost-effective implementation of all these features in a single configuration.