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(Photo: R. Baer) feature A surgeon, a radiologist, and an oncologist sit in a dimly lit room, banks of monitors in front of them. Their attention is focused on a collection of pictures: black-and-white, color, human outlines, brightly lit spots in some places, dark in others. At the press of a button, the radiologist sends a command to a group of computers. Data are exchanged, and the images merge together effortlessly into a single picture of a human form, superimposing physiology on anatomy. The bright spots fuse, revealing the location, viability, and vulnerabilities of a tumor. This seamless scenario does not yet represent standard clinical practice. But it represents the ideal treatment planning or drug assessment scenario, one in which clinicians from different fi elds of oncology are able to share and integrate the data generated by a host of molecularly targeted imaging technologies—such as targeted optical fl uorescent tagging, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and an emerging technology, electron paramagnetic resonance imaging 16 ccr connections | VOLUME 2, NO. 2 | 2008 (EPRI)—into single, holistic images that provide researchers and clinicians with a complete representation of the patient’s tumor, including its location, its size, and its physiology. Together, these technologies are fueling a new understanding of how tumor physiology and structure affect drug action while also bringing new precision to clinical treatment planning. The physician-scientists of CCR’s Molecular Imaging Program (MIP) and Radiation Biology Branch (RBB) are leading the charge to refi ne these technologies and translate them into clinical practice, making the above scenario a reality. The New Way: Seeing Is Believing The traditional way of drug development, while effective and straightforward, is time-consuming and cumbersome. Researchers give the trial cohort a drug Seeing the Multiple Dimensions of Cancer: How Targeted Imaging Technologies Are Bringing New Clarity to Cancer Care Left to right: Sankaran Subramanian, Ph.D., Staff Scientist; Mr. Frank Harrington, NIH Machinist; Murali Krishna, Ph.D.; and Jim Mitchell, Ph.D., show their original self-built magnet and fi eld gradient assembly, which they used for electron paramagnetic resonance imaging (EPRI). This magnet was used to fi rst demonstrate the feasibility of in vivo oxygen imaging.

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