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International Journal of Molecular Imaging
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 817682, 23 pages
Review Article

Stroma Targeting Nuclear Imaging and Radiopharmaceuticals

1Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences, Emory University, 1701 Uppergate Drive, C5008, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
2Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
3Department of Nuclear Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul 110744, Republic of Korea

Received 4 January 2012; Accepted 29 February 2012

Academic Editor: Izabela Tworowska

Copyright © 2012 Dinesh Shetty et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Malignant transformation of tumor accompanies profound changes in the normal neighboring tissue, called tumor stroma. The tumor stroma provides an environment favoring local tumor growth, invasion, and metastatic spreading. Nuclear imaging (PET/SPECT) measures biochemical and physiologic functions in the human body. In oncology, PET/SPECT is particularly useful for differentiating tumors from postsurgical changes or radiation necrosis, distinguishing benign from malignant lesions, identifying the optimal site for biopsy, staging cancers, and monitoring the response to therapy. Indeed, PET/SPECT is a powerful, proven diagnostic imaging modality that displays information unobtainable through other anatomical imaging, such as CT or MRI. When combined with coregistered CT data, [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose ([18F]FDG)-PET is particularly useful. However, [18F]FDG is not a target-specific PET tracer. This paper will review the tumor microenvironment targeting oncologic imaging such as angiogenesis, invasion, hypoxia, growth, and homing, and also therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals to provide a roadmap for additional applications of tumor imaging and therapy.