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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2003, Issue 2, Pages 92-101
Review article

In Vivo Noninvasive Imaging for Gene Therapy

Cancer Research UK, Molecular Oncology Unit, ICSM at Hammersmith Hospital, Du Cane Road, London W12 0NN, UK

Received 4 June 2002; Accepted 19 July 2002

Copyright © 2003 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


Gene therapy is reaching a stage where some clinical benefits have been demonstrated on patients involved in phase I/II clinical trials. However, in many cases, the clinical benefit is hardly measurable and progress in the improvement of gene therapy formulations is hampered by the lack of objective clinical endpoints to measure transgene delivery and to quantitate transgene expression. However, these endpoints rely almost exclusively on the analysis of biopsies by molecular and histopathological methods. These methods provide only a limited picture of the situation. Therefore, there is a need for a technology that would allow precise, spacio-temporal measurement of gene expression on a whole body scale upon administration of the gene delivery vector. In the field of gene therapy, a considerable effort is being invested in the development of noninvasive imaging of gene expression and this review presents the various strategies currently being developed.