Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging
PET is an enormously powerful medical imaging technique. It is very different from other forms of medical imaging, such as CT, MRI, and ultrasound, which give mostly anatomical information. PET imaging is a molecular imaging technique which gives information at the molecular and cellular level about processes which are involved in diseases such as cancer and neurodegenerative conditions.
PET imaging requires the injection of an imaging agent (a ‘radiotracer’) which is a disease-targeting molecule that also carries a short-lived radioactive atom. This radioactive atom emits small and safe amounts of radiation which a PET scanner can detect. This reveals precisely where the PET imaging agent has travelled to in the body, including to any sites of disease.
My group specialises in synthesising and evaluating new PET imaging agents which can be used in the following ways:
- To allow early detection of diseases such as cancer and neurodegenerative conditions
- To predict and/or monitor treatment response and thus act as companion diagnostic agents
- To improve diagnosis and characterisation of disease and influence patient management
- To facilitate drug development