Translation of New Molecular Imaging Approaches to the Clinical Setting: Bridging the Gap to Implementation

Suzanne C van Es, Clasina M Venema, Andor W J M Glaudemans, Marjolijn N Lub-de Hooge, Sjoerd G Elias, Ronald Boellaard, Geke A P Hospers, Carolina P Schröder, Elisabeth G E de Vries

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Molecular imaging with PET is a rapidly emerging technique. In breast cancer patients, more than 45 different PET tracers have been or are presently being tested. With a good rationale, after development of the tracer and proven feasibility, it is of interest to evaluate whether there is a potential meaningful role for the tracer in the clinical setting-such as in staging, in the (early) prediction of a treatment response, or in supporting drug choices. So far, only (18)F-FDG PET has been incorporated into breast cancer guidelines. For proof of the clinical relevance of tracers, especially for analysis in a multicenter setting, standardization of the technology and access to the novel PET tracer are required. However, resources for PET implementation research are limited. Therefore, next to randomized studies, novel approaches are required for proving the clinical value of PET tracers with the smallest possible number of patients. The aim of this review is to describe the process of the development of PET tracers and the level of evidence needed for the use of these tracers in breast cancer. Several breast cancer trials have been performed with the PET tracers (18)F-FDG, 3'-deoxy-3'-(18)F-fluorothymidine ((18)F-FLT), and (18)F-fluoroestradiol ((18)F-FES). We studied them to learn lessons for the implementation of novel tracers. After defining the gap between a good rationale for a tracer and implementation in the clinical setting, we propose solutions to fill the gap to try to bring more PET tracers to daily clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96S-104S
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016

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