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Radiologe. 2007 Jan;47(1):25-33.

[Cell tracking. Principles and applications].

[Article in German]

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Dept. of Radiology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center,1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021, USA.


Cell based therapies such as stem cell therapies or adoptive immunotherapies are currently being explored as a potential treatment for a variety of diseases such as Parkinson's disease, diabetes or cancer. However, quantitative and qualitative evaluation of adoptively transferred cells is indispensable for monitoring the efficiency of the treatment. Current approaches mostly analyze transferred cells from peripheral blood, which cannot assess whether transferred cells actually home to and stay in the targeted tissue. Using cell-labeling methods such as direct labeling or transfection with a marker gene in conjunction with various imaging modalities (MRI, optical or nuclear imaging), labeled cells can be followed in vivo in real-time, and their accumulation as well as function in vivo can be monitored and quantified accurately. This method is usually referred to as "cell tracking" or "cell trafficking" and is also being applied in basic biological sciences, exemplified in the evaluation of genes contributing to metastasis. This review focuses on principles of this promising methodology and explains various approaches by highlighting recent examples.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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