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Radiat Res. 2012 Apr;177(4):508-13. Epub 2012 Feb 21.

Imaging molecular pathways: reporter genes.

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Department of Dermatology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.


Molecular imaging is a rapidly advancing field that allows cancer biologists to look deeper into the complex inner workings of tumor cells, or whole tumors, in a non-invasive manner. In this review, we will summarize some recent advances that enable investigators to study various important biological processes in tumors in vivo. We will discuss novel imaging approaches that allow investigators to visualize and quantify molecular pathways, such as receptor tyrosine kinase activation, hypoxia signal transduction, apoptosis, and DNA double-strand breaks. Select examples of these applications will be discussed. Because of the limited scope of this review, we will only focus on natural reporters, such as bioluminescence and fluorescent proteins.

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