National Cancer Institute to open molecular imaging clinic

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The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is scheduled to open a new molecular imaging clinic this month, where a multidisciplinary team of imaging scientists, chemists, physicists, engineers, oncologists and molecular biologists will use the latest imaging tools in an effort to learn how drugs function in cancer patients.

"Our goal is to use advanced imaging technologies to accelerate the development of therapies for cancer," said Peter Choyke, MD, the director of the molecular imaging program at the NCI Center for Cancer Research.

Many studies will be done in partnership with other institutions or pharmaceutical or imaging equipment companies. NCI's Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis was instrumental in the development of the clinic and will continue to supply materials, such as radioactive imaging agents. The new facility will have the various scanners, including a PET/CT unit and a 3T whole-body MRI.

"Our mission is to use the cameras to do translational studies that will make drug development faster. There are very few imaging centers dedicated to drug discovery and research," said Karen Kurdziel, MD, the director of the new molecular imaging clinic.