FDG is a useful PET probe for differentiating tumors from benign lesions and evaluating therapeutic effects. However, limitations of FDG-PET have recently been noted, and the development of post-FDG molecular probes is strongly required. Here, we described our basic studies of post-FDG molecular probes for the assessment of tumor malignancy and response to therapy, focusing on cell proliferation and apoptosis. Our findings can be summarized as follows: (1) MET uptake level in granulomas was significantly lower than that in tumors, whereas FDG and FLT were not able to differentiate granulomas from tumors. (2) In our mouse model, FLT uptake was dose-dependently decreased 2 days after treatment with gefitinib, whereas FDG uptake was not decreased. (3) An enhanced apoptotic reaction correlated with suppressed tumor glucose utilization after cytotoxic chemotherapy with gemcitabine and cyclophosphamide. These results indicate the potential value of molecular probes for indicating cell proliferation and apoptosis in the assessment of tumor malignancy and response to therapy. A multiprobe approach could solve the problems of FDG-PET and open a new era of personalized medicine.
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