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Molecular imaging gets R&D boost

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The National Cancer Institute recognized the emerging role of molecular imaging with a three-year contract aimed at the development of agents to diagnose and treat cancer. The $2.8 million contract was awarded to Barnes Jewish Hospital and Washington

The National Cancer Institute recognized the emerging role of molecular imaging with a three-year contract aimed at the development of agents to diagnose and treat cancer. The $2.8 million contract was awarded to Barnes Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The development and testing of novel agents will be done in combination with advanced imaging systems. Academic researchers will collaborate with Philips Medical and Dow Chemical to create and evaluate contrast and therapeutic agents designed to seek out specific molecular targets. Kereos will develop and commercialize promising agents.

The contract includes the development of nuclear imaging technology and image analysis techniques aimed at enhancing image quality, as well as delivering quantitative information about disease. Specific goals include finding means for detecting and quantifying solid tumors noninvasively and earlier in their development by identifying sites in the body where new blood vessels are forming to feed tumors. The research will also seek therapeutic agents that can be administered directly to the site of growing tumors to disrupt angiogenesis and the means to assess the adequacy of treatment by quantifying the amount of therapy delivered to a tumor.

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