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Use of PET can reduce, may eliminate more strenuous drug development trials with animals

iagnosis of disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, epilepsy, cardiovascular illnesses and many cancers. Researchers can gain a broader understanding of basic insights into normal physiology and disease processes to drug development and early response to anticancer and gene therapy. In addition, small animal imaging significantly reduces the preclinical evaluation time for therapeutic pharmaceuticals, possibly speeding the way for innovative drugs to patients, said Welch. Since there is no public registry of animal researchers, Welch estimates that there may be as many as 12,000 academic and private animal imaging labs in the world and that more than 200 may do small animal PET routinely.

Through small animal imaging research, Welch and his researchers gained more of an understanding about titanium anti-cancer drugs and new techniques for PET imaging with 45Ti, which they found to have excellent imaging characteristics and to be relatively inexpensive to produce. Welch and his researchers are also investigating the effect of cancer therapies on tumor function and performing cardiac studies that explore drugs that reverse the conditions of animals.

The JNM articles on small animal imaging, with numerous SNM members as authors, are listed here.

* Welch's co-author of "Preparation, Biodistribution and Small Animal PET of 45Ti-Transferrin" is Amy L. Vavere, Ph.D., Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University School of Medicine and the department of chemistry, Washington University, both in St. Louis, Mo.

* Authors of "Noninvasive Monitoring of Target Gene Expression by Imaging Reporter Gene Expression in Living Animals Using Improved Bicistronic Vectors" are Yanling Wang, Ph.D., and Meera Iyer, Ph.D., both with Crump Institute for Molecular Imaging and the department of molecular and medical pharmacology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, both in Los Angeles, Calif.; Alexander J. Annala, Ph.D
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Source:Society of Nuclear Medicine


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