In February 1994, the National Cancer Institute held a workshop to evaluate the current and future role of emission tomographic imaging methods, positron emission tomography and single-photon emission computed tomography, in improving the accuracy of cancer diagnosis and the effectiveness of treatment and in elucidating basic aspects of human cancer biology. Reviews covered many of the receptor and transport systems for hormones and growth factors, as well as metabolic changes important in human cancer, and topical presentations reviewed the current status of receptor-based imaging in the most well-characterized systems: somatostatin receptor imaging of neuroendocrine tumors, estrogen receptor imaging of breast cancer, and epidermal growth factor receptor and tumor metabolic imaging. A critical analysis was made of the current research and of new directions for the future development and use of receptor-imaging methods in oncology. In each area, recommendations were made for further investigation, where emerging understanding of tumor cell biology and defined molecular targets might be combined with the methods of radiopharmaceutical design and evaluation, to develop new approaches to critical issues in the diagnosis, staging, and treatment of cancer through tumor receptor imaging.

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