Update on Molecular Imaging and Precision Medicine in Lung Cancer
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Precision medicine integrates molecular pathobiology, genetic make-up, and clinical manifestations of disease in order to classify patients into subgroups for the purposes of predicting treatment response and suggesting outcome. By identifying those patients who are most likely to benefit from a given therapy, interventions can be tailored to avoid the expense and toxicity of futile treatment. Ultimately, the goal is to offer the right treatment, to the right patient, at the right time. Lung cancer is a heterogeneous disease both functionally and morphologically. Further, over time, clonal proliferations of cells may evolve, becoming resistant to specific therapies. PET is a sensitive imaging technique with an important role in the precision medicine algorithm of lung cancer patients. It provides anatomo-functional insight during diagnosis, staging, and restaging of the disease. It is a prognostic biomarker in lung cancer patients that characterizes tumoral heterogeneity, helps predict early response to therapy, and may direct the selection of appropriate treatment.
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