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Stem cell transplantation in brain tumors: a new field for molecular imaging?
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Neural stem cells have been proposed as a new and promising treatment modality in various pathologies of the central nervous system, including malignant brain tumors. However, the underlying mechanism by which neural stem cells target tumor areas remains elusive. Monitoring of these cells is currently done by use of various modes of molecular imaging, such as optical imaging, magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography, which is a novel technology for visualizing metabolism and signal transduction to gene expression. In this new context, the microenvironment of (malignant) brain tumors and the blood-brain barrier gains increased interest. The authors of this review give a unique overview of the current molecular-imaging techniques used in different therapeutic experimental brain tumor models in relation to neural stem cells. Such methods for molecular imaging of gene-engineered neural stem/progenitor cells are currently used to trace the location and temporal level of expression of therapeutic and endogenous genes in malignant brain tumors, closing the gap between in vitro and in vivo integrative biology of disease in neural stem cell transplantation.
positron-emission-tomography, high-dose chemotherapy, in-vivo, glioma model, fdg-pet, progenitor cells, growth-factor, gene-therapy, lymphoma, tropism
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