Design criteria for a high energy Compton Camera and possible application to targeted cancer therapy
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The proposed research focuses on the design criteria for a Compton Camera with high spatial resolution and sensitivity, operating at high gamma energies and its possible application for molecular imaging. This application is mainly on the detection and visualization of the pharmacokinetics of tumor targeting substances specific for particular cancer sites. Expected high resolution (< 0.5 mm) permits monitoring the pharmacokinetics of labeled gene constructs in vivo in small animals with a human tumor xenograft which is one of the first steps in evaluating the potential utility of a candidate gene. The additional benefit of high sensitivity detection will be improved cancer treatment strategies in patients based on the use of specific molecules binding to cancer sites for early detection of tumors and identifying metastasis, monitoring drug delivery and radionuclide therapy for optimum cell killing at the tumor site. This new technology can provide high resolution, high sensitivity imaging of a wide range of gamma energies and will significantly extend the range of radiotracers that can be investigated and used clinically. The small and compact construction of the proposed camera system allows flexible application which will be particularly useful for monitoring residual tumor around the resection site during surgery. It is also envisaged as able to test the performance of new drug/gene-based therapies in vitro and in vivo for tumor targeting efficacy using automatic large scale screening methods.