Created by on 08/02/2011

FASEB has released the latest article in the Breakthroughs in Bioscience series, “Spying on Cancer with PET Scans.” Also available as a downloadable podcast, the piece describes the development of positron emission tomography (PET) and highlights its importance in the fight against disease and illness.
PET provides physicians with the ability to peer inside the body non-invasively and has revolutionized modern medicine. With PET, physicians can look beyond the body’s internal structures and see the metabolic signs of disease. This is all possible because of basic research in surprisingly diverse areas ranging from studies examining the makeup of atoms and the fertilization of sea urchin eggs to those looking at bone replacement in the skeletons of rats. PET, in conjunction with other medical imaging techniques, gives physicians an unprecedented ability to spy on cancer and other diseases.

The Breakthroughs in Bioscience series is a collection of illustrated articles that explain recent developments in basic biomedical research and how they are important to society. Other articles include: “Life’s Blood: Angiogenesis in Health and Disease,” “Building Electronic Bridges to Bionics: The Basic Science of Neural Prosthetics,” “Viruses, Cancer, Warts, and All: The HPV Vaccine for Cervical Cancer,” and “Breathtaking Discoveries: How Basic Research Led to Treatments for Asthma.” Visit the newly redesigned Breakthroughs website to view this and other articles in the series.