Accumulating evidence indicates that cancer is maintained by cancer stem cells (CSC). The goal of molecular imaging is to detect pathologic biomarkers, which can lead to early recognition of cancer, better therapeutic management, and improved monitoring for recurrence. The main focus of this review is to describe the different classes of tracers, contrast agents and dyers, and their putative application to improve cancer stem cells detection and follow-up. Although the in vivo cancer diagnosis has not significantly changed for the past three decades, however, in the future it might be possible to trace all cancer cells, including the cancer stem cells.
Keywords: Biomarkers, molecular image, cancer, mouse models, cancer stem cells, translational oncology, experimental therapeutics
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