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6 January 2014

978 3 76437 780 9
GBP 67.99

Imaging in Drug Discovery and Early Clinical Trials (Progress in Drug Research)

Markus Rudin (ed.)

Medical imaging is a field that has exploded in the last 50 years, forming what is now the backbone for screening and diagnosis of multiple different diseases. Large amounts of money and research time have been spent on developing the tools used in this field and, unsurprisingly, several Nobel Prizes have been awarded as a result. However, the public might be less aware that these techniques are also playing a vital role in the development of new therapeutic approaches as described in the book, Imaging in Drug Discovery and Early Clinical Trials.

The ‘Progress in Drug Research’ series is a well-respected set of expert written reviews published in multiple volumes. This book is volume 62 of this series and, as would be expected, upholds the high standards seen in the other volumes. It is an invaluable resource for those wishing to increase their understanding of the topic. It takes the reader from a basic knowledge of drug research and imaging through to the complex workings of each imaging technique and how they might be applied in a clinical trial setting.

Each of this book’s ten chapters is a well written review which can be read independently from the rest of the book. However, they also function extremely well when read in consecutive order with each chapter building on the principles of the previous. The first two chapters, ‘The drug discovery process’ and ‘Imaging modalities: principles and information content’, introduce the reader to drug targets, methods of treatment, drug refinement and different imaging technologies. These chapters provide a good level of background and history to the field, thus preparing the reader for the following chapters, and removing the need to have Wikipedia on standby.

The following chapters delve into the depths of imaging techniques in different situations of drug research, including its use for whole organism scanning as well as less macroscopic scanning techniques. The techniques discussed include positron emission tomography (PET), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), X-ray computed tomography (CT) ultrasound, nuclear medicine and molecular optical imaging. These are described in great detail making this volume a useful tool for those working in the field. Yet despite this, it is written in a manner that allows a reader with less background knowledge or vested interest to continue reading and still learn from the topics discussed.

This book is not only informative and on a stimulating topic, but it is written in an accessible manner. This is also enhanced by the many colourful and exciting figures, as would be expected from such imaging studies. In conclusion, this book is ideal for those seeking to expand their knowledge in the field, but also works well for those with curious minds in search of knowledge and, of course, pretty pictures! The only drawback is that 8 years of research have taken place since this book was written, meaning that some of the newer techniques aren’t included. As a result it isn’t a comprehensive review of the topic, but it does come close.

Martin Baker (The Babraham Institute, UK)

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