PET and SPECT imaging of melanoma: the state of the art

  • Weijun Wei
  • Emily B. Ehlerding
  • Xiaoli LanEmail author
  • Quanyong LuoEmail author
  • Weibo CaiEmail author
Review Article


Melanoma represents the most aggressive form of skin cancer, and its incidence continues to rise worldwide. 18F–FDG PET imaging has transformed diagnostic nuclear medicine and has become an essential component in the management of melanoma, but still has its drawbacks. With the rapid growth in the field of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging, a variety of promising probes that enable early diagnosis and detection of melanoma have been developed. The substantial preclinical success of melanin- and peptide-based probes has recently resulted in the translation of several radiotracers to clinical settings for noninvasive imaging and treatment of melanoma in humans. In this review, we focus on the latest developments in radiolabeled molecular imaging probes for melanoma in preclinical and clinical settings, and discuss the challenges and opportunities for future development.


Melanoma Molecular imaging Positron emission tomography (PET) Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) Cancer Theranostics Immunotherapy 



This work was sponsored by the PhD Innovation Fund of Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine to Weijun Wei (No. BXJ201736), and by the National Institutes of Health (1R01CA205101, P30CA014520, and T32GM008505) and the American Cancer Society (125246-RSG-13-099-01-CCE).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have declared no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Nuclear MedicineShanghai Jiao Tong University Affiliated Sixth People’s HospitalShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyUniversity of Wisconsin–MadisonMadisonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Medical PhysicsUniversity of Wisconsin–MadisonMadisonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Nuclear Medicine, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical CollegeHuazhong University of Science and Technology; Hubei Key Laboratory of Molecular ImagingWuhanChina
  5. 5.University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer CenterMadisonUSA

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