Study of the pathways used by tumors to grow and spread can identify promising novel targets to inform the development of new drugs. Tumor imaging is a powerful tool in the search for innovative therapeutic strategies that provide greater anti-cancer efficacy whilst having less detrimental effects to healthy tissues.

Molecular imaging is providing key data to inform drug development. It furthers understanding of the basic mechanisms underlying the biology of cancer and illustrates drug distribution patterns. Such knowledge is fundamental to assessments of the pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, safety, drug–drug interactions, transport and metabolism of therapeutic agents.

PET and MRI are valuable tools for tumor surveillance and evaluation of metastatic potential and treatment effects in a variety of preclinical models. 3D tomographic imaging and quantification of radiotracers have been particularly useful in evaluating candidate small-molecule oncology tracers and following the in vivo biodistribution and targeting of novel therapeutic compounds.

The Bruker BioSpec range provides high-resolution MRI enabling the effects of novel anti-tumor treatments to be evaluated at systemic, organ, tissue, and even molecular level. Bruker's molecular drug imaging system, SolariX XR FTMS, facilitates the localization of multi-generational metabolic products of drug candidates and automatically generates images of downstream metabolites.