Molecular Imaging and Biomarker Discovery in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma
University of Virginia, US
Keywords: phage, molecular imaging
Abstract:Molecular imaging allows clinicians to visualize the expression and activity of disease specific molecules, thereby providing relevant information in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. Phage display technology has provided a powerful approach for the rapid and cost effective discovery of lead compounds for development into targeted molecular imaging agents. Recently, phage particles have been utilized as genetically encoded nanoparticles that can be engineered for in vivo molecular imaging.Phage as nanoparticles have several important advantages over synthetic nanoparticles. These include being replenishable and cost effective and the peptides are presented in the format in which they were originally screened for bioactivity, obviating the potential to lose the desired physiological properties through chemical synthesis of the peptides. In our work, we have labeled prostate cancer targeted phage with fluorophores and radionuclides using biocompatible chemistries. The resulting agents have been used to identify novel biomarkers of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and have allowed in vivo imaging of this devastating disease.