Administrative Appointments


  • Head, Nuclear Medicine Division (2003 - 2011)
  • Division Chief, Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford (MIPS) (2003 - Present)
  • Professor, Department of Radiology and Bio-X Program (2003 - Present)
  • Member, Bio-X Program (2004 - Present)
  • Professor (By courtesy), Bioengineering (2005 - Present)
  • Residency Program Director, Nuclear Medicine Division (2008 - 2011)
  • Division Chief, Canary Center for Cancer Early Detection at Stanford (2009 - Present)
  • Professor (By courtesy), Materials Science & Engineering (2009 - Present)
  • Member, Stanford Leadership Academy (2011 - 2012)
  • Chair, Department of Radiology - Stanford University School of Medicine (2011 - Present)
  • Director, Precision Health & Integrated Diagnostics (PHIND) (2016 - Present)

Honors & Awards


  • Benedict Cassen Prize, Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (2018)
  • NAI Fellow, National Academy of Inventors (2016)
  • J. Allyn Taylor International Prize in Medicine, The Robarts Research Institute (2015)
  • AAAS Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (2014)
  • AAISCR Lifetime Achievement Award, American Association of Indian Scientists in Cancer Research (AAISCR, Inc.) (2014)
  • Society of Asian American Scientists in Cancer Research Award, The Society of Asian American Scientists in Cancer Research (2013)
  • Distinguished Scientist Award for Distinguished Contributions to Nuclear Medicine, 37th Annual Western Regional Meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM) (2012)
  • Georg Charles de Hevesy Nuclear Pioneer Award, Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM) (2011)
  • Outstanding Researcher Award, Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) (2009)
  • Parmley Prize, American College of Cardiology Foundations (2009)
  • Stanford University Endowed Professorship, Virginia and D. K. Ludwig Professor for Clinical Investigation in Cancer Research (2009)
  • ASCI member, American Society of Clinical Investigation - honor society for physicans/scientists. (2008)
  • IOM member, Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. (2008)
  • Tesla Medal, UK Royal College of Radiologists (2008)
  • Best Clinical Article, Society of Nuclear Medicine (2007)
  • Best Essay Award, ACNP/Society of Nuclear Medicine (2007)
  • Co-Host, Nobel Symposium on Molecular Imaging, Nobel Committtee, Stockholm (2007)
  • AIMBE Member, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (2006)
  • Hounsfield Medal, Imperial College, London (2006)
  • Most Influential Radiology Researcher, Aunt Minnie (2006)
  • Paul C. Aebersold Award, Society of Nuclear Medicine (2006)
  • AMI Top Clinical Abstract Award, Academy of Molecular Imaging (2005)
  • SNM Image of the Year, Society of Nuclear Medicine (2005)
  • Distinguished Basic Scientist of the Year Award, The Academy of Molecular Imaging (2004)
  • Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (2004)
  • SMI Achievement Award, The Society for Molecular Imaging (2004)
  • Holst Medal, Philips Corp and TU/e, Netherlands (2003)
  • Taplin Award, The Society of Nuclear Medicine (2002)
  • Frontiers of Science Lecture, National Academy of Sciences (2000)
  • Best Scientific Paper (Basic Science), Journal of Nuclear Medicine (1999)
  • First Prize Scientific Exhibit, Society of Nuclear Medicine (1999)
  • Best Scientific Abstract (Basic Science), Indian Society of Nuclear Medicine (1998)
  • First Prize Scientific Exhibit, Society of Nuclear Medicine (1997)
  • Edith & Carl Lasky Memorial Award, UCLA School of Medicine (1993)
  • Alexander Hollaender Fellowship, U.S. Department of Energy (1991-1992)
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Award, UCLA Alumni Association (1990)
  • Student Neural Networks Fellowship, Wang Institute, Boston University (1990)
  • Dr. Ursula Mandel Scholarship, UCLA Graduate Division (1989-1990)
  • Graduate Division Fellowship Award, UCLA Graduate Division (1988-1989)
  • Graduate Distinguished Scholar Award, UCLA Alumni Association (1988)
  • Systems and Integrative Biomathematics Training Grant, National Institutes of Health (NIH) (1987-1989)
  • Mary Lenora Schulte Memorial Scholarship, UCLA Graduate Division (1987-1988)
  • Student Research Fellowship Award, Society of Nuclear Medicine (1987)
  • Medical Scientist Training Program Scholarship, National Institutes of Health (NIH) and UCLA School of Medicine (1983-1992)
  • Phi Beta Kappa, UCLA (1983)
  • Summa Cum Laude, Arizona State University (1983)
  • Holmes Pre-Medical Science Scholarship, Arizona State University Undergraduate Division (1982)
  • CRC Science Award, Litton Industries (Optical Division) (1980)
  • Outstanding Physics Student Award, Society of Physics Teachers (1980)
  • State Oratory Award for Public Speaking (Second Place), Optimist International (1980)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Advisory Committee, Harvard/Massachusetts General Hospital - Center for New Probe Develelopment (2017 - Present)
  • External Advisory Board, Center for BioMedical Imaging (CIBM) (2017 - Present)
  • Faculty Search Committee, Chair Search, Dept. of Pathology, Stanford University (2015 - 2015)
  • Early Detection Initiative Committee, Oregon Health & Science University (2014 - Present)
  • Stanford Medicine Campaign Advisory Committee, Stanford University (2012 - Present)
  • External Advisory Board for Spatial Systems Biomedicine, Oregon Health & Science University (2011 - Present)
  • Member, Society of Chairs of Academic Radiology Departments (SCARD) (2011 - Present)
  • Executive Board Member, International Society For Strategic Studies in Radiology (2011 - 2013)
  • School of Medicine Dean’s Search Committee Co-, Stanford University (2011 - 2012)
  • Faculty Search Committee, Chair Search, Dept. of Radiation Oncology, Stanford University (2010 - 2010)
  • Faculty Search Committee, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Stanford University (2010 - 2010)
  • Advisory Board, Asan Institute for Life Sciences (2009 - Present)
  • Canary Center Faculty Search Committee Chair, Stanford University (2009 - 2010)
  • External Advisory Board, MoSAIC, Katholieke Universiteit (2008 - Present)
  • Advisory Board for Molecular Imaging for Cardiac Repair of Stem Cells, Instituto Superiore di Sanita Viale Regina Elena (2007 - 2007)
  • Consultant, Molecular Imaging/Bioengineering Program Development, UCSF (2007 - 2007)
  • Advancements & Promotions Executive Committee, Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University (2006 - Present)
  • Faculty Search Committees, Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University (2006 - 2008)
  • Faculty Search Committees, Department of Chemical Engineering, Stanford University (2006 - 2006)
  • Bio-X Graduate Fellowship Selection Committee, Stanford University (2005 - Present)
  • Bio-X Leadership Council, Stanford University (2004 - Present)
  • Cancer Center Executive Committee, Stanford University (2004 - Present)
  • Positron Emission Tomography (PET) LLC Board, Stanford Hospital (2004 - Present)
  • Faculty Search Committees, Department of Radiology, Stanford University (2004 - 2011)
  • Diagnostic Imaging Committee, American College of Surgeons Oncology Group (2004 - 2006)
  • External Advisory Committee, Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT), Program Member, UT Austin (2004 - 2006)
  • MSTP Admissions Committee, Stanford University (2004 - 2006)
  • External Advisory Committee, Network for Translational Research in Optical Imaging (NTRO1) Grant, University of Pennsylvania (2003 - 2003)
  • External Advisory Board, Department of Biomedical, UC Davis (2002 - 2006)
  • Molecular Imaging Database Committee, National Cancer Institute – MOLI (2002 - 2006)
  • Faculty Review, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (2002 - 2002)
  • External Advisory Board for R25T Training Grant, MITO Program, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (2001 - Present)
  • External Advisory Board for Molecular Genes and Radiation Therapies for Cancer Grant Research, Henry Ford Health System (2001 - 2005)
  • Faculty Tenure Review Committee, UCLA (2001 - 2001)
  • Bioinformatics Committee on Faculty Recruitment, UCLA (2000 - 2003)
  • Executive Advisory Committee, Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), UCLA (2000 - 2003)
  • Faculty Search Committees, UCLA (1998 - 2003)
  • External Advisory Board for NCI Grant, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (1998 - 1999)
  • Molecular & Medical Pharmacology Graduate Training Committee, UCLA (1997 - 2003)

Professional Education


  • Ph.D., UCLA Medical Scientist Training Program, Biomathematics (1990)
  • M.D., UCLA, Medical Scientist Training Program (1993)
  • B.S., Arizona State University, Physics (1983)

Patents


  • S.S. Gambhir, I. Frocken, M. Gebauer, O. Illovich, R. Kimura, J. Kruip, C. Lange, A. Natarajan, S. Sarkar. "United States Patent 9,844,607 Immuno Imaging Agent for Use with Antibody-Drug Conjugate Therapy.", Leland Stanford Junior University, Dec 19, 2017
  • S.S. Gambhir, B.C. Ahn, S. Bhaumik, N. Parashurama, R. Paulmurugan, S. Yaghoubi. "United States Patent 9,719,146 Composition and Method for Imaging Stem Cells.", Leland Stanford Junior University, Aug 1, 2017
  • S.S. Gambhir, F. Chin, M. L. James, C. McCurdy, C. Mesangeau, B. Shen. "United States Patent 9,604,926 Highly Selective Sigma Receptor Radioligands.", Leland Stanford Junior University, Mar 28, 2017
  • S.S. Gambhir, E. Chang, N. Hughes, P. Mallick, C. Nielsen, L. Xu. "United States Patent 9,588,122 Immuno Imaging Agent for Use with Antibody-Drug Conjugate Therapy", Leland Stanford Junior University, Mar 7, 2017
  • S.S. Gambhir, J.A. Ronald. "United States Patent 9,534,248 Tumor-Specific Minicircles for Cancer Screening.", Leland Stanford Junior University, Jan 3, 2017
  • S.S. Gambhir, B. Hackel, A. Natarajan. "United States Patent 9,433,689 Probes and Methods of Imaging Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.", Leland Stanford Junior University, Sep 6, 2016
  • S.S. Gambhir, G. Gowrishankar, M. Namavari. "United States Patent 9,402,925 Probes and Methods of Imaging a Bacterial Infection.", Leland Stanford Junior University, Aug 2, 2016
  • S.S. Gambhir, C.S. Levin, P. Olcott. "United States Patent 9,320,478 Dual-Isotope Positron Emitting Tomography for Disease Evaluation.", Leland Stanford Junior University, Apr 26, 2016
  • S.S. Gambhir, B. Hackel, R. Kimura, R.M. Teed. "United States Patent 9,206,237 Cystine Knot Peptides That Bind Alpha-V-Beta 6 Integrin.", Leland Stanford Junior University, Dec 8, 2015
  • S.S. Gambhir, B.S. Mitchell, M. Namavari. "United States Patent 9,011,817 Compounds and Methods of Making Compounds.", Leland Stanford Junior University, Apr 21, 2015
  • S.S. Gambhir, C. Feng, J. Wu. "United States Patent 8,945,862 Double-Fusion Human Embryonic Stem Cells, Method of Making Double-Fusion Human Embryonic Stem Cells, Triple-Fusion Human Embryonic Stem Cells, Method of Making Triple-Fusion Human Embryonic Stem Cells and Methods of Monitoring Double-Fusion Human Embryonic Stem Cells and Triple-Fusion Human Embryonic Stem Cells.", Leland Stanford Junior University, Feb 3, 2015
  • S.S. Gambhir, D. Guagliardo, S. Keren, I. Walton. "United States Patent 8,795,628 Molecular Imaging of Living Subjects Using Raman Spectroscopy and Labeled Raman Nanoparticles.", Leland Stanford Junior University, Aug 5, 2014
  • S.S. Gambhir, Z. Cheng, H. Liu, Z. Miao, R. Gang. "United States Patent 8,753,605 Imaging Probes, Methods of Making Imaging Probes, and Methods of Imaging.", Leland Stanford Junior University, Jun 17, 2014
  • S.S. Gambhir, S. Wang, A. Fu. "United States Patent 8,722,017 Highly Fluorescent Magnetic Nanoprobes, Methods of Making and Methods of Use.", Leland Stanford Junior University, May 13, 2014
  • S.S. Gambhir, J. Levi, S. Keren. "United States Patent 8,574,547 Photoacoustic Probes and Methods of Imaging.", Leland Stanford Junior University, Nov 5, 2013
  • S.S. Gambhir, A. Levin, J. Cochran, R. Kimura, A. Silverman. "United States Patent 8,536,301 Engineered Integrin Binding Peptides.", Leland Stanford Junior University, Sep 17, 2013
  • S.S. Gambhir, A. Berger, Z. Cheng, G. Blum, M. Bogyo. "United States Patent 8,343,458 Probes for InVivo Targeting of Active Cysteine Proteases.", Leland Stanford Junior University, Jan 1, 2013
  • S.S. Gambhir, G. Glazer, S. Guccione, A. D’Souza. "United States Patent 8,278,053 Methods of Studying a Biomarker and Methods of Detecting a Biomarker.", Leland Stanford Junior University,, Oct 2, 2012
  • S.S. Gambhir, A. Loening, J. Rao, M. So, C. Xu.. "United States Patent 8,263,417 Self-illuminating Dot Systems and Methods of Use Thereof.", Leland Stanford Junior University, Sep 11, 2012
  • S.S. Gambhir, A. Leoning, A. Wu. "United States Patent 7,939,649 Luciferases and Methods for Making and Using the Same.", Leland Stanford Junior University, May 10, 2011
  • S.S. Gambhir, R. Paulmurugan. "United States Patent 7,834,148 Protein-Phosphorylation Imaging Systems, Methods of Making Phosphorylation Imaging Systems, and Methods of Use Thereof.", Leland Stanford Junior University, Nov 16, 2010
  • S.S. Gambhir, M. Carey, L. Wu, M. Iyer, J. Zhang. "United States Patent 7,527,942 A Transcription Amplification System for Molecular Imaging.", The Regents of the University of California, May 5, 2009
  • S.S. Gambhir, P. Ray. "United States Patent 7,524,674 Multimodality Imaging of Reporter Gene Expression using a Novel Fusion Vector in Living Cells and Animals.", Leland Stanford Junior University, Apr 28, 2009
  • S.S. Gambhir, A. De. "United States Patent Bioluminescence Resonance Energy Transfer (BRET) and Methods of Use Thereof. Bioluminescence Resonance Energy Transfer (BRET) and Methods of Use Thereof.", Leland Stanford Junior University, Mar 24, 2009

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


My laboratory is developing imaging assays to monitor fundamental cellular/molecular events in living subjects including patients. Technologies such as positron emission tomography (PET), optical (fluorescence, bioluminescence, Raman), ultrasound, and photoacoustic imaging are all under active investigation.

Imaging agents for multiple modalities including small molecules, engineered proteins, and nanoparticles are under development and being clinically translated. Our goals are to detect cancer early and to better manage cancer through the use of both in vitro diagnostics and molecular imaging. Strategies are being tested in small animal models and are also clinically translated.

In the early detection setting we are exploring multiple strategies that are pushing the limits of the fewest numbers of detectable cancer cells. The goal is to intercept cancer early so that patient outcomes can be markedly improved.

For the management of cancer we are focused on using imaging to optimize stratification of cancer patients, predicting response to therapy, and monitoring response to therapy and recurrence. We are particularly interested in cell based therapies and immunotherapies where molecular imaging can help optimize these therapies.

When we are successful the role of cost-effective diagnostics in cancer will be markedly enhanced with better patient outcomes.

Clinical Trials


  • [18F]DASA-23 and PET Scan in Evaluating Pyruvate Kinase M2 Expression in Patients With Intracranial Tumors or Recurrent Glioblastoma and Healthy Volunteers Recruiting

    This phase I trial studies how well [18F]DASA-23 and positron emission tomography (PET) scan work in evaluating pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) expression in patients with intracranial tumors or recurrent glioblastoma and healthy volunteers. PKM2 regulates brain tumor metabolism, a key factor in glioblastoma growth. [18F]DASA-23 is a radioactive substance with the ability to monitor PKM2 activity. A PET scan is a procedure in which a small amount of a radioactive substance, such as [18F]DASA-23, is injected into a vein, and a scanner is used to make detailed, computerized pictures of areas inside the body where the substance is used. Tumor cells usually pick up more of these radioactive substances, allowing them to be found. Giving [18F]DASA-23 with a PET scan may help doctors evaluate PKM2 expression in healthy volunteers and in participants with intracranial tumors or recurrent glioblastoma.

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  • Detection of Graft Versus Host Disease With [18F]F-AraG Recruiting

    This is a single-center imaging study to determine utility of in vivo imaging with [18F]F-AraG to identify sites of Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD) in patients highly suspected of having acute GVHD who require systemic therapy, and patients at high risk for developing acute GVHD. [18F]F-AraG PET scans will be compared to biopsy results to correlate T cell accumulation which is implicated in the disease. High risk patients will be followed to verify predictive potential of [18F]F-AraG.

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  • FLT-PET/CT vs FDG-PET/CT for Therapy Monitoring of Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma Recruiting

    A research study of a new method of visualizing internal organs called 18F-FLT PET/CT that yields better tracking of cancer treatment progress. PET/CT stands for positron emission tomography with low dose computed tomography and has been used for many years. 18F-FLT PET/CT uses a new tracer, fluorothymidine, which is taken up by cells that are actively proliferating or dividing such as cancer cells. We hope to learn whether this tracer is superior to the conventional tracer for monitoring treatment of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL).

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  • Integrin Alpha-v-Beta and [18F]-R01-MG-F2 PET/CT in Measuring Response in Patients With Pancreatic Cancer and Healthy Volunteers Recruiting

    This pilot clinical trial studies the use of integrin alpha-v-beta [18F]-R01-MG-F2 Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography (PET/CT) and Positron Emission Tomography-Magnetic Resonance Imaging in (PET/MRI) in measuring response in patients with pancreatic cancer and healthy volunteers. Integrins, such as integrin alpha-v-beta-6 (avb6), are a family of membrane receptors that are overexpressed on the cell surface of pancreatic cancers. [18F]-R01-MG-F2 targets avb6, which may improve early detection of and better stratify treatment options for patients with pancreatic cancer.

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  • Pilot 3D Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound Imaging to Predict Treatment Response in Liver Metastases Recruiting

    Patients are invited to participate in a research study of liver perfusion (how blood flows to the liver over time). Researchers hope to learn whether perfusion characteristics of liver metastases may be predictive of response to treatment and whether liver perfusion characteristics can be used to follow response to treatment. Patients were selected as a possible participant in this study because they are identified as having liver metastases

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  • The Baseline Study Recruiting

    This study is the first initiative of Project Baseline, a broader effort designed to develop a well-defined reference, or "baseline," of good health as well as a rich data platform that may be used to better understand the transition from health to disease and identify additional risk factors for disease. Project Baseline endeavors to test and develop new tools and technologies to collect, organize, and activate health information.

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  • Transrectal Photoacoustic Imaging of the Prostate Recruiting

    The purpose of this study is to image human prostate tissue using a new transrectal photoacoustic imaging probe and correlate this with ultrasound and MRI imaging performed once the specimen has been surgically removed. We hope to see what we can visualize with our device as this has never been done before. Eventually, we hope to use a similar device to image the prostate in men being seen by their doctor for prostate cancer.

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  • 18F FPPRGD2 PET/CT or PET/MRI in Predicting Early Response in Patients With Cancer Receiving Anti-Angiogenesis Therapy Not Recruiting

    The purpose of the study is to conduct research of a new PET radiopharmaceutical in cancer patients. We will assess the uptake of this novel radiopharmaceutical in subjects with breast cancer, lung cancer, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and other cancers requiring antiangiogenesis treatment.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact CCTO, 650-498-7061.

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  • [18F]FTC-146 PET/MRI in Healthy Volunteers and in CRPS and Sciatica Not Recruiting

    Chronic pain can result from injured or inflamed nerves, as occurs in people suffering from sciatica and CRPS. These nerve injuries or regions of nerve irritation are often the cause of pain in these conditions, but the current diagnostic tools are limited in pinpointing the area of origin. Several studies have implicated involvement of sigma-1 receptors in the generation and perpetuation of chronic pain conditions, others are investigating anti sigma-1 receptor drugs for the treatment of chronic pain. Using the sigma-1 receptor (S1R) detector and experimental radiotracer [18F]FTC-146 and positron emission tomography/magnetic resonance imaging (PET/MRI) scanner, the researchers may potentially identify the source of pain generation in patients suffering from complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and chronic sciatica. The ultimate goal is to assist in the optimization of pain treatment regimens using an [18F]FTC-146 PET/MRI scan. The study is not designed to induce any physiological/pharmacological effect.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Sandip Biswal, MD, 650-725-8018.

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  • A Phase II Double-Blind Study of Delavirdine Mesylate ( U-90152 ) in Combination With Zidovudine ( AZT ) and/or Didanosine ( ddI ) Versus AZT and ddI Combination Therapy Not Recruiting

    To determine the safety and anti-HIV activity of delavirdine mesylate ( U-90152 ) in combination with zidovudine ( AZT ) and/or didanosine ( ddI ) versus AZT/ddI combination. U-90152 has demonstrated anti-HIV activity. Since the combination of this drug with either AZT or ddI has synergistic inhibitory activity against HIV-1 in vitro, and triple therapy appears to have greater inhibitory activity against HIV-1 in vitro than dual therapy, the use of U-90152 in combination with AZT and/or ddI may improve the benefits of these drugs in persons with HIV disease.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial.

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  • A Phase II, Double-Blind Trial of Recombinant Human Nerve Growth Factor for Treatment of HIV-Associated Sensory Neuropathy Not Recruiting

    To assess the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of recombinant human nerve growth factor ( rhNGF ) in the treatment of HIV-associated sensory neuropathy. AS PER AMENDMENT 5/6/97: To compare the change in viral load between the double-blind phase baseline and week 4 in placebo and active rhNGF recipients. To ensure that rhNGF does not induce an increase in viral load compared with viral load changes seen with placebo. Up to now, treatments for HIV-associated sensory neuropathy have been symptomatic, relying on pain-modifying agents or membrane-stabilizing drugs. Because nerve growth factor is important in the development and maintenance of sympathetic and sensory neurons and their outgrowths, it is proposed that recombinant human nerve growth factor may provide a specific restorative treatment for HIV-associated painful sensory neuropathy.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial.

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  • A Pilot Trial Using BR55 Ultrasound Contrast Agent in the Assessment of Prostate Cancer Not Recruiting

    Pilot study to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of BR55 targeting for prostate cancer nodules with Gleason score greater than or equal to 7.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Phuong Pham, 650-725-9810.

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  • Adjunctive Efficacy Study Of The SoftScan® Optical Breast Imaging System Not Recruiting

    The primary study endpoint -SoftScan adjunctive accuracy- will be used to test the hypothesis that the adjunctive combination of the SoftScan with x-ray mammography provides diagnostic accuracy that is significantly better than x-ray mammography alone.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Leslie Roche, (650) 724 - 5913.

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  • Assessing Response to Treatment in Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Patients Using 64Cu-DOTA-Rituximab PET/CT Not Recruiting

    Rituximab is an antibody targeted against the CD20 antigen found primarily on B-cells. Therefore, an imaging agent targeting CD20 expression may provide a more accurate evaluation of extent of disease and response to therapy than the current standard of care, F-18 FDG PET/CT. The main purpose of the study is to investigate a new PET/CT imaging probe for detection and follow up of lymphoma. Following are the 3 aims of the study: a) Phase I testing in lymphoma patients of Cu-64 labelled Rituxan for defining normal tracer biodistribution, stability, pharmacokinetics and radiation dosimetry; b) comparison of Cu-64 Rituxan and F-18 FDG PET/CT in lymphoma patients; c) evaluation of changes in uptake of Cu-64 Rituxan in response to rituximab-based treatment in CD20-positive B-cell NHL

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Elizabeth Chitouras, (650) 498 - 0623.

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  • Assessing the Suitability of an Imaging Probe for Use in Clinical Cell and Gene Therapy Trials in Cancer and Rheumatoid Arthritis Not Recruiting

    The purpose of this study is to determine whether [18F]FHBG is suitable for use as an imaging probe in cancer or rheumatoid arthritis patients enrolled in cell or gene therapy trials. In this phase 1 study we will assess the safety and biodistribution of [18F]FHBG in patients.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Shahriar Shah Yaghoubi, Ph.D, 650-725-6070.

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  • Combined 18F NaF/18F FDG PET/MRI for Detection of Skeletal Metastases Not Recruiting

    This clinical trial studies sodium fluorine-18 (18F NaF)/fluorine-18 (18F) fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET)/magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in detecting skeletal metastases in patients with stage III-IV breast cancer or stage II-IV prostate cancer. 18F NaF and 18F FDG are radioactive substances that are absorbed by cancerous cells and allow for the cancer to be found using diagnostic procedures such as PET/MRI. PET/MRI is a procedure that combines detailed pictures of areas inside the body from PET and MRI scans and may help find and diagnose skeletal metastases in patients with breast or prostate cancer. It is not yet known whether 18F NaF/18F FDG PET/MRI is better than standard imaging methods in detecting skeletal metastases.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Risa Jiron, 650-736-1598.

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  • Combined F-18 NaF and F-18 FDG PET/CT for Evaluation of Malignancy Not Recruiting

    Fluorine-18 Fluorodeoxyglucose (F-18 FDG) PET/CT is established as a powerful imaging tool for cancer detection and monitoring response to therapy. Sodium Fluorine-18 (F-18) was used in the 1970s for bone scanning and can be used as a skeletal tracer in current PET/CT scanners. The combined administration of F-18 and F-18 FDG in a single PET/CT scan for cancer detection was not attempted to date. We hope to learn what is the best approach for detection of cancer and thus to improve cancer treatment.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Andrei Iagaru, 650-736-2859.

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  • Copper Cu 64-DOTA-B-Fab PET/CT in Imaging Patients With Ovarian and Breast Cancer Not Recruiting

    This pilot clinical trial studies copper Cu 64-DOTA-B-Fab positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) in imaging patients with ovarian and breast cancer. Cancer antigen (CA)6 is an antigen (substance) found on the surface of several types of cancer cells such as cancer of the ovary and breast. Diagnostic procedures, such as copper Cu 64-DOTA-B-Fab PET/CT, may help identify CA6 positive tumors and allow doctors to plan better treatment.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Phuong Pham, 650-725-9810.

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  • Correlation of PET-CT Studies With Serum Protein Analysis Not Recruiting

    To correlate serum proteomics patterns with PET/CT findings to improve cancer diagnosis, staging, prognosis, and therapy monitoring.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Erik Mittra, (650) 725 - 4711.

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  • Evaluating Sunitinib Therapy in Renal Cell Carcinoma Using F-18 FDG PET/CT and DCE MRI Not Recruiting

    To learn whether Flourine-18 Fluoro-deoxi-glucose positron emission tomography / computed tomography (F-18 FDG PET/CT) and dynamic contrast enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE MRI) are better predictors of response to therapy than the current standard of care (CT or MRI).

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Andrew Quon, (650) 736 - 1369.

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  • Exploration of Tumor Accumulation of BAY94-9392 in Patients With Cancer Not Recruiting

    The study will be conducted as an open label, single-dose, explorative study with patients with histologically proven cancer and, preferably, tumor positive lesions in previously performed nuclear medicine imaging examinations. The investigational drug will be given as a single administration in a dose of </= 0.1 mg BAY94-9392 (300 MBq, +/- 10%). The total duration of the study for each patient will be approximately 8 days.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Lindee Burton, (650) 725 - 4712.

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  • F18PET/CT Versus TC-MDP Scanning to Detect Bone Mets Not Recruiting

    The primary objective is to compare the diagnostic performance of 18F- Fluoride PET/CT scanning to that of conventional bone scanning for detecting cancer that has spread to the bone (bone metastasis). The intent of the study is to determine whether 18F-Fluoride PET/CT will lead to improved treatment and patient outcomes.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Andrei Iagaru, (650) 736 - 2859.

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  • IMAGE: A Comparison of AlloMap Molecular Testing and Traditional Biopsy-based Surveillance for Heart Transplant Rejection Not Recruiting

    This study is designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a leukocyte gene expression profiling method in the monitoring of asymptomatic heart transplant patients for acute rejection.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial.

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  • Imaging During Surgery in Diagnosing Patients With Prostate, Bladder, or Kidney Cancer Not Recruiting

    This pilot clinical trial studies imaging during surgery in diagnosing patients with prostate, bladder, or kidney cancer. New diagnostic imaging procedures, may find prostate, bladder, or kidney cancer

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Mark Gonzalgo, 650-725-5544.

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  • Photoacoustic Imaging (PAI) of Suspicious Breast Cancers - A Clinical Feasibility Study Not Recruiting

    After locating the suspicious lesion/mass with standard of care mammography and/or ultrasound, a photoacoustic scan will be performed in the breast where the lesion is located. After the PA scan a biopsy will be performed, if clinically indicated (based on the mammogram and ultrasound only).

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial.

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  • Photoacoustic Imaging (PAI) of the Prostate: A Clinical Feasibility Study Not Recruiting

    The purpose of our study is to image human prostate tissue using a transrectal photoacoustic imaging probe.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Sri-Rajasekhar Kothapalli, 650-498-7061.

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  • Photoacoustic Imaging in Detecting Ovarian or Fallopian Tube Cancer Not Recruiting

    This pilot clinical trial studies how well photoacoustic imaging works in detecting ovarian or fallopian tube cancer. Photoacoustic imaging is an imaging method that uses lasers to light up tissue, and then converts the light information into ultrasound images. Photoacoustic imaging can provide images of the structure of tissues, as well as their function and the levels of molecules, such as the flow of blood in blood vessels and the level of oxygen in the blood. Photoacoustic imaging may help doctors determine whether a mass is benign (non-cancerous) or cancerous based on the molecular differences between cancer and normal tissue. It may be more accurate and less expensive than other imaging methods, and does not expose patients to radiation.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial.

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  • Pilot Study to Determine Radioiodide Accumulation and Dosimetry in Breast Cancers Using 124I PET/CT Not Recruiting

    This is a pilot imaging study for women whose tumors express NIS [Na+I- symporter, sodium iodide symporter]. Eligibility is limited to the presence of strong (3+) and/or plasma membrane staining in > 20% of cells as determined by immunohistochemical methods. A total of 10 patients will be imaged with 124I PET/CT (serial scans over 24 hour period) to determine radioiodide uptake and distribution in tumor tissue. Thyroid iodide uptake and retention will be blocked beginning one week prior to 124I PET/CT scan with thyroid hormone (T3) and methimazole (impedes organification). Tumor, organ and whole body dosimetry will be calculated in each patient.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Marilyn Florero, (650) 724 - 1953.

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  • Scintigraphic Assessment of I- Transport in Metastatic Breast Cancer and Evaluation of I31I Ablative Therapy: (Part I) Radioiodide Imaging Study Not Recruiting

    The purpose of this study is to examine breast cancers that express the protein (NIS) that may be found in malignant breast tissues and to evaluate proteins found in blood and their relationship to NIS, to test whether iodide can be concentrated by breast cells to possibly treat some breast cancers with radioactive iodine, and to calculate the amount of radioactive iodine entering breast cancer cells, how long your cancer retains the agent as well as how much is taken up by other organs, particularly the thyroid gland.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Marilyn Florero, (650) 724 - 1953.

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  • The Effectiveness of Three Anti-HIV Drug Combinations in HIV-Infected Patients Who Have Never Used Anti-HIV Drugs Not Recruiting

    To determine drug efficacy and safety in HIV-infected patients treated with zidovudine ( AZT ) versus stavudine ( d4T ) versus both drugs. Also, to compare short- and long-term changes in magnitude of HIV RNA over time. Asymptomatic patients with CD4 counts over 300 cells/mm3 are more likely to tolerate any of the nucleoside analogs. d4T, with a favorable toxicity profile and demonstrated anti-HIV activity in previous studies, provides an additional therapeutic option.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial.

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  • The Effectiveness of Three Drug Combinations in HIV-Infected Patients Who Have Taken Zidovudine for More Than 12 Weeks Not Recruiting

    To compare the effect of stavudine (d4T) alone or with zidovudine (AZT) versus didanosine (ddI) alone or with AZT on CD4 counts, HIV RNA levels, and viral load in HIV-infected patients [AS PER AMENDMENT 3/21/97: To compare the effects of d4T alone versus ddI alone versus AZT plus ddI]. To compare the safety of d4T/AZT. AS PER AMENDMENT 3/21/97: To evaluate the pharmacokinetic interactions of AZT and d4T both at an extracellular and intracellular level. Although AZT and ddI can delay the advancement of HIV disease, the benefit of either of these drugs has proven to be only temporary. d4T, a new nucleoside analog with a favorable toxicity profile and demonstrated activity against HIV, offers an additional therapeutic option. It is reasonably assumed that the benefit of an antiretroviral agent in terms of delaying clinical disease progression is directly related to its ability to achieve and sustain viral suppression; thus, this study measures effects on viral load and CD4 count.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial.

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2018-19 Courses


Graduate and Fellowship Programs


  • Biomedical Informatics (Phd Program)

All Publications


  • Discussions with Leaders: A Conversation Between Sam Gambhir and Johannes Czernin. Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine Czernin, J., Gambhir, S. S. 2018; 59 (12): 1783–85

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.118.221648

    View details for PubMedID 30510073

  • Striatal dopamine deficits predict reductions in striatal functional connectivity in major depression: a concurrent 11C-raclopride positron emission tomography and functional magnetic resonance imaging investigation. Translational psychiatry Hamilton, J. P., Sacchet, M. D., Hjornevik, T., Chin, F. T., Shen, B., Kampe, R., Park, J. H., Knutson, B. D., Williams, L. M., Borg, N., Zaharchuk, G., Camacho, M. C., Mackey, S., Heilig, M., Drevets, W. C., Glover, G. H., Gambhir, S. S., Gotlib, I. H. 2018; 8 (1): 264

    Abstract

    Major depressive disorder (MDD) is characterized by the altered integration of reward histories and reduced responding of the striatum. We have posited that this reduced striatal activation in MDD is due to tonically decreased stimulation of striatal dopamine synapses which results in decremented propagation of information along the cortico-striatal-pallido-thalamic (CSPT) spiral. In the present investigation, we tested predictions of this formulation by conducting concurrent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and 11C-raclopride positron emission tomography (PET) in depressed and control (CTL) participants. We scanned 16 depressed and 14 CTL participants with simultaneous fMRI and 11C-raclopride PET. We estimated raclopride binding potential (BPND), voxel-wise, and compared MDD and CTL samples with respect to BPND in the striatum. Using striatal regions that showed significant between-group BPND differences as seeds, we conducted whole-brain functional connectivity analysis using the fMRI data and identified brain regions in each group in which connectivity with striatal seed regions scaled linearly with BPND from these regions. We observed increased BPND in the ventral striatum, bilaterally, and in the right dorsal striatum in the depressed participants. Further, we found that as BPND increased in both the left ventral striatum and right dorsal striatum in MDD, connectivity with the cortical targets of these regions (default-mode network and salience network, respectively) decreased. Deficits in stimulation of striatal dopamine receptors in MDD could account in part for the failure of transfer of information up the CSPT circuit in the pathophysiology of this disorder.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41398-018-0316-2

    View details for PubMedID 30504860

  • Assessment of tumor redox status through (S)-4-(3-[18F]fluoropropyl)-L-glutamic acid positron emission tomography imaging of system xc- activity. Cancer research McCormick, P. N., Greenwood, H. E., Glaser, M., Maddocks, O. D., Gendron, T., Sander, K., Gowrishankar, G., Hoehne, A., Zhang, T., Shuhendler, A. J., Lewis, D. Y., Berndt, M., Koglin, N., Lythgoe, M. F., Gambhir, S. S., Arstad, E., Witney, T. H. 2018

    Abstract

    The cell's endogenous antioxidant system is vital to maintenance of redox homeostasis. Despite its central role in normal and pathophysiology, no non-invasive tools exist to measure this system in patients. The cystine/glutamate antiporter system xc- maintains the balance between intracellular reactive oxygen species and antioxidant production through the provision of cystine, a key precursor in glutathione biosynthesis. Here we show that tumor cell retention of a system xc--specific positron emission tomography radiotracer, (S)-4-(3-[18F]fluoropropyl)-L-glutamic acid ([18F]FSPG), decreases in proportion to levels of oxidative stress following treatment with a range of redox-active compounds. The decrease in [18F]FSPG retention correlated with a depletion of intracellular cystine resulting from increased de novo glutathione biosynthesis, shown through [U-13C6, U-15N2]cystine isotopic tracing. In vivo, treatment with the chemotherapeutic doxorubicin decreased [18F]FSPG tumor uptake in a mouse model of ovarian cancer, coinciding with markers of oxidative stress but preceding tumor shrinkage and decreased glucose utilization. Having already been used in pilot clinical trials, [18F]FSPG PET could be rapidly translated to the clinic as an early redox indicator of tumor response to treatment.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-18-2634

    View details for PubMedID 30401715

  • Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering Nanoparticles for Multiplexed Imaging of Bladder Cancer Tissue Permeability and Molecular Phenotype. ACS nano Davis, R. M., Kiss, B., Trivedi, D. R., Metzner, T. J., Liao, J. C., Gambhir, S. S. 2018

    Abstract

    Bladder cancer has the highest recurrence rate of all cancers due in part to inadequate transurethral resection. Inadequate resection is caused by the inability of cystoscopes to detect invisible lesions during the resection procedure. To improve detection and resection of nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer, we quantified the ability of a surface-enhanced Raman nanoparticle and endoscope system to classify bladder tissue as normal or cancerous. Both antibody-based (active) and tissue permeability-based (passive) targeting mechanisms were evaluated by topically applying nanoparticles to ex vivo human bladder tissue samples. Multiplexed molecular imaging of CD47 and Carbonic Anhydrase 9 tumor proteins gave a receiver operating characteristic area under the curve (ROC AUC of 0.93 (0.75, 1.00). Furthermore, passively targeted nanoparticles enabled tissue classification with an ROC AUC of 0.93 (0.73, 1.00). Passively targeted nanoparticles penetrated 5-fold deeper and bound to tumor tissue at 3.3-fold higher concentrations in cancer compared to normal bladder urothelium, suggesting the existence of an enhanced surface permeability and retention effect in human bladder cancer.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acsnano.8b03217

    View details for PubMedID 30203645

  • Development and MPI tracking of novel hypoxia-targeted theranostic exosomes. Biomaterials Jung, K. O., Jo, H., Yu, J. H., Gambhir, S. S., Pratx, G. 2018; 177: 139–48

    Abstract

    Treating the hypoxic region of the tumor remains a significant challenge. The goals of this study are to develop an exosome platform that can target regions of tumor hypoxia and that can be monitored invivo using magnetic particle imaging (MPI). Four types of exosomes (generated under hypoxic or normoxic conditions, and with or without exposure to X-ray radiation) were isolated from MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells. Exosomes were labeled by DiO, a fluorescent lipophilic tracer, to quantify their uptake by hypoxic cancer cells. Subsequently, the exosomes were modified to carry SPIO (superparamagnetic iron oxide) nanoparticles and Olaparib (PARP inhibitor). FACS and fluorescence microscopy showed that hypoxic cells preferentially take up exosomes released by hypoxic cells, compared with other exosome formulations. In addition, the distribution of SPIO-labeled exosomes was successively imaged invivo using MPI. Finally, the therapeutic efficacy of Olaparib-loaded exosomes was demonstrated by increased apoptosis and slower tumor growth invivo. Our novel theranostic platform could be used as an effective strategy to monitor exosomes invivo and deliver therapeutics to hypoxic tumors.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2018.05.048

    View details for PubMedID 29890363

  • An intravascular magnetic wire for the high-throughput retrieval of circulating tumour cells in vivo NATURE BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING Vermesh, O., Aalipour, A., Ge, T., Saenz, Y., Guo, Y., Alam, I. S., Park, S., Adelson, C. N., Mitsutake, Y., Vilches-Moure, J., Godoy, E., Bachmann, M. H., Ooi, C., Lyons, J. K., Mueller, K., Arami, H., Green, A., Solomon, E., Wang, S. X., Gambhir, S. S. 2018; 2 (9): 696–705
  • Intraoperative Pancreatic Cancer Detection using Tumor-Specific Multimodality Molecular Imaging. Annals of surgical oncology Tummers, W. S., Miller, S. E., Teraphongphom, N. T., Gomez, A., Steinberg, I., Huland, D. M., Hong, S., Kothapalli, S., Hasan, A., Ertsey, R., Bonsing, B. A., Vahrmeijer, A. L., Swijnenburg, R., Longacre, T. A., Fisher, G. A., Gambhir, S. S., Poultsides, G. A., Rosenthal, E. L. 2018; 25 (7): 1880–88

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND: Operative management of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is complicated by several key decisions during the procedure. Identification of metastatic disease at the outset and, when none is found, complete (R0) resection of primary tumor are key to optimizing clinical outcomes. The use of tumor-targeted molecular imaging, based on photoacoustic and fluorescence optical imaging, can provide crucial information to the surgeon. The first-in-human use of multimodality molecular imaging for intraoperative detection of pancreatic cancer is reported using cetuximab-IRDye800, a near-infrared fluorescent agent that binds to epidermal growth factor receptor.METHODS: A dose-escalation study was performed to assess safety and feasibility of targeting and identifying PDAC in a tumor-specific manner using cetuximab-IRDye800 in patients undergoing surgical resection for pancreatic cancer. Patients received a loading dose of 100mg of unlabeled cetuximab before infusion of cetuximab-IRDye800 (50mg or 100mg). Multi-instrument fluorescence imaging was performed throughout the surgery in addition to fluorescence and photoacoustic imaging ex vivo.RESULTS: Seven patients with resectable pancreatic masses suspected to be PDAC were enrolled in this study. Fluorescence imaging successfully identified tumor with a significantly higher mean fluorescence intensity in the tumor (0.09±0.06) versus surrounding normal pancreatic tissue (0.02±0.01), and pancreatitis (0.04±0.01; p<0.001), with a sensitivity of 96.1% and specificity of 67.0%. The mean photoacoustic signal in the tumor site was 3.7-fold higher than surrounding tissue.CONCLUSIONS: The safety and feasibilty of intraoperative, tumor-specific detection of PDAC using cetuximab-IRDye800 with multimodal molecular imaging of the primary tumor and metastases was demonstrated.

    View details for DOI 10.1245/s10434-018-6453-2

    View details for PubMedID 29667116

  • Advances in Diagnostic and Intraoperative Molecular Imaging of Pancreatic Cancer PANCREAS Tummers, W. S., Willmann, J. K., Bonsing, B. A., Vahrmeijer, A. L., Gambhir, S. S., Swijnenburg, R. 2018; 47 (6): 675–89

    Abstract

    Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) has a dismal prognosis. To improve outcomes, there is a critical need for improved tools for detection, accurate staging, and resectability assessment. This could improve patient stratification for the most optimal primary treatment modality. Molecular imaging, used in combination with tumor-specific imaging agents, can improve established imaging methods for PDAC. These novel, tumor-specific imaging agents developed to target specific biomarkers have the potential to specifically differentiate between malignant and benign diseases, such as pancreatitis. When these agents are coupled to various types of labels, this type of molecular imaging can provide integrated diagnostic, noninvasive imaging of PDAC as well as image-guided pancreatic surgery. This review provides a detailed overview of the current clinical imaging applications, upcoming molecular imaging strategies for PDAC, and potential targets for imaging, with an emphasis on intraoperative imaging applications.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/MPA.0000000000001075

    View details for Web of Science ID 000435963800011

    View details for PubMedID 29894417

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6003672

  • Emerging Intraoperative Imaging Modalities to Improve Surgical Precision. Molecular imaging and biology : MIB : the official publication of the Academy of Molecular Imaging Alam, I. S., Steinberg, I., Vermesh, O., van den Berg, N. S., Rosenthal, E. L., van Dam, G. M., Ntziachristos, V., Gambhir, S. S., Hernot, S., Rogalla, S. 2018

    Abstract

    Intraoperative imaging (IOI) is performed to guide delineation and localization of regions of surgical interest. While oncological surgical planning predominantly utilizes x-ray computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and ultrasound (US), intraoperative guidance mainly remains on surgeon interpretation and pathology for confirmation. Over the past decades however, intraoperative guidance has evolved significantly with the emergence of several novel imaging technologies, including fluorescence-, Raman, photoacoustic-, and radio-guided approaches. These modalities have demonstrated the potential to further optimize precision in surgical resection and improve clinical outcomes for patients. Not only can these technologies enhance our understanding of the disease, they can also yield large imaging datasets intraoperatively that can be analyzed by deep learning approaches for more rapid and accurate pathological diagnosis. Unfortunately, many of these novel technologies are still under preclinical or early clinical evaluation. Organizations like the Intra-Operative Imaging Study Group of the European Society for Molecular Imaging (ESMI) support interdisciplinary interactions with the aim to improve technical capabilities in the field, an approach that can succeed only if scientists, engineers, and physicians work closely together with industry and regulatory bodies to resolve roadblocks to clinical translation. In this review, we provide an overview of a variety of novel IOI technologies, discuss their challenges, and present future perspectives on the enormous potential of IOI for oncological surgical navigation.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11307-018-1227-6

    View details for PubMedID 29916118

  • A Dual-Modality Hybrid Imaging System Harnesses Radioluminescence and Sound to Reveal Molecular Pathology of Atherosclerotic Plaques SCIENTIFIC REPORTS Zaman, R. T., Yousefi, S., Long, S. R., Saito, T., Mandella, M., Qiu, Z., Chen, R., Contag, C. H., Gambhir, S. S., Chin, F. T., Khuri-Yakub, B. T., McConnell, M. V., Shung, K., Xing, L. 2018; 8: 8992

    Abstract

    Atherosclerosis is a progressive inflammatory condition caused by an unstable lesion, called thin-cap fibro atheromata (TCFA) that underlies coronary artery disease (CAD)-one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Therefore, early clinical diagnosis and effective risk stratification is important for CAD management as well as preventing progression to catastrophic events. However, early detection could be difficult due to their small size, motion, obscuring 18F-FDG uptake by adjacent myocardium, and complex morphological/biological features. To overcome these limitations, we developed a catheter-based Circumferential-Intravascular-Radioluminescence-Photoacoustic-Imaging (CIRPI) system that can detect vulnerable plaques in coronary arteries and characterizes them with respect to pathology and biology. Our CIRPI system combined two imaging modalities: Circumferential Radioluminescence Imaging (CRI) and PhotoAcoustic Tomography (PAT) within a novel optical probe. The probe's CaF2:Eu based scintillating imaging window provides a 360° view of human (n = 7) and murine carotid (n = 10) arterial plaques by converting β-particles into visible photons during 18F-FDG decay. A 60× and 63× higher radioluminescent signals were detected from the human and murine plaque inflammations, respectively, compared to the control. The system's photoacoustic imaging provided a comprehensive analysis of the plaque compositions and its morphologic information. These results were further verified with IVIS-200, immunohistochemical analysis, and autoradiography.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41598-018-26696-8

    View details for Web of Science ID 000434921300001

    View details for PubMedID 29895966

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5997702

  • The Immuno-Imaging Toolbox. Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine Mayer, A. T., Gambhir, S. S. 2018

    Abstract

    The recent clinical success of cancer immunotherapy has renewed interest in the development of tools to image the immune system. In general, immunotherapies attempt to enable the body's own immune cells to seek out and destroy malignant disease. Molecular imaging of the cells and molecules which regulate immunity could provide unique insight into the mechanisms of action, and failure, of immunotherapies. In this review, we will collectively refer to the tools applied towards imaging the immune system as the immuno-imaging toolbox. The immuno-imaging toolbox is comprised of imaging hardware, software, and biological wetware which together enable dynamic and non-invasive visualization of immune response. Other recent reviews have focused on specific portions of the immuno-imaging toolbox, including advances in imaging hardware(1) and certain classes of imaging probes(2, 3). Here we will attempt to provide a comprehensive overview of the current state-of-the-art immuno-imaging toolbox with a focus on imaging strategies and their applications towards immunotherapy.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.116.185967

    View details for PubMedID 29794226

  • Initial experience with a SiPM-based PET/CT scanner: influence of acquisition time on image quality EJNMMI PHYSICS Sonni, I., Baratto, L., Park, S., Hatami, N., Srinivas, S., Davidzon, G., Gambhir, S., Iagaru, A. 2018; 5: 9

    Abstract

    A newly introduced PET/CT scanner (Discovery Meaningful Insights-DMI, GE Healthcare) includes the silicon photomultiplier (SiPM) with time-of-flight (TOF) technology first used in the GE SIGNA PET/MRI. In this study, we investigated the impact of various acquisition times on image quality using this SiPM-based PET/CT.We reviewed data from 58 participants with cancer who were scanned using the DMI PET/CT scanner. The administered dosages ranged 295.3-429.9 MBq (mean ± SD 356.3 ± 37.4) and imaging started at 71-142 min (mean ± SD 101.41 ± 17.52) after administration of the radiopharmaceutical. The patients' BMI ranged 19.79-46.16 (mean ± SD 26.55 ± 5.53). We retrospectively reconstructed the raw TOF data at 30, 60, 90, and 120 s/bed and at the standard image acquisition time per clinical protocol (180 or 210 s/bed depending on BMI). Each reconstruction was reviewed blindly by two nuclear medicine physicians and scored 1-5 (1-poor, 5-excellent quality). The liver signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) was used as a quantitative measure of image quality.The average scores ± SD of the readers were 2.61 ± 0.83, 3.70 ± 0.92, 4.36 ± 0.82, 4.82 ± 0.39, and 4.91 ± 0.91 for the 30, 60, 90, and 120 s/bed and at standard acquisition time, respectively. Inter-reader agreement on image quality assessment was good, with a weighted kappa of 0.80 (95% CI 0.72-0.81). In the evaluation of the effects of time per bed acquisition on semi-quantitative measurements, we found that the only time point significantly different from the standard time were 30 and 60 s (both with P < 0.001). The effects of dose and BMI were not statistically significant (P = 0.195 and 0.098, respectively). There was a significant positive effect of time on SNR (P < 0.001), as well as a significant negative effect of weight (P < 0.001).Our results suggest that despite significant delays from injection to imaging (due to comparison with standard PET/CT) compared to standard clinical operations and even in a population with average BMI > 25, images can be acquired as fast as 90 s/bed using the SiPM PET/CT and still result in very good image quality (average score > 4).

    View details for DOI 10.1186/s40658-018-0207-x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000430571900001

    View details for PubMedID 29666972

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5904089

  • A blood biomarker for monitoring response to anti-EGFR therapy. Cancer biomarkers : section A of Disease markers Hughes, N. P., Xu, L., Nielsen, C. H., Chang, E., Hori, S. S., Natarajan, A., Lee, S., Kjar, A., Kani, K., Wang, S. X., Mallick, P., Gambhir, S. S. 2018

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: To monitor therapies targeted to epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR) in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), we investigated Peroxiredoxin 6 (PRDX6) as a biomarker of response to anti-EGFR agents.METHODS: We studied cells that are sensitive (H3255, HCC827) or resistant (H1975, H460) to gefitinib. PRDX6 was examined with either gefitinib or vehicle treatment using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. We created xenograft models from one sensitive (HCC827) and one resistant cell line (H1975) and monitored serum PRDX6 levels during treatment.RESULTS: PRDX6 levels in cell media from sensitive cell lines increased significantly after gefitinib treatment vs. vehicle, whereas there was no significant difference for resistant lines. PRDX6 accumulation over time correlated positively with gefitinib sensitivity. Serum PRDX6 levels in gefitinib-sensitive xenograft models increased markedly during the first 24 hours of treatment and then decreased dramatically during the following 48 hours. Differences in serum PRDX6 levels between vehicle and gefitinib-treated animals could not be explained by differences in tumor burden.CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that changes in serum PRDX6 during the course of gefitinib treatment of xenograft models provide insight into tumor response and such an approach offers several advantages over imaging-based strategies for monitoring response to anti-EGFR agents.

    View details for DOI 10.3233/CBM-171149

    View details for PubMedID 29689709

  • Smart-Dust-Nanorice for Enhancement of Endogenous Raman Signal, Contrast in Photoacoustic Imaging, and T2-Shortening in Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Small (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany) Pohling, C., Campbell, J. L., Larson, T. A., Van de Sompel, D., Levi, J., Bachmann, M. H., Bohndiek, S. E., Jokerst, J. V., Gambhir, S. S. 2018: e1703683

    Abstract

    Raman microspectroscopy provides chemo-selective image contrast, sub-micrometer resolution, and multiplexing capabilities. However, it suffers from weak signals resulting in image-acquisition times of up to several hours. Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) can dramatically enhance signals of molecules in close vicinity of metallic surfaces and overcome this limitation. Multimodal, SERS-active nanoparticles are usually labeled with Raman marker molecules, limiting SERS to the coating material. In order to realize multimodal imaging while acquiring the rich endogenous vibronic information of the specimen, a core-shell particle based on "Nanorice", where a spindle-shaped iron oxide core is encapsulated by a closed gold shell, is developed. An ultrathin layer of silica prevents agglomeration and unwanted chemical interaction with the specimen. This approach provides Raman signal enhancement due to plasmon resonance effects of the shell while the optical absorption in the near-infrared spectral region provides contrast in photoacoustic tomography. Finally, T2-relaxation of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) experiment is altered by taking advantage of the iron oxide core. The feasibility for Raman imaging is evaluated by nearfield simulations and experimental studies on the primate cell line COS1. MRI and photoacoustics are demonstrated in agarose phantoms illustrating the promising translational nature of this strategy for clinical applications in radiology.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/smll.201703683

    View details for PubMedID 29635739

  • Molecular imaging agents for ultrasound. Current opinion in chemical biology Zlitni, A., Gambhir, S. S. 2018; 45: 113–20

    Abstract

    Ultrasound (US) imaging is a safe, sensitive and affordable imaging modality with a wide usage in the clinic. US signal can be further enhanced by using echogenic contrast agents (UCAs) which amplify the US signal. Developments in UCAs which are targeted to sites of disease allow the use of US imaging to provide molecular information. Unfortunately, traditional UCAs are too large to leave the vascular space limiting the application of molecular US to intravascular markers. In this mini review, we highlight the most recent reports on the application of molecular US imaging in the clinic and summarize the latest nanoparticle platforms used to develop nUCAs. We believe that the highlighted technologies will have a great impact on the evolution of the US imaging field.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cbpa.2018.03.017

    View details for PubMedID 29631121

  • Reply: Optimizing Strategies for Immune Checkpoint Imaging with Immuno-PET in Preclinical Study. Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine Mayer, A. T., Gambhir, S. S. 2018; 59 (4): 711–12

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.117.205153

    View details for PubMedID 29348318

  • Tumor characterization by ultrasound-release of multiple protein and microRNA biomarkers, preclinical and clinical evidence PLOS ONE D'Souza, A. L., Chevillet, J. R., Ghanouni, P., Yan, X., Tewari, M., Gambhir, S. S. 2018; 13 (3): e0194268

    Abstract

    We have previously shown that low frequency ultrasound can release biomarkers from cells into the murine circulation enabling an amplification and localization of the released biomarker that could be used as a blood-based method to detect cancer earlier and monitor therapy. In this study, we further demonstrate that this technique could be used for characterization of tumors and/or identification of cellular masses of unknown origin due to the release of multiple protein and nucleic acid biomarkers in cells in culture, mice and patients. We sonicated colon (LS174T) and prostate (LNCaP) cancer cell lines in culture at a low frequency of 1 MHz and show that there were several-fold changes in multiple protein and microRNA (miRNA) abundance with treatment at various intensities and time. This release was dependent on the duration and intensity of the sonication for both cell lines. Significant increased release in biomarkers was also observed following tumor sonication in living mice bearing subcutaneous LS174T cell line xenografts (for proteins and nucleic acids) and in an experimental LS174T liver tumor model (for proteins only). Finally, we demonstrated this methodology of multiple biomarker release in patients undergoing ablation of uterine fibroids using MR guided high intensity focused ultrasound. Two protein biomarkers significantly increased in the plasma after the ultrasound treatment in 21 samples tested. This proof that ultrasound-amplification method works in soft tissue tumor models together with biomarker multiplexing, could allow for an effective non-invasive method for identification, characterization and localization of incidental lesions, cancer and other disease. Pre-treatment quantification of the biomarkers, allows for individualization of quantitative comparisons. This individualization of normal marker levels in this method allows for specificity of the biomarker-increase to each patient, tumor or organ being studied.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0194268

    View details for Web of Science ID 000427703500029

    View details for PubMedID 29547636

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5856340

  • A PET imaging approach for determining EGFR mutation status for improved lung cancer patient management SCIENCE TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE Sun, X., Xiao, Z., Chen, G., Han, Z., Liu, Y., Zhang, C., Sun, Y., Song, Y., Wang, K., Fang, F., Wang, X., Lin, Y., Xu, L., Shao, L., Li, J., Cheng, Z., Gambhir, S., Shen, B. 2018; 10 (431)

    Abstract

    Tumor heterogeneity and changes in epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation status over time challenge the design of effective EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) treatment strategies for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop techniques for comprehensive tumor EGFR profiling in real time, particularly in lung cancer precision medicine trials. We report a positron emission tomography (PET) tracer, N-(3-chloro-4-fluorophenyl)-7-(2-(2-(2-(2-18F-fluoroethoxy) ethoxy) ethoxy) ethoxy)-6-methoxyquinazolin-4-amine (18F-MPG), with high specificity to activating EGFR mutant kinase. We evaluate the feasibility of using 18F-MPG PET for noninvasive imaging and quantification of EGFR-activating mutation status in preclinical models of NSCLC and in patients with primary and metastatic NSCLC tumors. 18F-MPG PET in NSCLC animal models showed a significant correlation (R2 = 0.9050) between 18F-MPG uptake and activating EGFR mutation status. In clinical studies with NSCLC patients (n = 75), the concordance between the detection of EGFR activation by 18F-MPG PET/computed tomography (CT) and tissue biopsy reached 84.29%. There was a greater response to EGFR-TKIs (81.58% versus 6.06%) and longer median progression-free survival (348 days versus 183 days) in NSCLC patients when 18F-MPG PET/CT SUVmax (maximum standard uptake value) was ≥2.23 versus <2.23. Our study demonstrates that 18F-MPG PET/CT is a powerful method for precise quantification of EGFR-activating mutation status in NSCLC patients, and it is a promising strategy for noninvasively identifying patients sensitive to EGFR-TKIs and for monitoring the efficacy of EGFR-TKI therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/scitranslmed.aan8840

    View details for Web of Science ID 000426885000004

    View details for PubMedID 29515002

  • Toward achieving precision health SCIENCE TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE Gambhir, S., Ge, T., Vermesh, O., Spitler, R. 2018; 10 (430)
  • [F-18] FSPG-PET reveals increased cystine/glutamate antiporter (xc-) activity in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis JOURNAL OF NEUROINFLAMMATION Hoehne, A., James, M. L., Alam, I. S., Ronald, J. A., Schneider, B., D'Souza, A., Witney, T. H., Andrews, L. E., Cropper, H. C., Behera, D., Gowrishankar, G., Ding, Z., Wyss-Coray, T., Chin, F. T., Biswal, S., Gambhir, S. S. 2018; 15
  • Regulatory Aspects of Optical Methods and Exogenous Targets for Cancer Detection (vol 77, pg 2197, 2017) CANCER RESEARCH Tummers, W. S., Warram, J. M., Tipirneni, K. E., Fengler, J., Jacobs, P., Shankar, L., Henderson, L., Ballard, B., Pfefer, T., Pogue, B. W., Weichert, J. P., Bouvet, M., Sorger, J., Contag, C. H., Frangioni, J. V., Tweedle, M. F., Basilion, J. P., Gambhir, S. S., Rosenthal, E. L. 2018; 78 (4): 1123
  • Thy1-Targeted Microbubbles for Ultrasound Molecular Imaging of Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma. Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research Abou-Elkacem, L., Wang, H., Chowdhury, S. M., Kimura, R. H., Bachawal, S. V., Gambhir, S. S., Tian, L., Willmann, J. K. 2018

    Abstract

    To engineer a dual human and murine Thy1-binding single-chain-antibody ligand (Thy1-scFv) for contrast microbubble-enhanced ultrasound molecular imaging of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Thy1-scFv were engineered using yeast-surface-display techniques. Binding to soluble human and murine Thy1 and to Thy1-expressing cells was assessed by flow cytometry. Thy1-scFv was then attached to gas-filled microbubbles to create MB Thy1-scFv. Thy1 binding of MB Thy1-scFv to Thy1-expressing cells was evaluated under flow shear stress conditions in flow-chamber experiments. MB scFv-scrambled and MB Non-targeted were used as negative controls. All microbubble types were tested in both orthotopic human PDAC xenografts and transgenic PDAC mice in vivo. Results: Thy1-scFv had a K D of 3.4±0.36 nM for human and 9.2±1.7 nM for murine Thy1 and showed binding to both soluble and cellularly expressed Thy1. MB Thy1-scFv attached to Thy1 with high affinity compared to negative control microbubbles P<0.01) as assessed by flow cytometry. Similarly, flow-chamber studies showed significantly (P<0.01) higher binding of MB Thy1-scFv (3.0±0.81 MB/cell) to Thy1-expressing cells than MB scFv-scrambled (0.57±0.53) and MB Non-targeted (0.43±0.53). In vivo ultrasound molecular imaging using MB Thy1-scFv demonstrated significantly higher signal (P<0.01) in both orthotopic (5.32±1.59 a.u.) and transgenic PDAC (5.68±2.5 a.u.) mice compared to chronic pancreatitis (0.84±0.6 a.u.) and normal pancreas (0.67±0.71 a.u.). Ex vivo immunofluorescence confirmed significantly (P<0.01) increased Thy1 expression in PDAC compared to chronic pancreatitis and normal pancreas tissue. Conclusions: A dual human and murine Thy1-binding scFv was designed to generate contrast microbubbles to allow PDAC detection with ultrasound.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-17-2057

    View details for PubMedID 29301827

  • A Novel Engineered Small Protein for Positron Emission Tomography Imaging of Human Programmed Death Ligand-1 : Validation in Mouse Models and Human Cancer Tissues Clinical Cancer Res Natarajan, A., Patel, C. B., Ramakrishnan, S., Panesar, P. S., Long, S. R., Gambhir, S. S. 2018
  • Tumor Cell-Derived Extracellular Vesicle-Coated Nanocarriers: An Efficient Theranostic Platform for the Cancer-Specific Delivery of Anti-miR-21 and Imaging Agents. ACS nano Jc Bose, R., Uday Kumar, S., Zeng, Y., Afjei, R., Robinson, E., Lau, K., Bermudez, A., Habte, F., Pitteri, S. J., Sinclair, R., Willmann, J. K., Massoud, T. F., Gambhir, S. S., Paulmurugan, R. 2018

    Abstract

    MicroRNAs are critical regulators of cancer initiation, progression, and dissemination. Extensive evidence suggests that the inhibition of over-expressed oncogenic miRNA function can be a robust strategy for anticancer therapy. However, in vivo targeted delivery of miRNA therapeutics to various types of cancers remains a major challenge. Inspired by their natural synthesis and cargo delivery capabilities, researchers have exploited tumor cell-derived extracellular vesicles (TEVs) for the cancer-targeted delivery of therapeutics and theranostics. Here, we investigate a TEV-based nanoplatform for multimodal miRNA delivery and phototherapy treatments as well as the magnetic resonance imaging of cancer. We demonstrated loading of anti-miR-21 that blocks the function of endogenous oncogenic miR-21 over-expressed in cancer cells into and subsequent delivery by TEVs derived from 4T1 cells. We also produced Cy5-anti-miR-21-loaded TEVs from two other cancer cell lines (HepG2 and SKBR3) and confirmed their robust homologous and heterologous transfection efficiency and intracellular Cy5-anti-miR-21 delivery. Additionally, TEV-mediated anti-miR-21 delivery attenuated doxorubicin (DOX) resistance in breast cancer cells with a 3-fold higher cell kill efficiency than in cells treated with DOX alone. We then investigated TEVs as a biomimetic source for the functionalization of gold-iron oxide nanoparticles (GIONs) and demonstrated nanotheranostic properties of TEV-GIONs in vitro. TEV-GIONs demonstrated excellent T2 contrast in in vitro magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and resulted in efficient photothermal effect in 4T1 cells. We also evaluated the biodistribution and theranostic property of anti-miR-21 loaded TEV-GIONs in vivo by labeling with indocyanine green near-infrared dye. We further validated the tumor specific accumulation of TEV-GIONs using MR imaging. Our findings demonstrate that the distribution pattern of the TEV-anti-miR-21-GIONs correlated well with the tumor-targeting capability as well as the activity and efficacy obtained in response to doxorubicin combination treatments. TEVs and TEV-GIONs are promising nanotheranostics for future applications in cancer molecular imaging and therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acsnano.8b02587

    View details for PubMedID 30346694

  • Ferumoxytol-based Dual-modality Imaging Probe for Detection of Stem Cell Transplant Rejection. Nanotheranostics Li, K., Chan, C. T., Nejadnik, H., Lenkov, O. D., Wolterman, C., Paulmurugan, R., Yang, H., Gambhir, S. S., Daldrup-Link, H. E. 2018; 2 (4): 306–19

    Abstract

    Purpose: Stem cell transplants are an effective approach to repair large bone defects. However, comprehensive techniques to monitor the fate of transplanted stem cells in vivo are lacking. Such strategies would enable corrective interventions at an early stage and greatly benefit the development of more successful tissue regeneration approaches. In this study, we designed and synthesized a dual-modality imaging probe (Feru-AFC) that can simultaneously localize transplanted stem cells and diagnose immune rejection-induced apoptosis at an early stage in vivo. Methods: We used a customized caspase-3 cleavable peptide-dye conjugate to modify the surface of clinically approved ferumoxytol nanoparticles (NPs) to generate the dual-modality imaging probe with fluorescence "light-up" feature. We labeled both mouse mesenchymal stem cells (mMSCs, matched) and pig mesenchymal stem cells (pMSCs, mismatched) with the probe and transplanted the labeled cells with biocompatible scaffold at the calvarial defects in mice. We then employed intravital microscopy (IVM) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to investigate the localization, engraftment, and viability of matched and mismatched stem cells, followed by histological analyses to evaluate the results obtained from in vivo studies. Results: The Feru-AFC NPs showed good cellular uptake efficiency in the presence of lipofectin without cytotoxicity to mMSCs and pMSCs. The fluorescence of Feru-AFC NPs was turned on inside apoptotic cells due to the cleavage of peptide by activated caspase-3 and subsequent release of fluorescence dye molecules. Upon transplantation at the calvarial defects in mice, the intense fluorescence from the cleaved Feru-AFC NPs in apoptotic pMSCs was observed with a concomitant decrease in the overall cell number from days 1 to 6. In contrast, the Feru-AFC NP-treated mMSCs exhibited minimum fluorescence and the cell number also remained similar. Furthermore, in vivo MRI of the Feru-AFC NP-treated mMSC and pMSCs transplants could clearly indicate the localization of matched and mismatched cells, respectively. Conclusions: We successfully developed a dual-modality imaging probe for evaluation of the localization and viability of transplanted stem cells in mouse calvarial defects. Using ferumoxytol NPs as the platform, our Feru-AFC NPs are superparamagnetic and display a fluorescence "light-up" signature upon exposure to activated caspase-3. The results show that the probe is a promising tool for long-term stem cell tracking through MRI and early diagnosis of immune rejection-induced apoptosis through longitudinal fluorescence imaging.

    View details for DOI 10.7150/ntno.26389

    View details for PubMedID 29977742

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6030766

  • Eradication of spontaneous malignancy by local immunotherapy. SCIENCE TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE Sagiv-Barfi, I., Czerwinski, D., Levy, S., Alam, I. S., Mayer, A. T., Gambhir, S. S., Levy, R. 2018; 10 (426)
  • Imaging activated T cells predicts response to cancer vaccines. The Journal of clinical investigation Alam, I. S., Mayer, A. T., Sagiv-Barfi, I., Wang, K., Vermesh, O., Czerwinski, D. K., Johnson, E. M., James, M. L., Levy, R., Gambhir, S. S. 2018

    Abstract

    In situ cancer vaccines are under active clinical investigation, given their reported ability to eradicate both local and disseminated malignancies. Intratumoral vaccine administration is thought to activate a T cell-mediated immune response, which begins in the treated tumor and cascades systemically. In this study, we describe a PET tracer (64Cu-DOTA-AbOX40) that enabled noninvasive and longitudinal imaging of OX40, a cell-surface marker of T cell activation. We report the spatiotemporal dynamics of T cell activation following in situ vaccination with CpG oligodeoxynucleotide in a dual tumor-bearing mouse model. We demonstrate that OX40 imaging was able to predict tumor responses on day 9 after treatment on the basis of tumor tracer uptake on day 2, with greater accuracy than both anatomical and blood-based measurements. These studies provide key insights into global T cell activation following local CpG treatment and indicate that 64Cu-DOTA-AbOX40 is a promising candidate for monitoring clinical cancer immunotherapy strategies.

    View details for DOI 10.1172/JCI98509

    View details for PubMedID 29596062

  • Quantification of Cerenkov Luminescence Imaging (CLI) Comparable With 3-D PET Standard Measurements. Molecular imaging Habte, F., Natarajan, A., Paik, D. S., Gambhir, S. S. 2018; 17: 1536012118788637

    Abstract

    Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI) is commonly performed using two-dimensional (2-D) conventional optical imaging systems for its cost-effective solution. However, quantification of CLI comparable to conventional three-dimensional positron emission tomography (PET) is challenging using these systems due to both the high attenuation of Cerenkov radiation (CR) on mouse tissue and nonexisting depth resolution of CLI using 2-D imaging systems (2-D CLI). In this study, we developed a model that estimates effective tissue attenuation coefficient and corrects the tissue attenuation of CLI signal intensity independent of tissue depth and size. To evaluate this model, we used several thin slices of ham as a phantom and placed a radionuclide (89Zr and 64Cu) inside the phantom at different tissue depths and sizes (2, 7, and 12 mm). We performed 2-D CLI and MicroPET/CT (Combined small animal PET and Computed Tomography (CT)) imaging of the phantom and in vivo mouse model after administration of 89Zr tracer. Estimates of the effective tissue attenuation coefficient (mueff) for 89Zr and 64Cu were 2.4 and 2.6 cm-1, respectively. The computed unit conversion factor to %ID/g from 2-D CLI signal was 2.74 * 10-3 muCi/radiance estimated from phantom study. After applying tissue attenuation correction and unit conversion to the in vivo animal study, an average quantification difference of 10% for spleen and 35% for liver was obtained compared to PET measurements. The proposed model provides comparable quantification accuracy to standard PET system independent of deep tissue CLI signal attenuation.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/1536012118788637

    View details for PubMedID 30043654

  • Reply: 6"-18F-Fluoromaltotriose PET Evaluation in Escherichia-Coli-Induced Myositis: is there Uptake Saturation in Control? Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine Wardak, M., Gowrishankar, G., Gambhir, S. S. 2018

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.118.208736

    View details for PubMedID 29653976

  • Intraoperative Molecular Imaging in Lung Cancer: The State of the Art and the Future. Molecular therapy : the journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy Rogalla, S., Joosten, S. C., Alam, I. S., Gambhir, S. S., Vermesh, O. 2018; 26 (2): 338–41

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ymthe.2018.01.013

    View details for PubMedID 29398484

  • Dosimetry Prediction for Clinical Translation of 64Cu-Pembrolizumab ImmunoPET Targeting Human PD-1 Expression Scientific Reports Natarajan, A., Patel, C. B., Habte, F., Gambhir, S. S. 2018
  • The Utility of [18F]DASA-23 for Molecular Imaging of Prostate Cancer with Positron Emission Tomography. Molecular imaging and biology : MIB : the official publication of the Academy of Molecular Imaging Beinat, C., Haywood, T., Chen, Y. S., Patel, C. B., Alam, I. S., Murty, S., Gambhir, S. S. 2018

    Abstract

    There is a strong, unmet need for superior positron emission tomography (PET) imaging agents that are able to measure biochemical processes specific to prostate cancer. Pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) catalyzes the concluding step in glycolysis and is a key regulator of tumor growth and metabolism. Elevation of PKM2 expression was detected in Gleason 8-10 tumors compared to Gleason 6-7 carcinomas, indicating that PKM2 may potentially be a marker of aggressive prostate cancer. We have recently reported the development of a PKM2-specific radiopharmaceutical [18F]DASA-23 and herein describe its evaluation in cell culture and preclinical models of prostate cancer.The cellular uptake of [18F]DASA-23 was evaluated in a panel of prostate cancer cell lines and compared to that of [18F]FDG. The specificity of [18F]DASA-23 to measure PKM2 levels in cell culture was additionally confirmed through the use of PKM2-specific siRNA. PET imaging studies were then completed utilizing subcutaneous prostate cancer xenografts using either PC3 or DU145 cells in mice.[18F]DASA-23 uptake values over 60-min incubation period in PC3, LnCAP, and DU145 respectively were 23.4 ± 4.5, 18.0 ± 2.1, and 53.1 ± 4.6 % tracer/mg protein. Transient reduction in PKM2 protein expression with siRNA resulted in a 50.1 % reduction in radiotracer uptake in DU145 cells. Small animal PET imaging revealed 0.86 ± 0.13 and 1.6 ± 0.2 % ID/g at 30 min post injection of radioactivity in DU145 and PC3 subcutaneous tumor bearing mice respectively.Herein, we evaluated a F-18-labeled PKM2-specific radiotracer, [18F]DASA-23, for the molecular imaging of prostate cancer with PET. [18F]DASA-23 revealed rapid and extensive uptake levels in cellular uptake studies of prostate cancer cells; however, there was only modest tumor uptake when evaluated in mouse subcutaneous tumor models.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11307-018-1194-y

    View details for PubMedID 29736561

  • Development and preclinical validation of a cysteine knottin peptide targeting Integrin αvβ6 for near-infrared fluorescent-guided surgery in pancreatic cancer. Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research Tummers, W. S., Kimura, R. H., Abou-Elkacem, L., Vahrmeijer, A. L., Swijnenburg, R. J., Willmann, J. K., Gambhir, S. S. 2018

    Abstract

    Intraoperative near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) imaging could help stratification for the proper primary treatment for patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), and achieve complete resection since it allows visualization of cancer in real time. Integrin αvβ6, a target specific for PDAC, is present in >90% of patients, and is able to differentiate between pancreatitis and PDAC. A clinically translatable αvβ6-targeting NIRF agent was developed, based on a previously developed cysteine knottin peptide for PET imaging, R01-MG, and validated in preclinical mouse models.The applicability of the agent was tested for cell and tissue binding characteristics using cell-based plate assays, subcutaneous and orthotopic pancreatic models, and a transgenic mouse model of PDAC development (Pdx1-Cre tg/+;KRas LSL G12D/+;Ink4a/Arf). IRDye800CW was conjugated to R01-MG in a 1:1 ratio. R01-MG-IRDye800, was compared to a control peptide and IRDye800 alone.In subcutaneous tumor models a significantly higher tumor-to-background ratio (TBR) was seen in BxPC-3 tumors (2.5±0.1) compared to MiaPaCa-2 (1.2±0.1) (p<0.001), and to the control peptide (1.6±0.4) (p<0.005). In an orthotopic tumor model tumor-specific uptake of R01-MG-IRDye800 was shown compared to IRDye800 alone (TBR 2.7 versus 0.86). The fluorescent signal in tumors of transgenic mice was significantly higher, TBR of 3.6±0.94, compared to the normal pancreas of wild type controls, TBR of 1.0±0.17 (p<0.001).R01-MG-IRDye800 shows specific targeting to αvβ6, and holds promise as a diagnostic and therapeutic tool to recognize PDAC for fluorescence-guided surgery. This agent can help improve the stratification of patients for a potentially curative, margin-negative resection.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-17-2491

    View details for PubMedID 29298796

  • A novel synthesis of 6''-[18 F]-fluoromaltotriose as a PET tracer for imaging bacterial infection. Journal of labelled compounds & radiopharmaceuticals Namavari, M., Gowrishankar, G., Srinivasan, A., Gambhir, S. S. 2018

    Abstract

    The aim of this study was to develop a positron emission tomography (PET) tracer to visualize and monitor therapeutic response to bacterial infections. In our continued efforts to find maltose based PET tracers that can image bacterial infections, we have designed and prepared 6''-[18 F]fluoromaltotriose as a second generation PET imaging tracer targeting the maltodextrin transporter of bacteria. We have developed methods to synthesize 6''-deoxy-6''-[18 F]fluoro-α-D-glucopyranosyl-(1-4)-O-α-D-glucopyranosyl-(1-4)-O-D-glucopyranose (6''-[18 F]-fluoromaltotriose) as a bacterial infection PET imaging agent. 6''-[18 F]fluoromaltotriose was prepared from precursor, 2'',3'',4''-tri-O-acetyl-6''-O-nosyl-α-D-glucopyranosyl-(1-4)-O-2',3',6'-tri-O-acetyl-α-D-glucopyranosyl-(1-4)-1,2,3,6-tetra-O-acetyl-D-glucopyranose (per-O-acetyl-6''-O-nosyl-maltotriose 4). This method utilizes the reaction between precursor 4 and anhydrous [18 F]KF/Kryptofix 2.2.2 in Dimethylformamide (DMF) at 85o C for 10 minutes to yield per-O-acetyl-6''-deoxy-6-'' [18 F]-fluoromaltotriose (7). Successive acidic and basic hydrolysis of the acetyl protecting groups in 7 produced 6''-[18 F]fluoromaltotriose (8). Also, cold 6''- [19 F]fluoromaltotriose was prepared from per-O-acetyl-6''-hydroxymaltotriose via a DAST reaction followed by a basic hydrolysis. A successful synthesis of 6''-[18 F]-fluoromaltotriose has been accomplished in 8±1.2 % radiochemical yield (decay corrected). Total synthesis time was 120 min. Serum stability of 6''-[18 F]fluoromaltotriose at 37o C indicated that 6''-[18 F]-fluoromaltotriose remained intact up to 2 h. In conclusion, we have successfully synthesized 6''-[18 F]-fluoromaltotriose via direct fluorination of an appropriate precursor of a protected maltotriose.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/jlcr.3601

    View details for PubMedID 29314161

  • SURFACE-ENHANCED RAMAN SPECTROSCOPY (SERS) FOR INTRAOPERATIVE BRAIN TUMOR IMAGING AND PHOTOTHERMAL THERAPY Arami, H., Chang, E., Patel, C. B., Madsen, S., Davis, R., Sinclair, R., Gambhir, S. S. OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC. 2017: 159
  • A Pixel Pitch-Matched Ultrasound Receiver for 3-D Photoacoustic Imaging With Integrated Delta-Sigma Beamformer in 28-nm UTBB FD-SOI Chen, M., Perez, A., Kothapalli, S., Cathelin, P., Cathelin, A., Gambhir, S., Murmann, B. IEEE-INST ELECTRICAL ELECTRONICS ENGINEERS INC. 2017: 2843–56
  • SYNERGISTIC INHIBITION OF GLIOMA CELL PROLIFERATION BY WITHAFERIN A AND TUMOR TREATING FIELDS Chang, E., Pohling, C., Beygui, N., Patel, C. B., Rosenberg, J., Ha, D., Gambhir, S. S. OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC. 2017: 61–62
  • Imaging of T cells in patients with recurrent glioblastoma TRANSLATIONAL CANCER RESEARCH Gambhir, S. 2017; 6: S291–S292
  • A PET Imaging Strategy to Visualize Activated T Cells in Acute Graft-versus-Host Disease Elicited by Allogenic Hematopoietic Cell Transplant. Cancer research Ronald, J. A., Kim, B., Gowrishankar, G., Namavari, M., Alam, I. S., D'Souza, A., Nishikii, H., Chuang, H., Ilovich, O., Lin, C., Reeves, R., Shuhendler, A., Hoehne, A., Chan, C. T., Baker, J., Yaghoubi, S. S., VanBrocklin, H. F., Hawkins, R., Franc, B. L., Jivan, S., Slater, J. B., Verdin, E. F., Gao, K. T., Benjamin, J., Negrin, R., Gambhir, S. S. 2017; 77 (11): 2893-2902

    Abstract

    A major barrier to successful use of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation is acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD), a devastating condition that arises when donor T cells attack host tissues. With current technologies, aGVHD diagnosis is typically made after end-organ injury and often requires invasive tests and tissue biopsies. This affects patient prognosis as treatments are dramatically less effective at late disease stages. Here, we show that a novel PET radiotracer, 2'-deoxy-2'-[18F]fluoro-9-β-D-arabinofuranosylguanine ([18F]F-AraG), targeted toward two salvage kinase pathways preferentially accumulates in activated primary T cells. [18F]F-AraG PET imaging of a murine aGVHD model enabled visualization of secondary lymphoid organs harboring activated donor T cells prior to clinical symptoms. Tracer biodistribution in healthy humans showed favorable kinetics. This new PET strategy has great potential for early aGVHD diagnosis, enabling timely treatments and improved patient outcomes. [18F]F-AraG may be useful for imaging activated T cells in various biomedical applications. Cancer Res; 77(11); 2893-902. ©2017 AACR.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-16-2953

    View details for PubMedID 28572504

  • F-FTC-146 in humans. Journal of nuclear medicine Hjørnevik, T., Cipriano, P. W., Shen, B., Hyung Park, J., Gulaka, P., Holley, D., Gandhi, H., Yoon, D., Mittra, E. S., Zaharchuk, G., Gambhir, S. S., McCurdy, C. R., Chin, F. T., Biswal, S. 2017

    Abstract

    The purpose of this study is to assess safety, biodistribution and radiation dosimetry in humans for the highly selective sigma-1 receptor (S1R) positron emission tomography (PET) agent (18)F-6-(3-fluoropropyl)-3-(2-(azepan-1-yl)ethyl)benzo[d]thiazol-2(3H)-one ((18)F-FTC-146). Methods: Ten healthy volunteers (HV; five female, five male; age: 34.3 ± 6.5 years) were recruited, and written informed consent was obtained from all participants. Series of whole-body PET/magnetic resonance imaging (PET/MRI) examinations were acquired for up to three hours after injection (357.2 ± 48.8 MBq). Blood samples were collected and standard vital signs (heart rate, pulse oximetry, and body temperature) were monitored at regular intervals. Regions-of-interest were delineated, time-activity curves were calculated, and organ uptake and dosimetry was estimated using PMOD 3.7 and Organ Linear Internal Dose Assessment (OLINDA). Results: All subjects tolerated the PET/MRI examination well, and no adverse reactions to (18)F-FTC-146 were reported. High accumulation of (18)F-FTC-146 was observed in S1R dense organs such as the pancreas and spleen, moderate uptake in the brain and myocardium, and low uptake in bone and muscle. High uptake was also observed in the kidneys and bladder, indicating renal tracer clearance. The effective dose (ED) of (18)F-FTC-146 was 0.0259 ± 0.0034 mSv/MBq (range: 0.0215-0.0301 mSv/MBq). Conclusion: First-in-human studies with clinical-grade (18)F-FTC-146 were successful. Injection of (18)F-FTC-146 is safe, and absorbed doses are acceptable. The potential of (18)F-FTC-146 as an imaging agent for a variety of neuroinflammatory diseases is currently under investigation.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.117.192641

    View details for PubMedID 28572487

  • A Model-Based Personalized Cancer Screening Strategy for Detecting Early-Stage Tumors Using Blood-Borne Biomarkers CANCER RESEARCH Hori, S. S., Lutz, A. M., Paulmurugan, R., Gambhir, S. S. 2017; 77 (10): 2570-2584

    Abstract

    An effective cancer blood biomarker screening strategy must distinguish aggressive from non-aggressive tumors at an early, intervenable time. However, for blood-based strategies to be useful, the quality and quantiy of the biomarker shed into the blood and its relationship to tumor growth or progression must be validated. To study how blood biomarker levels correlate with early-stage viable tumor growth in an mouse model of human cancer, we monitored early tumor growth of engineered human ovarian cancer cells (A2780) implanted orthotopically into nude mice. Biomarker shedding was monitored by serial blood sampling, while tumor viability and volume was monitored by bioluminescence imaging and ultrasound imaging. From these metrics we developed a mathematical model of cancer biomarker kinetics in different compartments that accounts for biomarker shedding from tumor and healthy cells, biomarker entry into vasculature, biomarker elimination from plasma and subject-specific tumor growth. We validated the model in a separate set of mice where subject-specific tumor growth rates were accurately predicted. To illustrate clinical translation of this strategy, we allometrically scaled model parameters from mouse to human and used parameters for PSA shedding and prostate cancer. In this manner, we found that blood biomarker sampling data alone was capable of enabling the detection and discrimination of simulated aggressive (2-month tumor doubling time) and non-aggressive (18-month tumor doubling time) tumors as early as 7.2 months and 8.9 years before clinical imaging, respectively. Our model and screening strategy offer broad impact in their applicability to any solid cancer and the biomarkers they shed, thereby allowing a distinction between aggressive vs. non-aggressive tumors using blood biomarker sampling data alone.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-16-2904

    View details for Web of Science ID 000401252900003

    View details for PubMedID 28283654

  • F-Fluoromaltotriose: A Second Generation PET Tracer Targeting the Maltodextrin Transporter in Bacteria. Journal of nuclear medicine Gowrishankar, G., Hardy, J., Wardak, M., Namavari, M., Reeves, R., Neofytou, E., Srinivasan, A., Wu, J., Contag, C., Gambhir, S. 2017

    Abstract

    Purpose: 6"-(18)F-fluoromaltotriose is a novel positron emission tomography (PET) tracer that can potentially be used to image and localize most bacterial infections, much like 2-deoxy-2-(18)F-fluoro-D-glucose ((18)F-FDG) has been used to image and localize many cancers. However, unlike (18)F-FDG, 6"-(18)F-fluoromaltotriose is not taken up by inflammatory lesions and appears to be specific to bacterial infections by targeting the maltodextrin transporter that is expressed in most Gram-positive and Gram-negative strains of bacteria. Materials and Methods: 6"-(18)F-fluoromaltotriose was synthesized with high radiochemical purity and evaluated in several clinically relevant bacterial strains incultures in vitro and in living mice. Results: 6"-(18)F-fluoromaltotriose was taken up in both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial strains. 6"-[(18)F]-fluoromaltotriose was also able to detect Pseudomonas aeruginosa in a clinically relevant mouse model of wound infection. The utility of 6"-(18)F-fluoromaltotriose to help monitor antibiotic therapies was also evaluated in rats. Conclusion: 6"-(18)F-fluoromaltotriose is a promising new tracer that has significant diagnostic utility, with the potential to change the clinical management of patients suffering from infectious diseases of bacterial origin.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.117.191452

    View details for PubMedID 28490473

  • Regulatory Aspects of Optical Methods and Exogenous Targets for Cancer Detection CANCER RESEARCH Tummers, W. S., Warram, J. M., Tipirneni, K. E., Fengler, J., Jacobs, P., Shankar, L., Henderson, L., Ballard, B., Pogue, B. W., Weichert, J. P., Bouvet, M., Sorger, J., Contag, C. H., Frangioni, J. V., Tweedle, M. F., Basilion, J. P., Gambhir, S. S., Rosenthal, E. L. 2017; 77 (9): 2197-2206

    Abstract

    Considerable advances in cancer-specific optical imaging have improved the precision of tumor resection. In comparison to traditional imaging modalities, this technology is unique in its ability to provide real-time feedback to the operating surgeon. Given the significant clinical implications of optical imaging, there is an urgent need to standardize surgical navigation tools and contrast agents to facilitate swift regulatory approval. Because fluorescence-enhanced surgery requires a combination of both device and drug, each may be developed in conjunction, or separately, which are important considerations in the approval process. This report is the result of a one-day meeting held on May 4, 2016 with officials from the National Cancer Institute, the FDA, members of the American Society of Image-Guided Surgery, and members of the World Molecular Imaging Society, which discussed consensus methods for FDA-directed human testing and approval of investigational optical imaging devices as well as contrast agents for surgical applications. The goal of this workshop was to discuss FDA approval requirements and the expectations for approval of these novel drugs and devices, packaged separately or in combination, within the context of optical surgical navigation. In addition, the workshop acted to provide clarity to the research community on data collection and trial design. Reported here are the specific discussion items and recommendations from this critical and timely meeting. Cancer Res; 77(9); 2197-206. ©2017 AACR.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-16-3217

    View details for Web of Science ID 000400270100004

    View details for PubMedID 28428283

  • Harnessing Radioluminescence and Sound to Reveal Molecular Pathology of Atherosclerotic Plaques Zaman, R., Yousefi, S., Long, S., Contag, C., Gambhir, S., Khuri-Yakub, B., Xing, L. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2017
  • SiPM PET/CT vs. Standard PET/CT: A Pilot Study Comparing Semi-Quantitative Measurements in Normal Tissues and Lesions Baratto, L., Park, S., Hatami, N., Davidzon, G., Srinivas, S., Gambhir, S., Iagaru, A. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2017
  • Imaging Patients with Breast and Prostate Cancers Using Combined F-18 NaF/F-18 FDG and TOF simultaneous PET/MRI Sonni, I., Minamimoto, R., Taviani, V., Hatami, N., Gambhir, S., Vasanawala, S., Iagaru, A. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2017
  • Initial Experience with a New PET/CT System Using SiPM Detectors: Image Quality Comparison with Standard PET/CT Park, S., Baratto, L., Hatami, N., Davidzon, G., Srinivas, S., Gambhir, S., Lagaru, A. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2017
  • Initial Experience with a SiPM-based PET/CT Scanner: Influence of Acquisition Time on Image Quality Sonni, I., Park, S., Baratto, L., Hatami, N., Davidzon, G., Srinivas, S., Gambhir, S., Iagaru, A. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2017
  • Natural product-inspired agents and their anticancer activity against glioblastoma multiforme cells Kumar, V., Banister, S., Kaufman, H., Vittimberga, J., Jacobo, S., Gambhir, S., Malhotra, S. AMER CHEMICAL SOC. 2017
  • Practical Immuno-PET Radiotracer Design Considerations for Human Immune Checkpoint Imaging JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE Mayer, A. T., Natarajan, A., Gordon, S. R., Maute, R. L., McCracken, M. N., Ring, A. M., Weissman, I. L., Gambhir, S. S. 2017; 58 (4): 538-546

    Abstract

    Immune checkpoint blockade has emerged as a promising cancer treatment paradigm. Unfortunately, there are still a large number of patients and malignancies that do not respond to therapy. A major barrier to validating biomarkers for the prediction and monitoring of responders to clinical checkpoint blockade has been the lack of imaging tools to accurately assess dynamic immune checkpoint expression. Here, we sought to optimize noninvasive immuno-PET imaging of human programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression, in a preclinical model, using a small high-affinity engineered protein scaffold (HAC-PD1). Six HAC-PD1 radiotracer variants were developed and used in preclinical imaging and biodistribution studies to assess their ability to detect human PD-L1 expression in vivo. Radiotracer design modifications included chelate, glycosylation, and radiometal. HACA-PD1 was adopted as the naming convention for aglycosylated tracer variants. NOD scid γ-(NSG) mice were inoculated with subcutaneous tumors engineered to either be constitutively positive (CT26 hPD-L1) or be negative (ΔmPD-L1 CT26) for human PD-L1 expression. When the tumors had grown to an average size of 1 cm in diameter, mice were injected with 0.75-2.25 MBq (∼10 μg) of an engineered radiotracer variant and imaged. At 1 h after injection, organs were harvested for biodistribution. Of the practical immuno-PET tracer modifications considered, glycosylation was the most prominent design factor affecting tracer uptake, specificity, and clearance. In imaging studies, aglycosylated (64)Cu-NOTA-HACA-PD1 most accurately visualized human PD-L1 expression in vivo. We reasoned that because of the scaffold's small size (14 kDa), its pharmacokinetics may be suitable for labeling with the short-lived and widely clinically available radiometal (68)Ga. At 1 h after injection, (68)Ga-NOTA-HACA-PD1 and (68)Ga-DOTA-HACA-PD1 exhibited promising target-to-background ratios in ex vivo biodistribution studies (12.3 and 15.2 tumor-to-muscle ratios, respectively). Notably, all HAC-PD1 radiotracer variants enabled much earlier detection of human PD-L1 expression (1 h after injection) than previously reported radiolabeled antibodies (>24 h after injection). This work provides a template for assessing immuno-PET tracer design parameters and supports the translation of small engineered protein radiotracers for imaging human immune checkpoints.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.116.177659

    View details for Web of Science ID 000398249600012

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5373501

  • Ultrasound Molecular Imaging With BR55 in Patients With Breast and Ovarian Lesions: First-in-Human Results. Journal of clinical oncology Willmann, J. K., Bonomo, L., Carla Testa, A., Rinaldi, P., Rindi, G., Valluru, K. S., Petrone, G., Martini, M., Lutz, A. M., Gambhir, S. S. 2017: JCO2016708594-?

    Abstract

    Purpose We performed a first-in-human clinical trial on ultrasound molecular imaging (USMI) in patients with breast and ovarian lesions using a clinical-grade contrast agent (kinase insert domain receptor [KDR] -targeted contrast microbubble [MBKDR]) that is targeted at the KDR, one of the key regulators of neoangiogenesis in cancer. The aim of this study was to assess whether USMI using MBKDR is safe and allows assessment of KDR expression using immunohistochemistry (IHC) as the gold standard. Methods Twenty-four women (age 48 to 79 years) with focal ovarian lesions and 21 women (age 34 to 66 years) with focal breast lesions were injected intravenously with MBKDR (0.03 to 0.08 mL/kg of body weight), and USMI of the lesions was performed starting 5 minutes after injection up to 29 minutes. Blood pressure, ECG, oxygen levels, heart rate, CBC, and metabolic panel were obtained before and after MBKDR administration. Persistent focal MBKDR binding on USMI was assessed. Patients underwent surgical resection of the target lesions, and tissues were stained for CD31 and KDR by IHC. Results USMI with MBKDR was well tolerated by all patients without safety concerns. Among the 40 patients included in the analysis, KDR expression on IHC matched well with imaging signal on USMI in 93% of breast and 85% of ovarian malignant lesions. Strong KDR-targeted USMI signal was present in 77% of malignant ovarian lesions, with no targeted signal seen in 78% of benign ovarian lesions. Similarly, strong targeted signal was seen in 93% of malignant breast lesions with no targeted signal present in 67% of benign breast lesions. Conclusion USMI with MBKDR is clinically feasible and safe, and KDR-targeted USMI signal matches well with KDR expression on IHC. This study lays the foundation for a new field of clinical USMI in cancer.

    View details for DOI 10.1200/JCO.2016.70.8594

    View details for PubMedID 28291391

  • F]FTC-146. Molecular imaging and biology Shen, B., Park, J. H., Hjørnevik, T., Cipriano, P. W., Yoon, D., Gulaka, P. K., Holly, D., Behera, D., Avery, B. A., Gambhir, S. S., McCurdy, C. R., Biswal, S., Chin, F. T. 2017

    Abstract

    Sigma-1 receptors (S1Rs) play an important role in many neurological disorders. Simultaneous positron emission tomography (PET)/magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with S1R radioligands may provide valuable information for diagnosing and guiding treatment for these diseases. Our previously reported S1R radioligand, [(18)F]FTC-146, demonstrated high affinity for the S1R (K i = 0.0025 nM) and excellent selectivity for the S1R over the sigma-2 receptor (S2Rs; K i = 364 nM) across several species (from mouse to non-human primate). Herein, we report the clinical-grade radiochemistry filed with exploratory Investigational New Drug (eIND) and first-in-human PET/MRI evaluation of [(18)F]FTC-146.[(18)F]FTC-146 is prepared via a direct [(18)F] fluoride nucleophilic radiolabeling reaction and formulated in 0.9 % NaCl containing no more than 10 % ethanol through sterile filtration. Quality control (QC) was performed based on USP 823 before doses were released for clinical use. The safety and whole body biodistribution of [(18)F]FTC-146 were evaluated using a simultaneous PET/MR scanner in two representative healthy human subjects.[(18)F]FTC-146 was synthesized with a radiochemical yield of 3.3 ± 0.7 % and specific radioactivity of 8.3 ± 3.3 Ci/μmol (n = 10, decay corrected to EOB). Both radiochemical and chemical purities were >95 %; the prepared doses were stable for 4 h at ambient temperature. All QC test results met specified clinical criteria. The in vivo PET/MRI investigations showed that [(18)F]FTC-146 rapidly crossed the blood brain barrier and accumulated in S1R-rich regions of the brain. There were also radioactivity distributed in the peripheral organs, i.e., the lungs, spleen, pancreas, and thyroid. Furthermore, insignificant uptake of [(18)F]FTC-146 was observed in cortical bone and muscle.A reliable and automated radiosynthesis for providing routine clinical-grade [(18)F]FTC-146 for human studies was established in a modified GE TRACERlab FXFN. PET/MRI demonstrated the initial tracer biodistribution in humans, and clinical studies investigating different S1R-related diseases are in progress.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11307-017-1064-z

    View details for PubMedID 28280965

  • Development of Novel ImmunoPET Tracers to Image Human PD-1 Checkpoint Expression on Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocytes in a Humanized Mouse Model. Molecular imaging and biology Natarajan, A., Mayer, A. T., Reeves, R. E., Nagamine, C. M., Gambhir, S. S. 2017

    Abstract

    It is well known that cancers exploit immune checkpoints (programmed death 1 receptor (PD-1) and its ligand (PD-L1)) to evade anti-tumor immune responses. Although immune checkpoint (IC) blockade is a promising approach, not all patients respond. Hence, imaging of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) is of high specific interest, as they are known to express PD-1 during activation and subsequent exhaustion in the tumor microenvironment and are thought to be potentially predictive of therapeutic responses to IC blockade.We developed immune-tracers for positron emission tomography (PET) to image hPD-1 status of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (hPBMCs) adoptively transferred to NOD-scid IL-2Rγ(null) (NSG) mice (hNSG) bearing A375 human skin melanoma tumors. The anti-PD-1 human antibody (IgG; keytruda) was labeled with either Zr-89 or Cu-64 radiometals to image PD-1-expressing human TILs in vivo.[(89)Zr] Keytruda (groups = 2; NSG-ctl (control) and hNSG-nblk (non-blocking), n = 3-5, 3.2 ± 0.4 MBq/15-16 μg/200 μl) and [(64)Cu] Keytruda (groups = 3; NSG-ctl, NSG-blk (blocking), and hNSG-nblk; n = 4, 7.4 ± 0.4 MBq /20-25 μg/200 μl) were administered in mice. PET-CT scans were performed over 1-144 h ([(89)Zr] Keytruda) and 1-48 h ([(64)Cu] Keytruda) on mice. hNSG mice exhibited a high tracer uptake in the spleen, lymphoid organs and tumors. At 24 h, human TILs homing into melanoma of hNSG-nblk mice exhibited high signal (mean %ID/g ± SD) of 3.8 ± 0.4 ([(89)Zr] Keytruda), and 6.4 ± 0.7 ([(64)Cu] Keytruda), which was 1.5- and 3-fold higher uptake compared to NSG-ctl mice (p = 0.01), respectively. Biodistribution measurements of hNSG-nblk mice performed at 144 h ([(89)Zr] Keytruda) and 48 h ([(64)Cu] Keytruda) p.i. revealed tumor to muscle ratios as high as 45- and 12-fold, respectively.Our immunoPET study clearly demonstrates specific imaging of human PD-1-expressing TILs within the tumor and lymphoid tissues. This suggests these anti-human-PD-1 tracers could be clinically translatable to monitor cancer treatment response to IC blockade therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11307-017-1060-3

    View details for PubMedID 28247187

  • F]DASA-23 for Imaging Tumor Glycolysis Through Noninvasive Measurement of Pyruvate Kinase M2. Molecular imaging and biology Beinat, C., Alam, I. S., James, M. L., Srinivasan, A., Gambhir, S. S. 2017

    Abstract

    A hallmark of cancer is metabolic reprogramming, which is exploited by cancer cells to ensure rapid growth and survival. Pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) catalyzes the final step in glycolysis, a key step in tumor metabolism and growth. Recently, we reported the radiosynthesis of the first positron emission tomography tracer for visualizing PKM2 in vivo-i.e., [(11)C]DASA-23. Due to the highly promising imaging results obtained with [(11)C]DASA-23 in rodent model glioblastoma, we set out to generate an F-18-labeled version of this tracer, with the end goal of clinical translation in mind. Herein, we report the radiosynthesis of 1-((2-fluoro-6-[(18)F]fluorophenyl)sulfonyl)-4-((4-methoxyphenyl)sulfonyl)piperazine ([(18)F]DASA-23) and our initial investigation of its binding properties in cancer cells.We synthesized [(18)F]DASA-23 via fluorination of 1-((2-fluoro-6-nitrophenyl)sulfonyl)-4-((4-methoxyphenyl)sulfonyl)piperazine (10) with K[(18)F]F/K2.2.2 in N,N-dimethylformamide at 110 °C for 20 min. Subsequently, we evaluated uptake of [(18)F]DASA-23 in HeLa cervical adenocarcinoma cells and in vitro stability in human and mouse serum.We successfully prepared [(18)F]DASA-23 in 2.61 ± 1.54 % radiochemical yield (n = 10, non-decay corrected at end of synthesis) with a specific activity of 2.59 ± 0.44 Ci/μmol. Preliminary cell uptake experiments revealed high uptake in HeLa cells, which was effectively blocked by pretreating cells with the structurally distinct PKM2 activator, TEPP-46. [(18)F]DASA-23 remained intact in human and mouse serum up to 120 min.Herein, we have identified a F-18-labeled PKM2 specific radiotracer which shows potential for in vivo imaging. The promising cell uptake results reported herein warrant the further evaluation of [(18)F]DASA-23 for its ability to detect and monitor cancer noninvasively.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11307-017-1068-8

    View details for PubMedID 28236227

  • Nanomaterials for In Vivo Imaging. Chemical reviews Smith, B. R., Gambhir, S. S. 2017; 117 (3): 901-986

    Abstract

    In vivo imaging, which enables us to peer deeply within living subjects, is producing tremendous opportunities both for clinical diagnostics and as a research tool. Contrast material is often required to clearly visualize the functional architecture of physiological structures. Recent advances in nanomaterials are becoming pivotal to generate the high-resolution, high-contrast images needed for accurate, precision diagnostics. Nanomaterials are playing major roles in imaging by delivering large imaging payloads, yielding improved sensitivity, multiplexing capacity, and modularity of design. Indeed, for several imaging modalities, nanomaterials are now not simply ancillary contrast entities, but are instead the original and sole source of image signal that make possible the modality's existence. We address the physicochemical makeup/design of nanomaterials through the lens of the physical properties that produce contrast signal for the cognate imaging modality-we stratify nanomaterials on the basis of their (i) magnetic, (ii) optical, (iii) acoustic, and/or (iv) nuclear properties. We evaluate them for their ability to provide relevant information under preclinical and clinical circumstances, their in vivo safety profiles (which are being incorporated into their chemical design), their modularity in being fused to create multimodal nanomaterials (spanning multiple different physical imaging modalities and therapeutic/theranostic capabilities), their key properties, and critically their likelihood to be clinically translated.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.chemrev.6b00073

    View details for PubMedID 28045253

  • Detection of Stem Cell Transplant Rejection with Ferumoxytol MR Imaging: Correlation of MR Imaging Findings with Those at Intravital Microscopy. Radiology Daldrup-Link, H. E., Chan, C., Lenkov, O., Taghavigarmestani, S., Nazekati, T., Nejadnik, H., Chapelin, F., Khurana, A., Tong, X., Yang, F., Pisani, L., Longaker, M., Gambhir, S. S. 2017: 161139-?

    Abstract

    Purpose To determine whether endogenous labeling of macrophages with clinically applicable nanoparticles enables noninvasive detection of innate immune responses to stem cell transplants with magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. Materials and Methods Work with human stem cells was approved by the institutional review board and the stem cell research oversight committee, and animal experiments were approved by the administrative panel on laboratory animal care. Nine immunocompetent Sprague-Dawley rats received intravenous injection of ferumoxytol, and 18 Jax C57BL/6-Tg (Csf1r-EGFP-NGFR/FKBP1A/TNFRSF6) 2Bck/J mice received rhodamine-conjugated ferumoxytol. Then, 48 hours later, immune-matched or mismatched stem cells were implanted into osteochondral defects of the knee joints of experimental rats and calvarial defects of Jax mice. All animals underwent serial MR imaging and intravital microscopy (IVM) up to 4 weeks after surgery. Macrophages of Jax C57BL/6-Tg (Csf1r-EGFP-NGFR/FKBP1A/TNFRSF6) 2Bck/J mice express enhanced green fluorescent protein (GFP), which enables in vivo correlation of ferumoxytol enhancement at MR imaging with macrophage quantities at IVM. All quantitative data were compared between experimental groups by using a mixed linear model and t tests. Results Immune-mismatched stem cell implants demonstrated stronger ferumoxytol enhancement than did matched stem cell implants. At 4 weeks, T2 values of mismatched implants were significantly lower than those of matched implants in osteochondral defects of female rats (mean, 10.72 msec for human stem cells and 11.55 msec for male rat stem cells vs 15.45 msec for sex-matched rat stem cells; P = .02 and P = .04, respectively) and calvarial defects of recipient mice (mean, 21.7 msec vs 27.1 msec, respectively; P = .0444). This corresponded to increased recruitment of enhanced GFP- and rhodamine-ferumoxytol-positive macrophages into stem cell transplants, as visualized with IVM and histopathologic examination. Conclusion Endogenous labeling of macrophages with ferumoxytol enables noninvasive detection of innate immune responses to stem cell transplants with MR imaging. (©) RSNA, 2017 Online supplemental material is available for this article.

    View details for DOI 10.1148/radiol.2017161139

    View details for PubMedID 28128708

  • Reporter gene imaging of targeted T cell immunotherapy in recurrent glioma. Science translational medicine Keu, K. V., Witney, T. H., Yaghoubi, S., Rosenberg, J., Kurien, A., Magnusson, R., Williams, J., Habte, F., Wagner, J. R., Forman, S., Brown, C., Allen-Auerbach, M., Czernin, J., Tang, W., Jensen, M. C., Badie, B., Gambhir, S. S. 2017; 9 (373)

    Abstract

    High-grade gliomas are aggressive cancers that often become rapidly fatal. Immunotherapy using CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), engineered to express both herpes simplex virus type 1 thymidine kinase (HSV1-TK) and interleukin-13 (IL-13) zetakine chimeric antigen receptor (CAR), is a treatment strategy with considerable potential. To optimize this and related immunotherapies, it would be helpful to monitor CTL viability and trafficking to glioma cells. We show that noninvasive positron emission tomography (PET) imaging with 9-[4-[(18)F]fluoro-3-(hydroxymethyl)butyl]guanine ([(18)F]FHBG) can track HSV1-tk reporter gene expression present in CAR-engineered CTLs. [(18)F]FHBG imaging was safe and enabled the longitudinal imaging of T cells stably transfected with a PET reporter gene in patients. Further optimization of this imaging approach for monitoring in vivo cell trafficking should greatly benefit various cell-based therapies for cancer.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/scitranslmed.aag2196

    View details for PubMedID 28100832

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5260938

  • Withaferin A and its potential role in glioblastoma (GBM) JOURNAL OF NEURO-ONCOLOGY Dhami, J., Chang, E., Gambhir, S. S. 2017; 131 (2): 201-211

    Abstract

    Within the Ayurvedic medical tradition of India, Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a well-known herb. A large number of withanolides have been isolated from both its roots and its leaves and many have been assessed for their pharmacological activities. Amongst them, Withaferin A is one of its most bioactive phytoconstituents. Due to the lactonal steroid's potential to modulate multiple oncogenic pathways, Withaferin A has gained much attention as a possible anti-neoplastic agent. This review focuses on the use of Withaferin A alone, or in combination with other treatments, as a newer option for therapy against the most aggressive variant of brain tumors, Glioblastoma. We survey the various studies that delineate Withaferin A's anticancer mechanisms, its toxicity profiles, its pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics and its immuno-modulating properties.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11060-016-2303-x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000394342500001

    View details for PubMedID 27837436

  • Tomographic magnetic particle imaging of cancer targeted nanoparticles NANOSCALE Arami, H., Teeman, E., Troksa, A., Bradshaw, H., Saatchi, K., Tomitaka, A., Gambhir, S. S., Häfeli, U. O., Liggitt, D., Krishnan, K. M. 2017; 9: 18723-18730

    View details for DOI 10.1039/C7NR05502A

  • On-Target Probes for Early Detection Nature Biomedical Engineering Hori, S. S., Tummers, W. S., Gambhir, S. S. 2017; 1: 1-3

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41551-017-0062

  • Towards clinically translatable in vivo nanodiagnostics Nature Reviews Materials Park, S., Aalipour, A., Vermesh, O., Yu, J., Gambhir, S. S. 2017; 2
  • Multigene Profiling of Single Circulating Tumor Cells Molecular & Cellular Oncology Park, S., Wong, D., Ooi, C., Nesvet, J., Nair, V. S., Wang, S. X., Gambhir, S. S. 2017; 4 (2): e1289295

    Abstract

    Numerous techniques for isolating circulating tumor cells (CTCs) have been developed. Concurrently, single-cell techniques that can reveal molecular components of CTCs have become widely available. We discuss how the combination of isolation and multigene profiling of single CTCs in our platform can facilitate eventual translation to the clinic.

    View details for DOI 10.1080/23723556.2017.1289295

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5383366

  • High-throughput full-length single-cell mRNA-seq of rare cells. PloS one Ooi, C. C., Mantalas, G. L., Koh, W., Neff, N. F., Fuchigami, T., Wong, D. J., Wilson, R. J., Park, S. M., Gambhir, S. S., Quake, S. R., Wang, S. X. 2017; 12 (11): e0188510

    Abstract

    Single-cell characterization techniques, such as mRNA-seq, have been applied to a diverse range of applications in cancer biology, yielding great insight into mechanisms leading to therapy resistance and tumor clonality. While single-cell techniques can yield a wealth of information, a common bottleneck is the lack of throughput, with many current processing methods being limited to the analysis of small volumes of single cell suspensions with cell densities on the order of 107 per mL. In this work, we present a high-throughput full-length mRNA-seq protocol incorporating a magnetic sifter and magnetic nanoparticle-antibody conjugates for rare cell enrichment, and Smart-seq2 chemistry for sequencing. We evaluate the efficiency and quality of this protocol with a simulated circulating tumor cell system, whereby non-small-cell lung cancer cell lines (NCI-H1650 and NCI-H1975) are spiked into whole blood, before being enriched for single-cell mRNA-seq by EpCAM-functionalized magnetic nanoparticles and the magnetic sifter. We obtain high efficiency (> 90%) capture and release of these simulated rare cells via the magnetic sifter, with reproducible transcriptome data. In addition, while mRNA-seq data is typically only used for gene expression analysis of transcriptomic data, we demonstrate the use of full-length mRNA-seq chemistries like Smart-seq2 to facilitate variant analysis of expressed genes. This enables the use of mRNA-seq data for differentiating cells in a heterogeneous population by both their phenotypic and variant profile. In a simulated heterogeneous mixture of circulating tumor cells in whole blood, we utilize this high-throughput protocol to differentiate these heterogeneous cells by both their phenotype (lung cancer versus white blood cells), and mutational profile (H1650 versus H1975 cells), in a single sequencing run. This high-throughput method can help facilitate single-cell analysis of rare cell populations, such as circulating tumor or endothelial cells, with demonstrably high-quality transcriptomic data.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0188510

    View details for PubMedID 29186152

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5706670

  • A Pixel-Pitch-Matched Ultrasound Receiver for 3D Photoacoustic Imaging with Integrated Delta-Sigma Beamformer in 28nm UTBB FDSOI Chen, M., Perez, A., Kothapalli, S., Cathelin, P., Cathelin, A., Gambhir, S., Murmann, B., IEEE IEEE. 2017: 456
  • Fdg Pet-CT Suvmax And Circulating Tumor Microemboli Identify Recurrence In Patients With Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Nair, V. S., Carlsson, F., Carlsson, A., Jamali, M., Keu, K., Vasanawala, M., Shrager, J., Loo, B. W., Horng, G., Kuschner, W., Gambhir, S. S., Kuhn, P. AMER THORACIC SOC. 2017
  • Capture and Genetic Analysis of Circulating Tumor Cells Using a Magnetic Separation Device (Magnetic Sifter). Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) Ooi, C. C., Park, S. M., Wong, D. J., Gambhir, S. S., Wang, S. X. 2017; 1634: 153–62

    Abstract

    Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are currently widely studied for their potential application as part of a liquid biopsy. These cells are shed from the primary tumor into the circulation, and are postulated to provide insight into the molecular makeup of the actual tumor in a minimally invasive manner. However, they are extremely rare in blood, with typical concentrations of 1-100 in a milliliter of blood; hence, a need exists for a rapid and high-purity method for isolating CTCs from whole blood. Here, we describe the application of a microfabricated magnetic sifter toward isolation of CTCs from whole blood at volumetric flow rates of 10 mL/h, along with the use of a PDMS-based nanowell system for single-cell gene expression profiling. This method allows rapid isolation of CTCs and subsequent integration with downstream genetic profiling methods for clinical applications such as targeted therapy, therapy monitoring, or further biological studies.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/978-1-4939-7144-2_12

    View details for PubMedID 28819848

  • Synergistic inhibition of glioma cell proliferation by Withaferin A and tumor treating fields. Journal of neuro-oncology Chang, E., Pohling, C., Beygui, N., Patel, C. B., Rosenberg, J., Ha, D. H., Gambhir, S. S. 2017

    Abstract

    Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most aggressive and lethal form of brain cancer. Standard therapies are non-specific and often of limited effectiveness; thus, efforts are underway to uncover novel, unorthodox therapies against GBM. In previous studies, we investigated Withaferin A, a steroidal lactone from Ayurvedic medicine that inhibits proliferation in cancers including GBM. Another novel approach, tumor treating fields (TTFields), is thought to disrupt mitotic spindle formation and stymie proliferation of actively dividing cells. We hypothesized that combining TTFields with Withaferin A would synergistically inhibit proliferation in glioblastoma. Human glioblastoma cells (GBM2, GBM39, U87-MG) and human breast adenocarcinoma cells (MDA-MB-231) were isolated from primary tumors. The glioma cell lines were genetically engineered to express firefly luciferase. Proliferative potential was assessed either by bioluminescence imaging or cell counting via hemocytometer. TTFields (4 V/cm) significantly inhibited growth of the four cancer cell lines tested (n = 3 experiments per time point, four measurements per sample, p < 0.02 at least; 2-way ANOVA, control vs. treatment). The combination of Withaferin A (10-100 nM) with TTFields significantly inhibited the growth of the glioma cells to a degree beyond that of Withaferin A or TTFields alone. The interaction of the Withaferin A and TTFields on glioma cells was found to be synergistic in nature (p < 0.01, n = 3 experiments). These findings were validated by both bioluminescence and hemocytometric measurements. The combination of Withaferin A with TTFields represents a novel approach to treat GBM in a manner that is likely better than either treatment alone and that is synergistic.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11060-017-2534-5

    View details for PubMedID 28681243

  • A novel theranostic strategy for MMP-14 expressing glioblastomas impacts survival. Molecular cancer therapeutics Mohanty, S., Chen, Z., Li, K., Morais, G. R., Klockow, J., Yerneni, K., Pisani, L., Chin, F. T., Mitra, S., Cheshier, S., Chang, E., Gambhir, S. S., Rao, J., Loadman, P. M., Falconer, R. A., Daldrup-Link, H. E. 2017

    Abstract

    Glioblastoma (GBM) has a dismal prognosis. Evidence from preclinical tumor models and human trials indicates the role of GBM initiating cells (GIC) in GBM drug resistance. Here, we propose a new treatment option with tumor enzyme-activatable, combined therapeutic and diagnostic (theranostic) nanoparticles, which caused specific toxicity against GBM tumor cells and GICs. The theranostic cross-linked iron oxide nanoparticles (CLIO) were conjugated to a highly potent vascular disrupting agent (ICT) and secured with a matrix-metalloproteinase (MMP-14) cleavable peptide. Treatment with CLIO-ICT disrupted tumor vasculature of MMP-14 expressing GBM, induced GIC apoptosis and significantly impaired tumor growth. In addition, the iron core of CLIO-ICT enabled in vivo drug tracking with MR imaging. Treatment with CLIO-ICT plus temozolomide achieved tumor remission and significantly increased survival of human GBM bearing mice by more than 2 fold compared to treatment with temozolomide alone. Thus, we present a novel therapeutic strategy with significant impact on survival and great potential for clinical translation.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-17-0022

    View details for PubMedID 28659432

  • Imaging B cells in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis using (64)Cu-Rituximab-PET. Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine James, M. L., Hoehne, A., Mayer, A. T., Lechtenberg, K., Moreno, M., Gowrishankar, G., Ilovich, O., Natarajan, A., Johnson, E. M., Nguyen, J., Quach, L., Han, M., Buckwalter, M., Chandra, S., Gambhir, S. S. 2017

    Abstract

    B lymphocytes are a key pathological feature of multiple sclerosis (MS), and are becoming an important therapeutic target for this condition. Currently, there is no approved technique to non-invasively visualize B cells in the central nervous system (CNS) to monitor MS disease progression and response to therapies. Here we evaluated (64)Cu-Rituximab, a radiolabeled antibody specifically targeting the human B cell marker CD20, for its ability to image B cells in a mouse model of MS using positron emission tomography (PET). Methods: To model CNS infiltration by B cells, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) was induced in transgenic mice that express human CD20 on B cells. EAE mice were given subcutaneous injections of Myelin Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein fragment1-125 (MOG1-125) emulsified in complete Freund's adjuvant. Control mice received complete Freund's adjuvant alone. PET imaging of EAE and control mice was performed 1, 4, and 19h following (64)Cu-Rituximab administration. Mice were perfused and sacrificed after final PET scan, and radioactivity in dissected tissues was measured with a gamma-counter. CNS tissues from these mice were immunostained to quantify B cells or further analyzed via digital autoradiography. Results: Lumbar spinal cord PET signal was significantly higher in EAE mice compared to controls at all evaluated time points (e.g., 1h post-injection: 5.44 ± 0.37 vs. 3.33 ± 0.20 %ID/g, p<0.05). (64)Cu-Rituximab-PET signal in brain regions ranged between 1.74 ± 0.11 and 2.93 ± 0.15 %ID/g for EAE mice compared to 1.25±0.08 and 2.24±0.11%ID/g for controls, p<0.05 for all regions except striatum and thalamus at 1h post-injection. Similarly, ex vivo biodistribution results revealed notably higher (64)Cu-Rituximab uptake in brain and spinal cord of huCD20tg EAE, and B220 immunostaining verified that increased (64)Cu-Rituximab uptake in CNS tissues corresponded with elevated B cells. Conclusion: B cells can be detected in the CNS of EAE mice using (64)Cu-Rituximab-PET. Results from these studies warrant further investigation of (64)Cu-Rituximab in EAE models and consideration of use in MS patients to evaluate its potential for detecting and monitoring B cells in the progression and treatment of this disease. These results represent an initial step toward generating a platform to evaluate B cell-targeted therapeutics en route to the clinic.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.117.189597

    View details for PubMedID 28687602

  • The Exosome Total Isolation Chip. ACS nano Liu, F., Vermesh, O., Mani, V., Ge, T. J., Madsen, S. J., Sabour, A., Hsu, E. C., Gowrishankar, G., Kanada, M., Jokerst, J. V., Sierra, R. G., Chang, E., Lau, K., Sridhar, K., Bermudez, A., Pitteri, S. J., Stoyanova, T., Sinclair, R., Nair, V. S., Gambhir, S. S., Demirci, U. 2017

    Abstract

    Circulating tumor-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) have emerged as a promising source for identifying cancer biomarkers for early cancer detection. However, the clinical utility of EVs has thus far been limited by the fact that most EV isolation methods are tedious, nonstandardized, and require bulky instrumentation such as ultracentrifugation (UC). Here, we report a size-based EV isolation tool called ExoTIC (exosome total isolation chip), which is simple, easy-to-use, modular, and facilitates high-yield and high-purity EV isolation from biofluids. ExoTIC achieves an EV yield ∼4-1000-fold higher than that with UC, and EV-derived protein and microRNA levels are well-correlated between the two methods. Moreover, we demonstrate that ExoTIC is a modular platform that can sort a heterogeneous population of cancer cell line EVs based on size. Further, we utilize ExoTIC to isolate EVs from cancer patient clinical samples, including plasma, urine, and lavage, demonstrating the device's broad applicability to cancers and other diseases. Finally, the ability of ExoTIC to efficiently isolate EVs from small sample volumes opens up avenues for preclinical studies in small animal tumor models and for point-of-care EV-based clinical testing from fingerprick quantities (10-100 μL) of blood.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acsnano.7b04878

    View details for PubMedID 29090896

  • Prospective Evaluation of 68Ga-RM2 PET/MRI in Patients with Biochemical Recurrence of Prostate Cancer and Negative Conventional Imaging. Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine Minamimoto, R., Sonni, I., Hancock, S., Vasanawala, S., Loening, A., Gambhir, S. S., Iagaru, A. 2017

    Abstract

    Purpose:68Ga-labeled DOTA-4-amino-1-carboxymethyl-piperidine-D-Phe-Gln-Trp-Ala-Val-Gly-His-Sta-Leu-NH2 (68Ga-RM2) is a synthetic bombesin receptor antagonist that targets gastrin-releasing peptide receptors (GRPr). GRPr proteins are highly overexpressed in several human tumors, including prostate cancer. We present data from the use of 68Ga-RM2 in patients with biochemical recurrence (BCR) of prostate cancer (PC) and negative conventional imaging (CI). Methods: We enrolled 32 men with BCR PC, 59-83 year-old (mean±standard deviation (SD): 68.7±6.4). Imaging started at 40-69 minutes (mean±SD: 50.5±6.8) after injection of 133.2-151.7 MBq (mean±SD: 140.6±7.4) of 68Ga-RM2 using a time-of-flight (TOF)-enabled simultaneous positron emission tomography (PET) / magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner. T1-weighted (T1w), T2-weighted (T2w) and diffusion-weighted images (DWI) were acquired. Results: All patients had rising prostate specific antigen (PSA) (range: 0.3-119.0 ng/mL; mean±SD: 10.1 ± 21.3) and negative CI (CT or MRI, and 99mTc MDP bone scan) prior to enrollment. The observed 68Ga-RM2 PET detection rate was 71.8%. 68Ga-RM2 PET identified recurrent prostate cancer in 23 of the 32 participants, while the simultaneous MRI scan identified findings compatible with recurrent prostate cancer in 11 of the 32 patients. PSA velocity (PSAv) values were 0.32±0.59 ng/ml/year (range: 0.04-1.9) in patients with negative PET scans and 2.51±2.16 ng/ml/year (range: 0.13-8.68) in patients with positive PET scans (P: 0.006). Conclusion:68Ga-RM2 PET can be used for assessment of GRPr expression in patients with BCR PC. High uptake in multiple areas compatible with cancer lesions suggests that 68Ga-RM2 is a promising PET radiopharmaceutical for localization of disease in participants with BCR PC and negative CI.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.117.197624

    View details for PubMedID 29084827

  • Deactivated CRISPR Associated Protein 9 for Minor-Allele Enrichment in Cell-Free DNA. Clinical chemistry Aalipour, A., Dudley, J. C., Park, S. M., Murty, S., Chabon, J. J., Boyle, E. A., Diehn, M., Gambhir, S. S. 2017

    Abstract

    Cell-free DNA (cfDNA) diagnostics are emerging as a new paradigm of disease monitoring and therapy management. The clinical utility of these diagnostics is relatively limited by a low signal-to-noise ratio, such as with low allele frequency (AF) mutations in cancer. While enriching for rare alleles to increase their AF before sample analysis is one strategy that can greatly improve detection capability, current methods are limited in their generalizability, ease of use, and applicability to point mutations.Leveraging the robust single-base-pair specificity and generalizability of the CRISPR associated protein 9 (Cas9) system, we developed a deactivated Cas9 (dCas9)-based method of minor-allele enrichment capable of efficient single-target and multiplexed enrichment. The dCas9 protein was complexed with single guide RNAs targeted to mutations of interest and incubated with cfDNA samples containing mutant strands at low abundance. Mutation-bound dCas9 complexes were isolated, dissociated, and the captured DNA purified for downstream use.Targeting the 3 most common epidermal growth factor receptor mutations (exon 19 deletion, T790M, L858R) found in nonsmall-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), we achieved >20-fold increases in AF and detected mutations by use of qPCR at an AF of 0.1%. In a cohort of 18 NSCLC patient-derived cfDNA samples, our method enabled detection of 8 out of 13 mutations that were otherwise undetected by qPCR.The dCas9 method provides important application of the CRISPR/Cas9 system outside the realm of genome editing and can provide a step forward for the detection capability of cfDNA diagnostics.

    View details for DOI 10.1373/clinchem.2017.278911

    View details for PubMedID 29038154

  • Longitudinal Monitoring of Antibody Responses against Tumor Cells Using Magneto-nanosensors with a Nanoliter of Blood. Nano letters Lee, J. R., Chan, C. T., Ruderman, D., Chuang, H. Y., Gaster, R. S., Atallah, M., Mallick, P., Lowe, S. W., Gambhir, S. S., Wang, S. X. 2017; 17 (11): 6644–52

    Abstract

    Each immunoglobulin isotype has unique immune effector functions. The contribution of these functions in the elimination of pathogens and tumors can be determined by monitoring quantitative temporal changes in isotype levels. Here, we developed a novel technique using magneto-nanosensors based on the effect of giant magnetoresistance (GMR) for longitudinal monitoring of total and antigen-specific isotype levels with high precision, using as little as 1 nL of serum. Combining in vitro serologic measurements with in vivo imaging techniques, we investigated the role of the antibody response in the regression of firefly luciferase (FL)-labeled lymphoma cells in spleen, kidney, and lymph nodes in a syngeneic Burkitt's lymphoma mouse model. Regression status was determined by whole body bioluminescent imaging (BLI). The magneto-nanosensors revealed that anti-FL IgG2a and total IgG2a were elevated and sustained in regression mice compared to non-regression mice (p < 0.05). This platform shows promise for monitoring immunotherapy, vaccination, and autoimmunity.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b02591

    View details for PubMedID 28990786

  • Visualizing Nerve Injury in a Neuropathic Pain Model with [(18)F]FTC-146 PET/MRI. Theranostics Shen, B., Behera, D., James, M. L., Reyes, S. T., Andrews, L., Cipriano, P. W., Klukinov, M., Lutz, A. B., Mavlyutov, T., Rosenberg, J., Ruoho, A. E., McCurdy, C. R., Gambhir, S. S., Yeomans, D. C., Biswal, S., Chin, F. T. 2017; 7 (11): 2794–2805

    Abstract

    The ability to locate nerve injury and ensuing neuroinflammation would have tremendous clinical value for improving both the diagnosis and subsequent management of patients suffering from pain, weakness, and other neurologic phenomena associated with peripheral nerve injury. Although several non-invasive techniques exist for assessing the clinical manifestations and morphological aspects of nerve injury, they often fail to provide accurate diagnoses due to limited specificity and/or sensitivity. Herein, we describe a new imaging strategy for visualizing a molecular biomarker of nerve injury/neuroinflammation, i.e., the sigma-1 receptor (S1R), in a rat model of nerve injury and neuropathic pain. The two-fold higher increase of S1Rs was shown in the injured compared to the uninjured nerve by Western blotting analyses. With our novel S1R-selective radioligand, [(18)F]FTC-146 (6-(3-[(18)F]fluoropropyl)-3-(2-(azepan-1-yl)ethyl)benzo[d]thiazol-2(3H)-one), and positron emission tomography-magnetic resonance imaging (PET/MRI), we could accurately locate the site of nerve injury created in the rat model. We verified the accuracy of this technique by ex vivo autoradiography and immunostaining, which demonstrated a strong correlation between accumulation of [(18)F]FTC-146 and S1R staining. Finally, pain relief could also be achieved by blocking S1Rs in the neuroma with local administration of non-radioactive [(19)F]FTC-146. In summary, [(18)F]FTC-146 S1R PET/MR imaging has the potential to impact how we diagnose, manage and treat patients with nerve injury, and thus warrants further investigation.

    View details for DOI 10.7150/thno.19378

    View details for PubMedID 28824716

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5562216

  • Engineering Intracellularly Retained Gaussia Luciferase Reporters for Improved Biosensing and Molecular Imaging Applications. ACS chemical biology Gaur, S., Bhargava-Shah, A., Hori, S., Afjei, R., Sekar, T. V., Gambhir, S. S., Massoud, T. F., Paulmurugan, R. 2017

    Abstract

    Gaussia luciferase (GLUC) is a bioluminescent reporter protein of increasing importance. As a secretory protein, it has increased sensitivity in vitro and in vivo (∼20 000-fold, and ∼1000-fold, respectively) over its competitor, secreted alkaline phosphatase. Unfortunately, this same advantageous secretory nature of GLUC limits its usefulness for many other possible intracellular applications, e.g., imaging signaling pathways in intact cells, in vivo imaging, and in developing molecular imaging biosensors to study protein-protein interactions and protein folding. Hence, to widen the research applications of GLUC, we developed engineered variants that increase its intracellular retention both by modifying the N-terminal secretory signal peptide and by tagging additional sequences to its C-terminal region. We found that when GLUC was expressed in mammalian cells, its N-terminal secretory signal peptide comprising amino acids 1-16 was essential for GLUC folding and functional activity in addition to its inherent secretory property. Modification of the C-terminus of GLUC by tagging a four amino acid (KDEL) endoplasmic reticulum targeting peptide in multiple repeats significantly improved its intracellular retention, with little impact on its folding and enzymatic activity. We used stable cells expressing this engineered GLUC with KDEL repeats to monitor chemically induced endoplasmic reticulum stress on cells. Additionally, we engineered an apoptotic sensor using modified variants of GLUC containing a four amino acid caspase substrate peptide (DEVD) between the GLUC protein and the KDEL repeats. Its use in cell culture resulted in increased GLUC secretion in the growth medium when cells were treated with the chemotherapeutic drugs doxorubicin, paclitaxel, and carboplatin. We thus successfully engineered a new variant GLUC protein that is retained inside cells rather than secreted extracellularly. We validated this novel reporter by incorporating it in biosensors for detection of cellular endoplasmic reticulum stress and caspase activation. This new molecularly engineered enzymatic reporter has the potential for widespread applications in biological research.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acschembio.7b00454

    View details for PubMedID 28767220

  • Multigene profiling of single circulating tumor cells. Molecular & cellular oncology Park, S., Wong, D. J., Ooi, C. C., Nesvet, J. C., Nair, V. S., Wang, S. X., Gambhir, S. S. 2017; 4 (2)

    Abstract

    Numerous techniques for isolating circulating tumor cells (CTCs) have been developed. Concurrently, single-cell techniques that can reveal molecular components of CTCs have become widely available. We discuss how the combination of isolation and multigene profiling of single CTCs in our platform can facilitate eventual translation to the clinic.

    View details for DOI 10.1080/23723556.2017.1289295

    View details for PubMedID 28401190

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5383366

  • Future cancer research priorities in the USA: A Lancet Oncology Commission Future cancer research priorities in the USA: A Lancet Oncology Commission Jaffee, E. M., Dang, C. V., Agus, D. B., Alexaner, B. M., Anderson, K. C., Ashworth, A., Barker, A. D., Bastani, R., Bhatia, S., Bluestone, J. A., Brawley, O., Butte, A. J., Coit, D. G., Davidson, N. E., Davis, M., DePinho, R. A., Diasio, R. B., Draetta, G., Frazier, A. L., Futreal, A., Gambhir, S. S., Ganz, P. A., Garraway, L., Gerson, S., Gupta, S., et al 2017; 18 (11): E653-E706
  • A First Report on [18F]FPRGD2 PET/CT Imaging in Multiple Myeloma. Contrast media & molecular imaging Withofs, N., Cousin, F., De Prijck, B., Bonnet, C., Hustinx, R., Gambhir, S. S., Beguin, Y., Caers, J. 2017; 2017: 6162845

    Abstract

    An observational study was set up to assess the feasibility of [18F]FPRGD2 PET/CT for imaging patients with multiple myeloma (MM) and to compare its detection rate with low dose CT alone and combined [18F]NaF/[18F]FDG PET/CT images. Four patients (2 newly diagnosed patients and 2 with relapsed MM) were included and underwent whole-body PET/CT after injection of [18F]FPRGD2. The obtained images were compared with results of low dose CT and already available results of a combined [18F]NaF/[18F]FDG PET/CT. In total, 81 focal lesions (FLs) were detected with PET/CT and an underlying bone destruction or fracture was seen in 72 (89%) or 8 (10%) FLs, respectively. Fewer FLs (54%) were detected by [18F]FPRGD2 PET/CT compared to low dose CT (98%) or [18F]NaF/[18F]FDG PET/CT (70%) and all FLs detected with [18F]FPRGD2 PET were associated with an underlying bone lesion. In one newly diagnosed patient, more [18F]FPRGD2 positive lesions were seen than [18F]NaF/[18F]FDG positive lesions. This study suggests that [18F]FPRGD2 PET/CT might be less useful for the detection of myeloma lesions in patients with advanced disease as all FLs with [18F]FPRGD2 uptake were already detected with CT alone.

    View details for DOI 10.1155/2017/6162845

    View details for PubMedID 29097930

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5612716

  • Tomographic magnetic particle imaging of cancer targeted nanoparticles. Nanoscale Arami, H., Teeman, E., Troksa, A., Bradshaw, H., Saatchi, K., Tomitaka, A., Gambhir, S. S., Häfeli, U. O., Liggitt, D., Krishnan, K. M. 2017; 9 (47): 18723–30

    Abstract

    Magnetic Particle Imaging (MPI) is an emerging, whole body biomedical imaging technique, with sub-millimeter spatial resolution and high sensitivity to a biocompatible contrast agent consisting of an iron oxide nanoparticle core and a biofunctionalized shell. Successful application of MPI for imaging of cancer depends on the nanoparticles (NPs) accumulating at tumors at sufficient levels relative to other sites. NPs' physiochemical properties such as size, crystallographic structure and uniformity, surface coating, stability, blood circulation time and magnetization determine the efficacy of their tumor accumulation and MPI signal generation. Here, we address these criteria by presenting strategies for the synthesis and surface functionalization of efficient MPI tracers, that can target a typical murine brain cancer model and generate three dimensional images of these tumors with very high signal-to-noise ratios (SNR). Our results showed high contrast agent sensitivities that enabled us to detect 1.1 ng of iron (SNR ∼ 3.9) and enhance the spatial resolution to about 600 μm. The biodistribution of these NPs was also studied using near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging. NPs were mainly accumulated in the liver and spleen and did not show any renal clearance. This first pre-clinical study of cancer targeted NPs imaged using a tomographic MPI system in an animal model paves the way to explore new nanomedicine strategies for cancer diagnosis and therapy, using clinically safe magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles and MPI.

    View details for DOI 10.1039/c7nr05502a

    View details for PubMedID 29165498

  • Cancer Diagnostics: On-target Probes for Early Detection Nature Biomedical Engineering Hori, S. S., Willemieke, S., Tummers, S., Gambhir, S. S. 2017; 1 (0062): 1-3
  • [F-18]GE-180 PET Detects Reduced Microglia Activation After LM11A-31 Therapy in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease THERANOSTICS James, M. L., Belichenko, N. P., Shuhendler, A. J., Hoehne, A., Andrews, L. E., Condon, C., Nguyen, T. V., Reiser, V., Jones, P., Trigg, W., Rao, J., Gambhir, S. S., Longo, F. M. 2017; 7 (6): 1422-1436

    Abstract

    Microglial activation is a key pathological feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD). PET imaging of translocator protein 18 kDa (TSPO) is a strategy to detect microglial activation in vivo. Here we assessed flutriciclamide ([(18)F]GE-180), a new second-generation TSPO-PET radiotracer, for its ability to monitor response to LM11A-31, a novel AD therapeutic in clinical trials. AD mice displaying pathology were treated orally with LM11A-31 for 3 months. Subsequent [(18)F]GE-180-PET imaging revealed significantly lower signal in cortex and hippocampus of LM11A-31-treated AD mice compared to those treated with vehicle, corresponding with decreased levels of TSPO immunostaining and microglial Iba1 immunostaining. In addition to detecting decreased microglial activation following LM11A-31 treatment, [(18)F]GE-180 identified activated microglia in AD mice with greater sensitivity than another second-generation TSPO radiotracer, [(18)F]PBR06. Together, these data demonstrate the promise of [(18)F]GE-180 as a potentially sensitive tool for tracking neuroinflammation in AD mice and for monitoring therapeutic modulation of microglial activation.

    View details for DOI 10.7150/thno.17666

    View details for Web of Science ID 000398783200002

    View details for PubMedID 28529627

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5436503

  • 18F-FDG silicon photomultiplier PET/CT: A pilot study comparing semi-quantitative measurements with standard PET/CT. PloS one Baratto, L., Park, S. Y., Hatami, N., Davidzon, G., Srinivas, S., Gambhir, S. S., Iagaru, A. 2017; 12 (6)

    Abstract

    To evaluate if the new Discovery Molecular Insights (DMI) PET/CT scanner provides equivalent results compared to the standard of care PET/CT scanners (GE Discovery 600 or GE Discovery 690) used in our clinic and to explore any possible differences in semi-quantitative measurements.The local Institutional Review Board approved the protocol and written informed consent was obtained from each patient. Between September and November 2016, 50 patients underwent a single 18F-FDG injection and two scans: the clinical standard PET/CT followed immediately by the DMI PET/CT scan. We measured SUVmax and SUVmean of different background organs and up to four lesions per patient from data acquired using both scanners.DMI PET/CT identified all the 107 lesions detected by standard PET/CT scanners, as well as additional 37 areas of focal increased 18F-FDG uptake. The SUVmax values for all 107 lesions ranged 1.2 to 14.6 (mean ± SD: 2.8 ± 2.8), higher on DMI PET/CT compared with standard of care PET/CT. The mean lesion:aortic arch SUVmax ratio and mean lesion:liver SUVmax ratio were 0.2-15.2 (mean ± SD: 3.2 ± 2.6) and 0.2-8.5 (mean ± SD: 1.9 ± 1.4) respectively, higher on DMI PET/CT than standard PET/CT. These differences were statistically significant (P value < 0.0001) and not correlated to the delay in acquisition of DMI PET data (P < 0.0001).Our study shows high performance of the new DMI PET/CT scanner. This may have a significant role in diagnosing and staging disease, as well as for assessing and monitoring responses to therapies.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0178936

    View details for PubMedID 28582472

  • Molecular profiling of single circulating tumor cells from lung cancer patients PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Park, S., Wong, D. J., Ooi, C. C., Kurtz, D. M., Vermesh, O., Aalipour, A., Suh, S., Pian, K. L., Chabon, J. J., Lee, S. H., Jamali, M., Say, C., Carter, J. N., Lee, L. P., Kuschner, W. G., Schwartz, E. J., Shrager, J. B., Neal, J. W., Wakelee, H. A., Diehn, M., Nair, V. S., Wang, S. X., Gambhir, S. S. 2016; 113 (52): E8379-E8386

    Abstract

    Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are established cancer biomarkers for the "liquid biopsy" of tumors. Molecular analysis of single CTCs, which recapitulate primary and metastatic tumor biology, remains challenging because current platforms have limited throughput, are expensive, and are not easily translatable to the clinic. Here, we report a massively parallel, multigene-profiling nanoplatform to compartmentalize and analyze hundreds of single CTCs. After high-efficiency magnetic collection of CTC from blood, a single-cell nanowell array performs CTC mutation profiling using modular gene panels. Using this approach, we demonstrated multigene expression profiling of individual CTCs from non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with remarkable sensitivity. Thus, we report a high-throughput, multiplexed strategy for single-cell mutation profiling of individual lung cancer CTCs toward minimally invasive cancer therapy prediction and disease monitoring.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1608461113

    View details for Web of Science ID 000391090800003

    View details for PubMedID 27956614

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5206556

  • Practical ImmunoPET radiotracer design considerations for human immune checkpoint imaging. Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine Mayer, A. T., Natarajan, A., Gordon, S., Maute, R., McCracken, M., Ring, A., Weissman, I., Gambhir, S. S. 2016

    Abstract

    Immune checkpoint blockade has emerged as a promising cancer treatment paradigm. Unfortunately, there are still a large number of patients and malignancies that do not respond to therapy. A major barrier to validating biomarkers for the prediction and monitoring of responders to clinical checkpoint blockade has been the lack of imaging tools to accurately assess dynamic immune checkpoint expression. Here, we sought to optimize noninvasive immuno-PET imaging of human programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression, in a preclinical model, using a small high-affinity engineered protein scaffold (HAC-PD1). Six HAC-PD1 radiotracer variants were developed and used in preclinical imaging and biodistribution studies to assess their ability to detect human PD-L1 expression in vivo. Radiotracer design modifications included chelate, glycosylation, and radiometal. HACA-PD1 was adopted as the naming convention for aglycosylated tracer variants. NOD scid γ-(NSG) mice were inoculated with subcutaneous tumors engineered to either be constitutively positive (CT26 hPD-L1) or be negative (ΔmPD-L1 CT26) for human PD-L1 expression. When the tumors had grown to an average size of 1 cm in diameter, mice were injected with 0.75-2.25 MBq (∼10 μg) of an engineered radiotracer variant and imaged. At 1 h after injection, organs were harvested for biodistribution. Of the practical immuno-PET tracer modifications considered, glycosylation was the most prominent design factor affecting tracer uptake, specificity, and clearance. In imaging studies, aglycosylated (64)Cu-NOTA-HACA-PD1 most accurately visualized human PD-L1 expression in vivo. We reasoned that because of the scaffold's small size (14 kDa), its pharmacokinetics may be suitable for labeling with the short-lived and widely clinically available radiometal (68)Ga. At 1 h after injection, (68)Ga-NOTA-HACA-PD1 and (68)Ga-DOTA-HACA-PD1 exhibited promising target-to-background ratios in ex vivo biodistribution studies (12.3 and 15.2 tumor-to-muscle ratios, respectively). Notably, all HAC-PD1 radiotracer variants enabled much earlier detection of human PD-L1 expression (1 h after injection) than previously reported radiolabeled antibodies (>24 h after injection). This work provides a template for assessing immuno-PET tracer design parameters and supports the translation of small engineered protein radiotracers for imaging human immune checkpoints.

    View details for PubMedID 27980047

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5373501

  • A Clinical Wide-Field Fluorescence Endoscopic Device for Molecular Imaging Demonstrating Cathepsin Protease Activity in Colon Cancer. Molecular imaging and biology Sensarn, S., Zavaleta, C. L., Segal, E., Rogalla, S., Lee, W., Gambhir, S. S., Bogyo, M., Contag, C. H. 2016; 18 (6): 820-829

    Abstract

    Early and effective detection of cancers of the gastrointestinal tract will require novel molecular probes and advances in instrumentation that can reveal functional changes in dysplastic and malignant tissues. Here, we describe adaptation of a wide-field clinical fiberscope to perform wide-field fluorescence imaging while preserving its white-light capability for the purpose of providing wide-field fluorescence imaging capability to point-of-care microscopes.We developed and used a fluorescent fiberscope to detect signals from a quenched probe, BMV109, that becomes fluorescent when cleaved by, and covalently bound to, active cathepsin proteases. Cathepsins are expressed in inflammation- and tumor-associated macrophages as well as directly from tumor cells and are a promising target for cancer imaging. The fiberscope has a 1-mm outer diameter enabling validation via endoscopic exams in mice, and therefore we evaluated topically applied BMV109 for the ability to detect colon polyps in an azoxymethane-induced colon tumor model in mice.This wide-field endoscopic imaging device revealed consistent and clear fluorescence signals from BMV109 that specifically localized to the polypoid regions as opposed to the normal adjacent colon tissue (p < 0.004) in the murine colon carcinoma model.The sensitivity of detection of BMV109 with the fluorescence fiberscope suggested utility of these tools for early detection at hard-to-reach sites. The fiberscope was designed to be used in conjunction with miniature, endoscope-compatible fluorescence microscopes for dual wide-field and microscopic cancer detection.

    View details for PubMedID 27154508

  • Clinically Approved Nanoparticle Imaging Agents JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE Thakor, A. S., Jokerst, J. V., Ghanouni, P., Campbell, J. L., Mittra, E., Gambhir, S. S. 2016; 57 (12): 1833–37
  • A Clinical Wide-Field Fluorescence Endoscopic Device for Molecular Imaging Demonstrating Cathepsin Protease Activity in Colon Cancer MOLECULAR IMAGING AND BIOLOGY Sensarn, S., Zavaleta, C. L., Segal, E., Rogalla, S., Lee, W., Gambhir, S. S., Bogyo, M., Contag, C. H. 2016; 18 (6): 820–29
  • Can multispectral optoacoustic tomography replace sentinel lymph biopsy in melanoma? Annals of translational medicine Leong, S. P., Kothapalli, S., Gambhir, S. S. 2016; 4 (24): 517-?

    View details for DOI 10.21037/atm.2016.12.31

    View details for PubMedID 28149879

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5233521

  • Clinically Approved Nanoparticle Imaging Agents. Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine Thakor, A. S., Jokerst, J. V., Ghanouni, P., Campbell, J., Mittra, E., Gambhir, S. S. 2016

    Abstract

    Nanoparticles are a new class of imaging agent used for both anatomic and molecular imaging. Nanoparticle-based imaging exploits the signal intensity, stability, and biodistribution behavior of submicron-diameter molecular imaging agents. This review focuses on nanoparticles used in human medical imaging, with an emphasis on radionuclide imaging and MRI. Newer nanoparticle platforms are also discussed in relation to theranostic and multimodal uses.

    View details for PubMedID 27738007

  • A transgenic mouse model expressing an ER alpha folding biosensor reveals the effects of Bisphenol A on estrogen receptor signaling SCIENTIFIC REPORTS Sekar, T. V., Foygel, K., Massoud, T. F., Gambhir, S. S., Paulmurugan, R. 2016; 6

    Abstract

    Estrogen receptor-α (ERα) plays an important role in normal and abnormal physiology of the human reproductive system by interacting with the endogenous ligand estradiol (E2). However, other ligands, either analogous or dissimilar to E2, also bind to ERα. This may create unintentional activation of ER signaling in reproductive tissues that can lead to cancer development. We developed a transgenic mouse model that constitutively expresses a firefly luciferase (FLuc) split reporter complementation biosensor (NFLuc-ER-LBDG521T-CFLuc) to simultaneously evaluate the dynamics and potency of ligands that bind to ERα. We first validated this model using various ER ligands, including Raloxifene, Diethylstilbestrol, E2, and 4-hydroxytamoxifen, by employing FLuc-based optical bioluminescence imaging of living mice. We then used the model to investigate the carcinogenic property of Bisphenol A (BPA), an environmental estrogen, by long-term exposure at full and half environmental doses. We showed significant carcinogenic effects on female animals while revealing activated downstream ER signaling as measured by bioluminescence imaging. BPA induced tumor-like outgrowths in female transgenic mice, histopathologically confirmed to be neoplastic and epithelial in origin. This transgenic mouse model expressing an ERα folding-biosensor is useful in evaluation of estrogenic ligands and their downstream effects, and in studying environmental estrogen induced carcinogenesis in vivo.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/srep34788

    View details for Web of Science ID 000385140500001

    View details for PubMedID 27721470

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5056407

  • A Cystine Knot Peptide Targeting Integrin alpha(v)beta(6) for Photoacoustic and Fluorescence Imaging of Tumors in Living Subjects JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE Zhang, C., Kimura, R., Abou-Elkacem, L., Levi, J., Xu, L., Gambhir, S. S. 2016; 57 (10): 1629-1634

    Abstract

    Photoacoustic imaging is a nonionizing biomedical imaging modality with higher resolution and imaging depth than fluorescence imaging, which has greater sensitivity. The combination of the 2 imaging modalities could improve the detection of cancer. Integrin αvβ6 is a cell surface marker overexpressed in many different cancers. Here, we report the development and evaluation of a dye-labeled cystine knot peptide, which selectively recognizes integrin αvβ6 with high affinity, for photoacoustic and fluorescence imaging. The new dual-modality probe may find clinical application in cancer diagnosis and intraoperative imaging of integrin αvβ6-positive tumors.An engineered cystine knot peptide, R01, that recognizes integrin αvβ6 was labeled with Atto 740 (A740) and evaluated for its specific cell uptake and its sensitivity threshold. A740-R01 was injected via the tail vein into nude mice xenografted with A431 (integrin αvβ6-positive) or 293T (integrin αvβ6-negative) tumors. Photoacoustic and fluorescence scans of tumors were acquired before and at 0.5, 1, 2, and 4 h after injection of A740-R01. Dynamic photoacoustic scans of various normal organs were also acquired. Ex vivo fluorescence imaging of tissues was performed 1 h after injection.The A740-R01 demonstrated integrin αvβ6-dependent binding to A431 cells in culture. Sensitivity studies indicated that the probe may potentially detect lesions as small as 1 or 6 mm(3) by fluorescence or photoacoustic imaging, respectively. The photoacoustic and fluorescence signals of A431 xenografts at 1 h after injection were 1.87 ± 0.25 arbitrary units (AU) and 8.27 ± 0.87 AU, respectively. Target specificity was confirmed by low tumor uptake in 293T tumors at 1 h after injection (1.07 ± 0.15 AU and 1.10 ± 0.14 AU for photoacoustic and fluorescence signals, respectively). A740-R01 exhibited hepatobiliary clearance marked by high uptake in the liver, spleen, and intestine but low uptake in the kidneys.A740-R01 specifically targeted integrin αvβ6 with low nanomolar affinity. A740-R01 was able to detect integrin αvβ6 both in vitro and in vivo by photoacoustic and fluorescence imaging. A740-R01 is able to detect αvβ6-positive tumors in living subjects and may have clinical application in cancer diagnosis and real-time image-guided surgery.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.115.169383

    View details for Web of Science ID 000384961900031

    View details for PubMedID 27230926

  • Quantitative photoacoustic image reconstruction improves accuracy in deep tissue structures BIOMEDICAL OPTICS EXPRESS Mastanduno, M. A., Gambhir, S. S. 2016; 7 (10): 3811-3825
  • Imaging approaches to optimize molecular therapies SCIENCE TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE Weissleder, R., Schwaiger, M. C., Gambhir, S. S., Hricak, H. 2016; 8 (355)

    Abstract

    Imaging, including its use for innovative tissue sampling, is slowly being recognized as playing a pivotal role in drug development, clinical trial design, and more effective delivery and monitoring of molecular therapies. The challenge is that, while a considerable number of new imaging technologies and new targeted tracers have been developed for cancer imaging in recent years, the technologies are neither evenly distributed nor evenly implemented. Furthermore, many imaging innovations are not validated and are not ready for widespread use in drug development or in clinical trial designs. Inconsistent and often erroneous use of terminology related to quantitative imaging biomarkers has also played a role in slowing their development and implementation. We examine opportunities for, and challenges of, the use of imaging biomarkers to facilitate development of molecular therapies and to accelerate progress in clinical trial design. In the future, in vivo molecular imaging, image-guided tissue sampling for mutational analyses ("high-content biopsies"), and noninvasive in vitro tests ("liquid biopsies") will likely be used in various combinations to provide the best possible monitoring and individualized treatment plans for cancer patients.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaf3936

    View details for Web of Science ID 000384015200001

    View details for PubMedID 27605550

  • Multimodality Molecular Imaging of Cardiac Cell Transplantation: Part II. In Vivo Imaging of Bone Marrow Stromal Cells in Swine with PET/CT and MR Imaging. Radiology Parashurama, N., Ahn, B., Ziv, K., Ito, K., Paulmurugan, R., Willmann, J. K., Chung, J., Ikeno, F., Swanson, J. C., Merk, D. R., Lyons, J. K., Yerushalmi, D., Teramoto, T., Kosuge, H., Dao, C. N., Ray, P., Patel, M., Chang, Y., Mahmoudi, M., Cohen, J. E., Goldstone, A. B., Habte, F., Bhaumik, S., Yaghoubi, S., Robbins, R. C., Dash, R., Yang, P. C., Brinton, T. J., Yock, P. G., McConnell, M. V., Gambhir, S. S. 2016; 280 (3): 826-836

    Abstract

    Purpose To quantitatively determine the limit of detection of marrow stromal cells (MSC) after cardiac cell therapy (CCT) in swine by using clinical positron emission tomography (PET) reporter gene imaging and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging with cell prelabeling. Materials and Methods Animal studies were approved by the institutional administrative panel on laboratory animal care. Seven swine received 23 intracardiac cell injections that contained control MSC and cell mixtures of MSC expressing a multimodality triple fusion (TF) reporter gene (MSC-TF) and bearing superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (NP) (MSC-TF-NP) or NP alone. Clinical MR imaging and PET reporter gene molecular imaging were performed after intravenous injection of the radiotracer fluorine 18-radiolabeled 9-[4-fluoro-3-(hydroxyl methyl) butyl] guanine ((18)F-FHBG). Linear regression analysis of both MR imaging and PET data and nonlinear regression analysis of PET data were performed, accounting for multiple injections per animal. Results MR imaging showed a positive correlation between MSC-TF-NP cell number and dephasing (dark) signal (R(2) = 0.72, P = .0001) and a lower detection limit of at least approximately 1.5 × 10(7) cells. PET reporter gene imaging demonstrated a significant positive correlation between MSC-TF and target-to-background ratio with the linear model (R(2) = 0.88, P = .0001, root mean square error = 0.523) and the nonlinear model (R(2) = 0.99, P = .0001, root mean square error = 0.273) and a lower detection limit of 2.5 × 10(8) cells. Conclusion The authors quantitatively determined the limit of detection of MSC after CCT in swine by using clinical PET reporter gene imaging and clinical MR imaging with cell prelabeling. (©) RSNA, 2016 Online supplemental material is available for this article.

    View details for DOI 10.1148/radiol.2016151150

    View details for PubMedID 27332865

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5006717

  • Multimodality Molecular Imaging of Cardiac Cell Transplantation: Part I. Reporter Gene Design, Characterization, and Optical in Vivo Imaging of Bone Marrow Stromal Cells after Myocardial Infarction. Radiology Parashurama, N., Ahn, B., Ziv, K., Ito, K., Paulmurugan, R., Willmann, J. K., Chung, J., Ikeno, F., Swanson, J. C., Merk, D. R., Lyons, J. K., Yerushalmi, D., Teramoto, T., Kosuge, H., Dao, C. N., Ray, P., Patel, M., Chang, Y., Mahmoudi, M., Cohen, J. E., Goldstone, A. B., Habte, F., Bhaumik, S., Yaghoubi, S., Robbins, R. C., Dash, R., Yang, P. C., Brinton, T. J., Yock, P. G., McConnell, M. V., Gambhir, S. S. 2016; 280 (3): 815-825

    Abstract

    Purpose To use multimodality reporter-gene imaging to assess the serial survival of marrow stromal cells (MSC) after therapy for myocardial infarction (MI) and to determine if the requisite preclinical imaging end point was met prior to a follow-up large-animal MSC imaging study. Materials and Methods Animal studies were approved by the Institutional Administrative Panel on Laboratory Animal Care. Mice (n = 19) that had experienced MI were injected with bone marrow-derived MSC that expressed a multimodality triple fusion (TF) reporter gene. The TF reporter gene (fluc2-egfp-sr39ttk) consisted of a human promoter, ubiquitin, driving firefly luciferase 2 (fluc2), enhanced green fluorescent protein (egfp), and the sr39tk positron emission tomography reporter gene. Serial bioluminescence imaging of MSC-TF and ex vivo luciferase assays were performed. Correlations were analyzed with the Pearson product-moment correlation, and serial imaging results were analyzed with a mixed-effects regression model. Results Analysis of the MSC-TF after cardiac cell therapy showed significantly lower signal on days 8 and 14 than on day 2 (P = .011 and P = .001, respectively). MSC-TF with MI demonstrated significantly higher signal than MSC-TF without MI at days 4, 8, and 14 (P = .016). Ex vivo luciferase activity assay confirmed the presence of MSC-TF on days 8 and 14 after MI. Conclusion Multimodality reporter-gene imaging was successfully used to assess serial MSC survival after therapy for MI, and it was determined that the requisite preclinical imaging end point, 14 days of MSC survival, was met prior to a follow-up large-animal MSC study. (©) RSNA, 2016 Online supplemental material is available for this article.

    View details for DOI 10.1148/radiol.2016140049

    View details for PubMedID 27308957

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5006716

  • Glioblastoma Multiforme Recurrence: An Exploratory Study of (18)F FPPRGD2 PET/CT. Radiology Iagaru, A., Mosci, C., Mittra, E., Zaharchuk, G., Fischbein, N., Harsh, G., Li, G., Nagpal, S., Recht, L., Gambhir, S. S. 2016; 280 (1): 328-?

    View details for DOI 10.1148/radiol.2016164020

    View details for PubMedID 27322985

  • Glioblastoma Multiforme Recurrence Response RADIOLOGY Iagaru, A., Gambhir, S. 2016; 280 (1): 326–27
  • Protein biomarkers on tissue as imaged via MALDI mass spectrometry: A systematic approach to study the limits of detection PROTEOMICS van de Ven, S. M., Bemis, K. D., Lau, K., Adusumilli, R., Kota, U., Stolowitz, M., Vitek, O., Mallick, P., Gambhir, S. S. 2016; 16 (11-12): 1660-1669

    Abstract

    MALDI mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) is emerging as a tool for protein and peptide imaging across tissue sections. Despite extensive study, there does not yet exist a baseline study evaluating the potential capabilities for this technique to detect diverse proteins in tissue sections. In this study, we developed a systematic approach for characterizing MALDI-MSI workflows in terms of limits of detection, coefficients of variation, spatial resolution, and the identification of endogenous tissue proteins. Our goal was to quantify these figures of merit for a number of different proteins and peptides, in order to gain more insight in the feasibility of protein biomarker discovery efforts using this technique. Control proteins and peptides were deposited in serial dilutions on thinly sectioned mouse xenograft tissue. Using our experimental setup, coefficients of variation were <30% on tissue sections and spatial resolution was 200 μm (or greater). Limits of detection for proteins and peptides on tissue were in the micromolar to millimolar range. Protein identification was only possible for proteins present in high abundance in the tissue. These results provide a baseline for the application of MALDI-MSI towards the discovery of new candidate biomarkers and a new benchmarking strategy that can be used for comparing diverse MALDI-MSI workflows.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/pmic.201500515

    View details for Web of Science ID 000379049100008

    View details for PubMedID 26970438

  • Pilot prospective evaluation of F-18-FPPRGD(2) PET/CT in patients with cervical and ovarian cancer EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE AND MOLECULAR IMAGING Minamimoto, R., Karam, A., Jamali, M., Barkhodari, A., Gambhir, S. S., Dorigo, O., Iagaru, A. 2016; 43 (6): 1047-1055

    Abstract

    We report the effect of antiangiogenic therapy on the biodistribution of (18)F-FPPRGD2 (a surrogate biomarker of integrin αvβ3 expression), and the potential of (18)F-FPPRGD2 to predict the prognosis in patients with cervical cancer and ovarian cancer in this clinical scenario.Data from six women, age range 30 - 59 years (mean ± SD 44.0 ± 12.5 years), who had undergone a (18)F-FPPRGD2 PET/CT scan and bevacizumab-containing therapy were prospectively collected and analyzed. We compared baseline (18)F-FPPRGD2 and (18)F-FDG uptake in the lesions and tumor-to-background (T/B) ratios. The maximum and mean (18)F-FPPRGD2 standardized uptake values (SUVmax and SUVmean) were recorded for 13 normal organs, as well as in all the identified malignant lesions on the pretreatment scan and the 1-week post-treatment scan. We also measured changes in (18)F-FPPRGD2 uptake from before to 1 week after treatment, and compared them to the changes in (18)F-FDG uptake from before to 6 weeks after treatment. Treatment outcomes were correlated with these changes.The uptake in lesions and T/B ratio of (18)F-FPPRGD2 were lower than those of (18)F-FDG (SUVmax 3.7 ± 1.3 vs. 6.0 ± 1.8, P < 0.001; SUVmean 2.6 ± 0.7 vs. 4.2 ± 1.3, P < 0.001; T/B ratio based on SUVmax 2.4 ± 1.0 vs. 2.6 ± 1.0, P < 0.04; T/B ratio based on SUVmean 1.9 ± 0.6 vs. 2.4 ± 1.0, P < 0.003). One patient did not return for the follow-up scan and in another patient no lesions were identified on the pretreatment scan. (18)F-FPPRGD2 uptake in lesions in the remaining four patients had significantly changed 1 week after treatment (SUVmean 3.3 ± 1.0 vs. 2.7 ± 1.0, P < 0.001), while uptake in all normal tissues analyzed was not affected by treatment. One patient with clinical disease progression had a decrease in lesional (18)F-FPPRGD2 SUVmean of 1.6 % and in (18)F-FDG SUVmean of 9.4 %. Two patients with a clinical complete response to treatment had decreases in lesional (18)F-FPPRGD2 SUVmean of 25.2 % and 25.0 % and in (18)F-FDG SUVmean of 6.1 % and 71.8 %. One patient with a clinical partial response had a decrease in lesional (18)F-FPPRGD2 SUVmean of 7.9 % and in (18)F-FDG SUVmean of 76.4 %.This pilot study showed that (18)F-FPPRGD2 and (18)F-FDG provide independent information about the biology of ovarian and cervical cancers. Bevacizumab-containing therapy does not affect (18)F-FPPRGD2 uptake in normal organs, but does result in statistically significant changes in lesions. In addition, (18)F-FPPRGD2 may have potential for early prediction of response to such treatments. These preliminary findings have to be confirmed in larger studies.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s00259-015-3263-7

    View details for Web of Science ID 000374972900008

    View details for PubMedID 26611425

  • Characterization of Physiologic F-18 FSPG Uptake in Healthy Volunteers RADIOLOGY Mosci, C., Kumar, M., Smolarz, K., Koglin, N., Stephens, A. W., Schwaiger, M., Gambhir, S. S., Mittra, E. S. 2016; 279 (3): 898-905

    Abstract

    Purpose To evaluate the normal biodistribution and kinetics of (S)-4-(3-[18F]fluoropropyl)-l-glutamic acid ((18)F FSPG) in healthy volunteers and to compare (18)F FSPG mean and maximum standardized uptake values (SUVmean and SUVmax, respectively) with those of (18)F fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) across a variety of organs. Materials and Methods This protocol was reviewed and approved by all appropriate regulatory authorities. An 8-mCi (±10%) dose of (18)F FSPG was given to five subjects (three women, two men), and seven whole-body positron emission tomography (PET) scans were performed 5, 10, 20, 30, 45, 150, and 240 minutes after injection. Regions of interest were analyzed on the resultant (18)F FSPG images to evaluate the kinetics of this radiotracer. The images obtained 45 minutes after injection were used to measure SUVmean and SUVmax in additional regions of the body. These values were compared with similar values obtained with (18)F FDG PET published previously. Descriptive statistics, including average and standard deviation across the five subjects, were used. (18)F FSPG SUVmean and SUVmax were compared. Results On the (18)F FSPG images obtained 45 minutes after injection, there was only low-grade background activity in the majority of analyzed regions. Prominent activity was seen throughout the pancreas. Clearance of the radiotracer through the kidneys and collection in the bladder also were seen. SUV quantification shows notable differences between (18)F FSPG and (18)F FDG in the pancreas ((18)F FSPG SUVmean, 8.2; (18)F FDG SUVmean, 1.3), stomach ((18)F FSPG SUVmax, 3.6; (18)F FDG SUVmax, 1.6), and brain ((18)F FSPG SUVmean, 0.08; (18)F FDG SUVmean, 7.8). The kinetic data showed rapid clearance of the radiotracer from the blood pool and most organs, except the pancreas. Conclusion (18)F FSPG is a PET radiopharmaceutical characterized by rapid clearance from most healthy tissues, except the pancreas and kidneys. A consistent biodistribution pattern was observed with low background uptake. The physiologic uptake of this new radiotracer throughout the body is described in more detail, which is important for improved interpretative accuracy and understanding potential clinical applications. (©) RSNA, 2016.

    View details for DOI 10.1148/radiol.2015142000

    View details for Web of Science ID 000378719700028

    View details for PubMedID 26785040

  • Alk5 inhibition increases delivery of macromolecular and protein-bound contrast agents to tumors. JCI insight Daldrup-Link, H. E., Mohanty, S., Ansari, C., Lenkov, O., Shaw, A., Ito, K., Hong, S. H., Hoffmann, M., Pisani, L., Boudreau, N., Gambhir, S. S., Coussens, L. M. 2016; 1 (6)

    Abstract

    Limited transendothelial permeability across tumor microvessels represents a significant bottleneck in the development of tumor-specific diagnostic agents and theranostic drugs. Here, we show an approach to increase transendothelial permeability of macromolecular and nanoparticle-based contrast agents via inhibition of the type I TGF-β receptor, activin-like kinase 5 (Alk5), in tumors. Alk5 inhibition significantly increased tumor contrast agent delivery and enhancement on imaging studies, while healthy organs remained relatively unaffected. Imaging data correlated with significantly decreased tumor interstitial fluid pressure, while tumor vascular density remained unchanged. This immediately clinically translatable concept involving Alk5 inhibitor pretreatment prior to an imaging study could be leveraged for improved tumor delivery of macromolecular and nanoparticle-based imaging probes and, thereby, facilitate development of more sensitive imaging tests for cancer diagnosis, enhanced tumor characterization, and personalized, image-guided therapies.

    View details for PubMedID 27182558

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4864003

  • Alk5 inhibition increases delivery of macromolecular and protein-bound contrast agents to tumors JCI INSIGHT Daldrup-Link, H. E., Mohanty, S., Ansari, C., Lenkov, O., Shaw, A., Ito, K., Hong, S., Hoffmann, M., Pisani, L., Boudreau, N., Gambhir, S., Coussens, L. M. 2016; 1 (6)
  • Imaging Patients with Breast and Prostate Cancers Using Combined 18F NaF/18F FDG and TOF simultaneous PET/MRI Sonni, I., Minamimoto, R., Loening, A., Taviani, V., Jamali, M., Hatami, N., Baratto, L., Wu, F., Gambhir, S., Vasanawala, S., Iagaru, A. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2016
  • Imaging of tumor-associated system xC-activity with 18F-fluoropropylglutamate (18F-FSPG) PET/CT for intracranial malignancies Sonni, I., Minamimoto, R., Jamali, M., Hatami, N., Berndt, M., Koglin, N., Stephens, A., Iagaru, A., Chin, F., Gambhir, S., Mittra, E. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2016
  • [(18)F]FPRGD2 PET/CT imaging of integrin avß3 levels in patients with locally advanced rectal carcinoma. European journal of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging Withofs, N., Martinive, P., Vanderick, J., Bletard, N., Scagnol, I., Mievis, F., Giacomelli, F., Coucke, P., Delvenne, P., Cataldo, D., Gambhir, S. S., Hustinx, R. 2016; 43 (4): 654-662

    Abstract

    Our primary objective was to determine if [(18)F]FPRGD2 PET/CT performed at baseline and/or after chemoradiotherapy (CRT) could predict tumour regression grade (TRG) in locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC). Secondary objectives were to compare baseline [(18)F]FPRGD2 and [(18)F]FDG uptake, to evaluate the correlation between posttreatment [(18)F]FPRGD2 uptake and tumour microvessel density (MVD) and to determine if [(18)F]FPRGD2 and FDG PET/CT could predict disease-free survival.Baseline [(18)F]FPRGD2 and FDG PET/CT were performed in 32 consecutive patients (23 men, 9 women; mean age 63 ± 8 years) with LARC before starting any therapy. A posttreatment [(18)F]FPRGD2 PET/CT scan was performed in 24 patients after the end of CRT (median interval 7 weeks, range 3 - 15 weeks) and before surgery (median interval 4 days, range 1 - 15 days).All LARC showed uptake of both [(18)F]FPRGD2 (SUVmax 5.4 ± 1.5, range 2.7 - 9) and FDG (SUVmax 16.5 ± 8, range 7.1 - 36.5). There was a moderate positive correlation between [(18)F]FPRGD2 and FDG SUVmax (Pearson's r = 0.49, p = 0.0026). There was a moderate negative correlation between baseline [(18)F]FPRGD2 SUVmax and the TRG (Spearman's r = -0.37, p = 0.037), and a [(18)F]FPRGD2 SUVmax of >5.6 identified all patients with a complete response (TRG 0; AUC 0.84, 95 % CI 0.68 - 1, p = 0.029). In the 24 patients who underwent a posttreatment [(18)F]FPRGD2 PET/CT scan the response index, calculated as [(SUVmax1 - SUVmax2)/SUVmax1] × 100 %, was not associated with TRG. Post-treatment [(18)F]FPRGD2 uptake was not correlated with tumour MVD. Neither [(18)F]FPRGD2 nor FDG uptake predicted disease-free survival.Baseline [(18)F]FPRGD2 uptake was correlated with the pathological response in patients with LARC treated with CRT. However, the specificity was too low to consider its clinical routine use.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s00259-015-3219-y

    View details for PubMedID 26490751

  • [F-18]FPRGD(2) PET/CT imaging of integrin alpha(v)beta(3) levels in patients with locally advanced rectal carcinoma EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE AND MOLECULAR IMAGING Withofs, N., Martinive, P., Vanderick, J., Bletard, N., Scagnol, I., Mievis, F., Giacomelli, F., Coucke, P., Delvenne, P., Cataldo, D., Gambhir, S. S., Hustinx, R. 2016; 43 (4): 654-662
  • Pilot Comparison of Ga-68-RM2 PET and Ga-68-PSMA-11 PET in Patients with Biochemically Recurrent Prostate Cancer JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE Minamimoto, R., Hancock, S., Schneider, B., Chin, F. T., Jamali, M., Loening, A., Vasanawala, S., Gambhir, S. S., Iagaru, A. 2016; 57 (4): 557-562

    Abstract

    Glu-NH-CO-NH-Lys-(Ahx)-[(68)Ga(HBED-CC)] ((68)Ga-PSMA-11) is a PET tracer that can detect prostate cancer relapses and metastases by binding to the extracellular domain of PSMA.(68)Ga-labeled DOTA-4-amino-1-carboxymethyl-piperidine-d-Phe-Gln-Trp-Ala-Val-Gly-His-Sta-Leu-NH2 ((68)Ga-RM2) is a synthetic bombesin receptor antagonist that targets gastrin-releasing peptide receptors. We present pilot data on the biodistribution of these PET tracers in a small cohort of patients with biochemically recurrent prostate cancer.Seven men (mean age ± SD, 74.3 ± 5.9 y) with biochemically recurrent prostate cancer underwent both(68)Ga-PSMA-11 PET/CT and(68)Ga-RM2 PET/MRI scans. SUVmaxand SUVmeanwere recorded for normal tissues and areas of uptake outside the expected physiologic biodistribution.All patients had a rising level of prostate-specific antigen (mean ± SD, 13.5 ± 11.5) and noncontributory results on conventional imaging.(68)Ga-PSMA-11 had the highest physiologic uptake in the salivary glands and small bowel, with hepatobiliary and renal clearance noted, whereas(68)Ga-RM2 had the highest physiologic uptake in the pancreas, with renal clearance noted. Uptake outside the expected physiologic biodistribution did not significantly differ between(68)Ga-PSMA-11 and(68)Ga-RM2; however,(68)Ga-PSMA-11 localized in a lymph node and seminal vesicle in a patient with no abnormal(68)Ga-RM2 uptake. Abdominal periaortic lymph nodes were more easily visualized by(68)Ga-RM2 in two patients because of lack of interference by radioactivity in the small intestine.(68)Ga-PSMA-11 and(68)Ga-RM2 had distinct biodistributions in this small cohort of patients with biochemically recurrent prostate cancer. Additional work is needed to understand the expression of PSMA and gastrin-releasing peptide receptors in different types of prostate cancer.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.115.168393

    View details for Web of Science ID 000373627800022

    View details for PubMedID 26659347

  • Comparison of Deconvolution Filters for Photoacoustic Tomography PLOS ONE de Sompel, D. V., Sasportas, L. S., Jokerst, J. V., Gambhir, S. S. 2016; 11 (3)
  • Mesoporous silica nanoparticles for ultrasound/magnetic resonance imaging and therapeutic drug delivery for stem cell therapy Kempen, P., Campbell, J., Greasley, S., Jones, J., Gambhir, S., Sinclair, R., Jokerst, J. AMER CHEMICAL SOC. 2016
  • Tumor Molecular Imaging with Nanoparticles ENGINEERING Cheng, Z., Yan, X., Sun, X., Shen, B., Gambhir, S. 2016; 2 (1): 132–40
  • Pilot Preclinical and Clinical Evaluation of (4S)-4-(3-[18F]Fluoropropyl)-L-Glutamate (18F-FSPG) for PET/CT Imaging of Intracranial Malignancies. PloS one Mittra, E. S., Koglin, N., Mosci, C., Kumar, M., Hoehne, A., Keu, K. V., Iagaru, A. H., Mueller, A., Berndt, M., Bullich, S., Friebe, M., Schmitt-Willich, H., Gekeler, V., Fels, L. M., Bacher-Stier, C., Moon, D. H., Chin, F. T., Stephens, A. W., Dinkelborg, L. M., Gambhir, S. S. 2016; 11 (2)

    Abstract

    (S)-4-(3-[18F]Fluoropropyl)-L-glutamic acid (18F-FSPG) is a novel radiopharmaceutical for Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging. It is a glutamate analogue that can be used to measure xC- transporter activity. This study was performed to assess the feasibility of 18F-FSPG for imaging orthotopic brain tumors in small animals and the translation of this approach in human subjects with intracranial malignancies.For the small animal study, GS9L glioblastoma cells were implanted into brains of Fischer rats and studied with 18F-FSPG, the 18F-labeled glucose derivative 18F-FDG and with the 18F-labeled amino acid derivative 18F-FET. For the human study, five subjects with either primary or metastatic brain cancer were recruited (mean age 50.4 years). After injection of 300 MBq of 18F-FSPG, 3 whole-body PET/Computed Tomography (CT) scans were obtained and safety parameters were measured. The three subjects with brain metastases also had an 18F-FDG PET/CT scan. Quantitative and qualitative comparison of the scans was performed to assess kinetics, biodistribution, and relative efficacy of the tracers.In the small animals, the orthotopic brain tumors were visualized well with 18F-FSPG. The high tumor uptake of 18F-FSPG in the GS9L model and the absence of background signal led to good tumor visualization with high contrast (tumor/brain ratio: 32.7). 18F-FDG and 18F-FET showed T/B ratios of 1.7 and 2.8, respectively. In the human pilot study, 18F-FSPG was well tolerated and there was similar distribution in all patients. All malignant lesions were positive with 18F-FSPG except for one low-grade primary brain tumor. In the 18F-FSPG-PET-positive tumors a similar T/B ratio was observed as in the animal model.18F-FSPG is a novel PET radiopharmaceutical that demonstrates good uptake in both small animal and human studies of intracranial malignancies. Future studies on larger numbers of subjects and a wider array of brain tumors are planned.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01186601.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0148628

    View details for PubMedID 26890637

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4758607

  • Engineered PD-1 variants as immunotherapies for cancer Gordon, S. R., Maute, R., Mayer, A., McCracken, M., Natarajan, A., Guo, N., Kimura, R., Tsai, J. M., Manglik, A., Kruse, A., Gambhir, S., Weissman, I. L., Ring, A. M. AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH. 2016
  • Artificial MicroRNAs as Novel Secreted Reporters for Cell Monitoring in Living Subjects. PloS one Ronald, J. A., D'Souza, A. L., Chuang, H., Gambhir, S. S. 2016; 11 (7)

    Abstract

    Reporter genes are powerful technologies that can be used to directly inform on the fate of transplanted cells in living subjects. Imaging reporter genes are often employed to quantify cell number, location(s), and viability with various imaging modalities. To complement this, reporters that are secreted from cells can provide a low-cost, in vitro diagnostic test to monitor overall cell viability at relatively high frequency without knowing the locations of all cells. Whereas protein-based secretable reporters have been developed, an RNA-based reporter detectable with amplification inherent PCR-based assays has not been previously described. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short non-coding RNAs (18-22 nt) that regulate mRNA translation and are being explored as relatively stable blood-based disease biomarkers. We developed an artificial miRNA-based secreted reporter, called Sec-miR, utilizing a coding sequence that is not expressed endogenously and does not have any known vertebrate target. Sec-miR was detectable in both the cells and culture media of transiently transfected cells. Cells stably expressing Sec-miR also reliably secreted it into the culture media. Mice implanted with parental HeLa cells or HeLa cells expressing both Sec-miR and the bioluminescence imaging (BLI) reporter gene Firefly luciferase (FLuc) were monitored over time for tumor volume, FLuc signal via BLI, and blood levels of Sec-miR. Significantly (p<0.05) higher Sec-miR was found in the blood of mice bearing Sec-miR-expressing tumors compared to parental cell tumors at 21 and 28 days after implantation. Importantly, blood Sec-miR reporter levels after day 21 showed a trend towards correlation with tumor volume (R2 = 0.6090; p = 0.0671) and significantly correlated with FLuc signal (R2 = 0.7067; p<0.05). Finally, we could significantly (p<0.01) amplify Sec-miR secretion into the cell media by chaining together multiple Sec-miR copies (4 instead of 1 or 2) within an expression cassette. Overall, we show that a novel complement of BLI together with a unique Sec-miR reporter adds an in vitro RNA-based diagnostic to enhance the monitoring of transplanted cells. While Sec-miR was not as sensitive as BLI for monitoring cell number, it may be more sensitive than clinically-relevant positron emission tomography (PET) reporter assays. Future work will focus on improving cell detectability via improved secretion of Sec-miR reporters from cells and more sensitive detection platforms, as well as, exploring other miRNA sequences to allow multiplexed monitoring of more than one cell population at a time. Continued development may lead to more refined and precise monitoring of cell-based therapies.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0159369

    View details for PubMedID 27442530

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4956193

  • Comparison of Deconvolution Filters for Photoacoustic Tomography. PloS one Van de Sompel, D., Sasportas, L. S., Jokerst, J. V., Gambhir, S. S. 2016; 11 (3)

    Abstract

    In this work, we compare the merits of three temporal data deconvolution methods for use in the filtered backprojection algorithm for photoacoustic tomography (PAT). We evaluate the standard Fourier division technique, the Wiener deconvolution filter, and a Tikhonov L-2 norm regularized matrix inversion method. Our experiments were carried out on subjects of various appearances, namely a pencil lead, two man-made phantoms, an in vivo subcutaneous mouse tumor model, and a perfused and excised mouse brain. All subjects were scanned using an imaging system with a rotatable hemispherical bowl, into which 128 ultrasound transducer elements were embedded in a spiral pattern. We characterized the frequency response of each deconvolution method, compared the final image quality achieved by each deconvolution technique, and evaluated each method's robustness to noise. The frequency response was quantified by measuring the accuracy with which each filter recovered the ideal flat frequency spectrum of an experimentally measured impulse response. Image quality under the various scenarios was quantified by computing noise versus resolution curves for a point source phantom, as well as the full width at half maximum (FWHM) and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) of selected image features such as dots and linear structures in additional imaging subjects. It was found that the Tikhonov filter yielded the most accurate balance of lower and higher frequency content (as measured by comparing the spectra of deconvolved impulse response signals to the ideal flat frequency spectrum), achieved a competitive image resolution and contrast-to-noise ratio, and yielded the greatest robustness to noise. While the Wiener filter achieved a similar image resolution, it tended to underrepresent the lower frequency content of the deconvolved signals, and hence of the reconstructed images after backprojection. In addition, its robustness to noise was poorer than that of the Tikhonov filter. The performance of the Fourier filter was found to be the poorest of all three methods, based on the reconstructed images' lowest resolution (blurriest appearance), generally lowest contrast-to-noise ratio, and lowest robustness to noise. Overall, the Tikhonov filter was deemed to produce the most desirable image reconstructions.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0152597

    View details for PubMedID 27031832

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4816281

  • AshwaMAX and Withaferin A inhibits gliomas in cellular and murine orthotopic models JOURNAL OF NEURO-ONCOLOGY Chang, E., Pohling, C., Natarajan, A., Witney, T. H., Kaur, J., Xu, L., Gowrishankar, G., D'Souza, A. L., Murty, S., Schick, S., Chen, L., Wu, N., Khaw, P., Mischel, P., Abbasi, T., Usmani, S., Mallick, P., Gambhir, S. S. 2016; 126 (2): 253-264

    Abstract

    Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is an aggressive, malignant cancer Johnson and O'Neill (J Neurooncol 107: 359-364, 2012). An extract from the winter cherry plant (Withania somnifera ), AshwaMAX, is concentrated (4.3 %) for Withaferin A; a steroidal lactone that inhibits cancer cells Vanden Berghe et al. (Cancer Epidemiol Biomark Prev 23: 1985-1996, 2014). We hypothesized that AshwaMAX could treat GBM and that bioluminescence imaging (BLI) could track oral therapy in orthotopic murine models of glioblastoma. Human parietal-cortical glioblastoma cells (GBM2, GBM39) were isolated from primary tumors while U87-MG was obtained commercially. GBM2 was transduced with lentiviral vectors that express Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP)/firefly luciferase fusion proteins. Mutational, expression and proliferative status of GBMs were studied. Intracranial xenografts of glioblastomas were grown in the right frontal regions of female, nude mice (n = 3-5 per experiment). Tumor growth was followed through BLI. Neurosphere cultures (U87-MG, GBM2 and GBM39) were inhibited by AshwaMAX at IC50 of 1.4, 0.19 and 0.22 µM equivalent respectively and by Withaferin A with IC50 of 0.31, 0.28 and 0.25 µM respectively. Oral gavage, every other day, of AshwaMAX (40 mg/kg per day) significantly reduced bioluminescence signal (n = 3 mice, p < 0.02, four parameter non-linear regression analysis) in preclinical models. After 30 days of treatment, bioluminescent signal increased suggesting onset of resistance. BLI signal for control, vehicle-treated mice increased and then plateaued. Bioluminescent imaging revealed diffuse growth of GBM2 xenografts. With AshwaMAX, GBM neurospheres collapsed at nanomolar concentrations. Oral treatment studies on murine models confirmed that AshwaMAX is effective against orthotopic GBM. AshwaMAX is thus a promising candidate for future clinical translation in patients with GBM.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11060-015-1972-1

    View details for Web of Science ID 000368728300005

  • Dynamic Noninvasive Genomic Monitoring for Outcome Prediction in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma Kurtz, D. M., Scherer, F., Newman, A. M., Lovejoy, A. F., Klass, D. M., Chabon, J. J., Gambhir, S., Diehn, M., Alizadeh, A. A. AMER SOC HEMATOLOGY. 2015
  • (18)F-FPRGD2 PET/CT imaging of musculoskeletal disorders. Annals of nuclear medicine Withofs, N., Charlier, E., Simoni, P., Alvarez-Miezentseva, V., Mievis, F., Giacomelli, F., Mella, C., Gambhir, S. S., Malaise, O., de Seny, D., Malaise, M., Hustinx, R. 2015; 29 (10): 839-847

    Abstract

    This work reports on musculoskeletal uptake of (18)F-FPRGD2, targeting the integrin αvβ3, in patients who had undergone (18)F-FPRGD2 positron emission tomography combined with computed tomography (PET/CT) for oncologic purposes.Whole-body (18)F-FPRGD2 PET/CT images of 62 cancer patients were retrospectively reviewed to detect foci of musculoskeletal (18)F-FPRGD2 uptake. For 37 patients, a FDG PET/CT performed in clinical settings was available. In each joint with an abnormal uptake, the maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) was estimated.A total of 260 musculoskeletal foci of (18)F-FPRGD2 uptake were detected. Most common sites of uptake were joints and discs (n = 160; 61.5 %), entheses (osteotendinous and osteoligamentous junctions; n = 55; 21.2 %) and recent fractures (n = 18; 6.9 %). In addition, 27 (10.4 %) miscellaneous foci were detected. Out of the 146 lesions for which a FDG PET was available, 63 % showed both (18)F-FPRGD2 and FDG uptake, 33.6 % did not show FDG avidity and 3.4 % showed only FDG uptake. The uptake intensity of the 92 lesions positive with (18)F-FPRGD2 and FDG was similar with both radiopharmaceuticals, but the target-to-background (blood pool or muscle) ratios were significantly higher with (18)F-FPRGD2 than with FDG (p < 0.0001).The (18)F-FPRGD2 uptake in joints, spine degenerative diseases and tendons was highly prevalent in our population. Up to one-third of (18)F-FPRGD2 foci showed no FDG uptake suggesting that (18)F-FPRGD2 signal may not be related to inflammatory angiogenesis only.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s12149-015-1011-5

    View details for PubMedID 26254227

  • Imaging patients with breast and prostate cancers using combined 18F NaF/18F FDG and TOF simultaneous PET/ MRI. EJNMMI physics Iagaru, A., Minamimoto, R., Jamali, M., Barkodhodari, A., Gambhir, S. S., Vasanawala, S. 2015; 2: A65-?

    View details for DOI 10.1186/2197-7364-2-S1-A65

    View details for PubMedID 26956325

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4798635

  • Multiscale Framework for Imaging Radio labeled Therapeutics MOLECULAR PHARMACEUTICS Natarajan, A., Tuerkcan, S., Gambhir, S. S., Pratx, G. 2015; 12 (12): 4554-4560
  • Prospective Comparison of 99mTc-MDP Scintigraphy, Combined 18F-NaF and 18F-FDG PET/CT, and Whole-Body MRI in Patients with Breast and Prostate Cancer. Journal of nuclear medicine Minamimoto, R., Loening, A., Jamali, M., Barkhodari, A., Mosci, C., Jackson, T., Obara, P., Taviani, V., Gambhir, S. S., Vasanawala, S., Iagaru, A. 2015; 56 (12): 1862-1868

    Abstract

    We prospectively evaluated the combined (18)F-NaF/(18)F-FDG PET/CT in patients with breast and prostate cancers, and compared the results to (99m)Tc MDP bone scintigraphy (BS) and whole-body MRI (WBMRI).30 patients (15 women with breast cancer and 15 men with prostate cancer) referred for standard of care BS were prospectively enrolled in this study. (18)F-NaF/(18)F-FDG PET/CT and WBMRI were performed following BS. WBMRI protocol consisted of both non-contrast enhanced and contrast enhanced sequences. Lesions detected with each test were tabulated and the results were compared.For extra skeletal lesions, (18)F-/(18)F-FDG PET/CT and WBMRI had no statistically significant differences in sensitivity (92.9% vs 92.9%, P = 1.00), PPV (81.3% vs 86.7%, P = 0.68) and accuracy (76.5% vs 82.4%, P = 0.56). However, (18)F-/(18)F-FDG PET/CT showed significantly higher sensitivity and accuracy than WBMRI (96.2% vs 81.4%, P<0.001, 89.8% vs 74.7%, P = 0.01) and BS (96.2% vs 64.6%, P<0.001, 89.8% vs 65.9%, P<0.001) for the detection of skeletal lesions. Overall, (18)F-/(18)F-FDG PET/CT showed higher sensitivity and accuracy than WBMRI (95.7% vs 83.3%, P<0.002, 87.6% vs 76.0%, P< 0.02), but not statistically significant when compared to a combination of WBMRI and BS (95.7% vs 91.6%, P = 0.17, 87.6% vs 83.0%, P = 0.53). (18)F-/(18)F-FDG PET/CT showed no significant difference with a combination of (18)F-/(18)F-FDG PET/CT and WBMRI. No statistically significant differences in PPV were noted among the 3 examinations.The (18)F NaF/(18)F FDG PET/CT is superior to WBMRI and (99m)Tc-MDP scintigraphy for evaluation of skeletal disease extent. Further, (18)F NaF/(18)F FDG PET/CT and WBMRI detected extra-skeletal disease that may change the management of these patients. The (18)F NaF/(18)F FDG PET/CT provide similar diagnostic ability with combination of WBMRI and BS in patients with breast and prostate cancers. Larger cohorts are needed in order to confirm these preliminary findings, ideally using the newly introduced simultaneous PET/MRI scanners.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.115.162610

    View details for PubMedID 26405167

  • Further validation to support clinical translation of [(18)F]FTC-146 for imaging sigma-1 receptors. EJNMMI research Shen, B., James, M. L., Andrews, L., Lau, C., Chen, S., Palner, M., Miao, Z., Arksey, N. C., Shuhendler, A. J., Scatliffe, S., Kaneshige, K., Parsons, S. M., McCurdy, C. R., Salehi, A., Gambhir, S. S., Chin, F. T. 2015; 5 (1): 49-?

    Abstract

    This study aims to further evaluate the specificity and selectivity of [(18)F]FTC-146 and obtain additional data to support its clinical translation.The binding of [(19)F]FTC-146 to vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT) was evaluated using [(3)H]vesamicol and PC12(A123.7) cells in an in vitro binding assay. The uptake and kinetics of [(18)F]FTC-146 in S1R-knockout mice (S1R-KO) compared to wild-type (WT) littermates was assessed using dynamic positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. Ex vivo autoradiography and histology were conducted using a separate cohort of S1R-KO/WT mice, and radiation dosimetry was calculated from WT mouse data (extrapolated for human dosing). Toxicity studies in Sprague-Dawley rats were performed with a dose equivalent to 250× the anticipated clinical dose of [(19)F]FTC-146 mass.VAChT binding assay results verified that [(19)F]FTC-146 displays negligible affinity for VAChT (K i = 450 ± 80 nM) compared to S1R. PET images demonstrated significantly higher tracer uptake in WT vs. S1R-KO brain (4.57 ± 1.07 vs. 1.34 ± 0.4 %ID/g at 20-25 min, n = 4, p < 0.05). In S1R-KO mice, it was shown that rapid brain uptake and clearance 10 min post-injection, which are consistent with previous S1R-blocking studies in mice. Three- to fourfold higher tracer uptake was observed in WT relative to S1R-KO mouse brains by ex vivo autoradiography. S1R staining coincided well with the autoradiographic data in all examined brain regions (r (2) = 0.85-0.95). Biodistribution results further demonstrated high [(18)F]FTC-146 accumulation in WT relative to KO mouse brain and provided quantitative information concerning tracer uptake in S1R-rich organs (e.g., heart, lung, pancreas) for WT mice vs. age-matched S1R-KO mice. The maximum allowed dose per scan in humans as extrapolated from mouse dosimetry was 33.19 mCi (1228.03 MBq). No significant toxicity was observed even at a 250X dose of the maximum carrier mass [(19)F]FTC-146 expected to be injected for human studies.Together, these data indicate that [(18)F]FTC-146 binds specifically to S1Rs and is a highly promising radiotracer ready for clinical translation to investigate S1R-related diseases.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/s13550-015-0122-2

    View details for PubMedID 26384292

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4573970

  • Photoacoustic Tomography Detects Early Vessel Regression and Normalization During Ovarian Tumor Response to the Antiangiogenic Therapy Trebananib. Journal of nuclear medicine Bohndiek, S. E., Sasportas, L. S., Machtaler, S., Jokerst, J. V., Hori, S., Gambhir, S. S. 2015; 56 (12): 1942-1947

    Abstract

    The primary aim of this study was to assess the potential of in vivo photoacoustic tomography (PAT) for direct functional measurement of ovarian tumor response to anti-angiogenic therapy.In vivo studies were performed with institutional animal care and use committee approval. We used an orthotopic mouse model of ovarian cancer treated with Trebananib (n = 9) or vehicle (n = 9). Tumor-bearing mice were randomized into Trebananib or vehicle groups at day 10 and dosed on days 12, 15 and 18 post implantation. PAT and blood draws were performed at day 10, then 24 hours after each drug dose. Tumors were excised for histopathology following the final studies on day 19. Data analysis to test for statistical significance was performed blinded.Blockade of angiopoietin signaling using Trebananib resulted in reduced total hemoglobin-weighted PA signal (n = 9, P = 0.01) and increased oxyhemoglobin-weighted PA signal (n = 9, P<0.01). The latter observation indicated normalization of the residual tumor vessels, which was also implied by low levels of angiopoietin 1 in serum biomarker profiling (0.76±0.12ng/mL). These non-invasive measures reflected a 30% reduction in microvessel density and increased vessel maturation in ex vivo sections.PAT is able to evaluate both vessel regression and normalization in response to Trebananib. Non-invasive imaging data was supported by modulation of serum markers in vitro and ex vivo histopathology.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.115.160002

    View details for PubMedID 26315834

  • Engineering high-affinity PD-1 variants for optimized immunotherapy and immuno-PET imaging. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Maute, R. L., Gordon, S. R., Mayer, A. T., McCracken, M. N., Natarajan, A., Ring, N. G., Kimura, R., Tsai, J. M., Manglik, A., Kruse, A. C., Gambhir, S. S., Weissman, I. L., Ring, A. M. 2015; 112 (47): E6506-14

    Abstract

    Signaling through the immune checkpoint programmed cell death protein-1 (PD-1) enables tumor progression by dampening antitumor immune responses. Therapeutic blockade of the signaling axis between PD-1 and its ligand programmed cell death ligand-1 (PD-L1) with monoclonal antibodies has shown remarkable clinical success in the treatment of cancer. However, antibodies have inherent limitations that can curtail their efficacy in this setting, including poor tissue/tumor penetrance and detrimental Fc-effector functions that deplete immune cells. To determine if PD-1:PD-L1-directed immunotherapy could be improved with smaller, nonantibody therapeutics, we used directed evolution by yeast-surface display to engineer the PD-1 ectodomain as a high-affinity (110 pM) competitive antagonist of PD-L1. In contrast to anti-PD-L1 monoclonal antibodies, high-affinity PD-1 demonstrated superior tumor penetration without inducing depletion of peripheral effector T cells. Consistent with these advantages, in syngeneic CT26 tumor models, high-affinity PD-1 was effective in treating both small (50 mm(3)) and large tumors (150 mm(3)), whereas the activity of anti-PD-L1 antibodies was completely abrogated against large tumors. Furthermore, we found that high-affinity PD-1 could be radiolabeled and applied as a PET imaging tracer to efficiently distinguish between PD-L1-positive and PD-L1-negative tumors in living mice, providing an alternative to invasive biopsy and histological analysis. These results thus highlight the favorable pharmacology of small, nonantibody therapeutics for enhanced cancer immunotherapy and immune diagnostics.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1519623112

    View details for PubMedID 26604307

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4664306

  • Glioblastoma Multiforme Recurrence: An Exploratory Study of F-18 FPPRGD(2) PET/CT1 RADIOLOGY Iagaru, A., Mosci, C., Mittra, E., Zaharchuk, G., Fischbein, N., Harsh, G., Li, G., Nagpal, S., Recht, L., Gambhir, S. S. 2015; 277 (2): 497-506

    Abstract

    Purpose To prospectively evaluate fluorine 18 ((18)F) 2-fluoropropionyl-labeled PEGylated dimeric arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD) peptide (PEG3-E[c{RGDyk}]2) (FPPRGD2) positron emission tomography (PET) in patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Materials and Methods The institutional review board approved this HIPAA-compliant protocol. Written informed consent was obtained from each patient. (18)F FPPRGD2 uptake was measured semiquantitatively in the form of maximum standardized uptake values (SUVmax) and uptake volumes before and after treatment with bevacizumab. Vital signs and laboratory results were collected before, during, and after the examinations. A nonparametric version of multivariate analysis of variance was used to assess safety outcome measures simultaneously across time points. A paired two-sample t test was performed to compare SUVmax. Results A total of 17 participants (eight men, nine women; age range, 25-65 years) were enrolled prospectively. (18)F FPPRGD2 PET/computed tomography (CT), (18)F fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET/CT, and brain magnetic resonance (MR) imaging were performed within 3 weeks, prior to the start of bevacizumab therapy. In eight of the 17 patients (47%), (18)F FPPRGD2 PET/CT was repeated 1 week after the start of bevacizumab therapy; six patients (35%) underwent (18)F FPPRGD2 PET/CT a third time 6 weeks after starting bevacizumab therapy. There were no changes in vital signs, electrocardiographic findings, or laboratory values that qualified as adverse events. One patient (6%) had recurrent GBM identified only on (18)F FPPRGD2 PET images, and subsequent MR images enabled confirmation of recurrence. Of the 17 patients, 14 (82%) had recurrent GBM identified on (18)F FPPRGD2 PET and brain MR images, while (18)F FDG PET enabled identification of recurrence in 13 (76%) patients. Two patients (12%) had no recurrent GBM. Conclusion (18)F FPPRGD2 is a safe PET radiopharmaceutical that has increased uptake in GBM lesions. Larger cohorts are required to confirm these preliminary findings. (©) RSNA, 2015 Online supplemental material is available for this article.

    View details for DOI 10.1148/radiol.2015141550

    View details for Web of Science ID 000368435100026

  • Biodistribution of the (18)F-FPPRGD2 PET radiopharmaceutical in cancer patients: an atlas of SUV measurements. European journal of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging Minamimoto, R., Jamali, M., Barkhodari, A., Mosci, C., Mittra, E., Shen, B., Chin, F., Gambhir, S. S., Iagaru, A. 2015; 42 (12): 1850-1858

    Abstract

    The aim of this study was to investigate the biodistribution of 2-fluoropropionyl-labeled PEGylated dimeric arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD) peptide (PEG3-E[c{RGDyk}]2) ((18)F-FPPRGD2) in cancer patients and to compare its uptake in malignant lesions with (18)F-FDG uptake.A total of 35 patients (11 men, 24 women, mean age 52.1 ± 10.8 years) were enrolled prospectively and had (18)F-FPPRGD2 PET/CT prior to treatment. Maximum standardized uptake values (SUVmax) and mean SUV (SUVmean) were measured in 23 normal tissues in each patient, as well as in known or suspected cancer lesions. Differences between (18)F-FPPRGD2 uptake and (18)F-FDG uptake were also evaluated in 28 of the 35 patients.Areas of high (18)F-FPPRGD2 accumulation (SUVmax range 8.9 - 94.4, SUVmean range 7.1 - 64.4) included the bladder and kidneys. Moderate uptake (SUVmax range 2.1 - 6.3, SUVmean range 1.1 - 4.5) was found in the choroid plexus, salivary glands, thyroid, liver, spleen, pancreas, small bowel and skeleton. Compared with (18)F-FDG, (18)F-FPPRGD2 showed higher tumor-to-background ratio in brain lesions (13.4 ± 8.5 vs. 1.1 ± 0.5, P < 0.001), but no significant difference in body lesions (3.2 ± 1.9 vs. 4.4 ± 4.2, P = 0.10). There was no significant correlation between the uptake values (SUVmax and SUVmean) for (18)F FPPRGD2 and those for (18)F-FDG.The biodistribution of (18)F-FPPRGD2 in cancer patients is similar to that of other RGD dimer peptides and it is suitable for clinical use. The lack of significant correlation between (18)F-FPPRGD2 and (18)F-FDG uptake confirms that the information provided by each PET tracer is different.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s00259-015-3096-4

    View details for PubMedID 26062933

  • Novel Radiotracer for ImmunoPET Imaging of PD-1 Checkpoint Expression on Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes. Bioconjugate chemistry Natarajan, A., Mayer, A. T., Xu, L., Reeves, R. E., Gano, J., Gambhir, S. S. 2015; 26 (10): 2062-2069

    Abstract

    Immune checkpoint signaling through the programmed death 1 (PD-1) axis to its ligand (PD-L1) significantly dampens anti-tumor immune responses. Cancer patients treated with checkpoint inhibitors that block this suppressive signaling have exhibited objective response rates of 20-40% for advanced solid tumors, lymphomas, and malignant melanomas. This represents a tremendous advance in cancer treatment. Unfortunately, all patients do not respond to immune checkpoint blockade. Recent findings suggest that patients with tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) expressing PD-1 may be most likely to respond to αPD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitors. There is a compelling need for diagnostic and prognostic imaging tools to assess the PD-1 status of TILs in vivo. Here we have developed a novel immunoPET tracer to image PD-1 expressing TILs in a transgenic mouse model bearing melanoma. A (64)Cu labeled anti-mouse antibody (IgG) PD-1 immuno positron emission tomography (PET) tracer was developed to detect PD-1 expressing murine TILs. Quality control of the tracer showed >95% purity by HPLC and >70% immunoreactivity in an in vitro cell binding assay. ImmunoPET scans were performed over 1-48 h on Foxp3+.LuciDTR4 mice bearing B16-F10 melanoma tumors. Mice receiving anti-PD-1 tracer (200 ± 10 μCi/10-12 μg/200 μL) revealed high tracer uptake in lymphoid organs and tumors. BLI images of FoxP3(+) CD4(+) Tregs known to express PD-1 confirmed lymphocyte infiltration of tumors at the time of PET imaging. Biodistribution measurements performed at 48 h revealed a high (11×) tumor to muscle uptake ratio of the PET tracer (p < 0.05). PD-1 tumors exhibited 7.4 ± 0.7%ID/g tracer uptake and showed a 2× fold signal decrease when binding was blocked by unlabeled antibody. To the best of our knowledge this data is the first report to image PD-1 expression in living subjects with PET. This radiotracer has the potential to assess the prognostic value of PD-1 in preclinical models of immunotherapy and may ultimately aid in predicting response to therapies targeting immune checkpoints.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.bioconjchem.5b00318

    View details for PubMedID 26307602

  • PET imaging of tumor glycolysis downstream of hexokinase through noninvasive measurement of pyruvate kinase M2. Science translational medicine Witney, T. H., James, M. L., Shen, B., Chang, E., Pohling, C., Arksey, N., Hoehne, A., Shuhendler, A., Park, J., Bodapati, D., Weber, J., Gowrishankar, G., Rao, J., Chin, F. T., Gambhir, S. S. 2015; 7 (310): 310ra169-?

    Abstract

    Cancer cells reprogram their metabolism to meet increased biosynthetic demands, commensurate with elevated rates of replication. Pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) catalyzes the final and rate-limiting step in tumor glycolysis, controlling the balance between energy production and the synthesis of metabolic precursors. We report here the synthesis and evaluation of a positron emission tomography (PET) radiotracer, [(11)C]DASA-23, that provides a direct noninvasive measure of PKM2 expression in preclinical models of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). In vivo, orthotopic U87 and GBM39 patient-derived tumors were clearly delineated from the surrounding normal brain tissue by PET imaging, corresponding to exclusive tumor-associated PKM2 expression. In addition, systemic treatment of mice with the PKM2 activator TEPP-46 resulted in complete abrogation of the PET signal in intracranial GBM39 tumors. Together, these data provide the basis for the clinical evaluation of imaging agents that target this important gatekeeper of tumor glycolysis.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/scitranslmed.aac6117

    View details for PubMedID 26491079

  • Diketopyrrolopyrrole-Based Semiconducting Polymer Nanoparticles for In Vivo Photoacoustic Imaging. Advanced materials Pu, K., Mei, J., Jokerst, J. V., Hong, G., Antaris, A. L., Chattopadhyay, N., Shuhendler, A. J., Kurosawa, T., Zhou, Y., Gambhir, S. S., Bao, Z., Rao, J. 2015; 27 (35): 5184-5190

    Abstract

    Diketopyrrolopyrrole-based semiconducting polymer nanoparticles with high photostability and strong photoacoustic brightness are designed and synthesized, which results in 5.3-fold photoacoustic signal enhancement in tumor xenografts after systemic administration.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/adma.201502285

    View details for PubMedID 26247171

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4567488

  • 18F-FDG PET Imaging Utilization in the National Lung Screening Trial Nair, V. S., Sundaram, V., Gould, M. K., Gambhir, S. S., Desai, M. ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC. 2015: S396–S397
  • A Systematic Comparison of 18F-C-SNAT to Established Radiotracer Imaging Agents for the Detection of Tumor Response to Treatment. Clinical cancer research Witney, T. H., Hoehne, A., Reeves, R. E., Ilovich, O., Namavari, M., Shen, B., Chin, F. T., Rao, J., Gambhir, S. S. 2015; 21 (17): 3896-3905

    Abstract

    An early readout of tumor response to therapy through measurement of drug or radiation-induced cell death may provide important prognostic indications and improved patient management. It has been shown that the uptake of (18)F-C-SNAT can be used to detect early response to therapy in tumors by positron emission tomography (PET) via a mechanism of caspase-3-triggered nanoaggregation.Here, we compared the preclinical utility of (18)F-C-SNAT for the detection of drug-induced cell death to clinically evaluated radiotracers, (18)F-FDG, (99m)Tc-Annexin V, and (18)F-ML-10 in tumor cells in culture, and in tumor-bearing mice in vivo.In drug-treated lymphoma cells, (18)F-FDG, (99m)Tc-Annexin V, and (18)F-C-SNAT cell-associated radioactivity correlated well to levels of cell death (R(2) > 0.8; P < 0.001), with no correlation measured for (18)F-ML-10 (R(2) = 0.05; P > 0.05). A similar pattern of response was observed in two human NSCLC cell lines following carboplatin treatment. EL-4 tumor uptake of (99m)Tc-Annexin V and (18)F-C-SNAT were increased 1.4- and 2.1-fold, respectively, in drug-treated versus naïve control animals (P < 0.05), although (99m)Tc-Annexin V binding did not correlate to ex vivo TUNEL staining of tissue sections. A differential response was not observed with either (18)F-FDG or (18)F-ML-10.We have demonstrated here that (18)F-C-SNAT can sensitively detect drug-induced cell death in murine lymphoma and human NSCLC. Despite favorable image contrast obtained with (18)F-C-SNAT, the development of next-generation derivatives, using the same novel and promising uptake mechanism, but displaying improved biodistribution profiles, are warranted for maximum clinical utility. Clin Cancer Res; 21(17); 3896-905. ©2015 AACR.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-14-3176

    View details for PubMedID 25972517

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4558304

  • Androgen Receptor Splice Variants Dimerize to Transactivate Target Genes CANCER RESEARCH Xu, D., Zhan, Y., Qi, Y., Cao, B., Bai, S., Xu, W., Gambhir, S. S., Lee, P., Sartor, O., Flemington, E. K., Zhang, H., Hu, C., Dong, Y. 2015; 75 (17): 3663-3671

    Abstract

    Constitutively active androgen receptor splice variants (AR-V) lacking the ligand-binding domain have been implicated in the pathogenesis of castration-resistant prostate cancer and in mediating resistance to newer drugs that target the androgen axis. AR-V regulates expression of both canonical AR targets and a unique set of cancer-specific targets that are enriched for cell-cycle functions. However, little is known about how AR-V controls gene expression. Here, we report that two major AR-Vs, termed AR-V7 and AR(v567es), not only homodimerize and heterodimerize with each other but also heterodimerize with full-length androgen receptor (AR-FL) in an androgen-independent manner. We found that heterodimerization of AR-V and AR-FL was mediated by N- and C-terminal interactions and by the DNA-binding domain of each molecule, whereas AR-V homodimerization was mediated only by DNA-binding domain interactions. Notably, AR-V dimerization was required to transactivate target genes and to confer castration-resistant cell growth. Our results clarify the mechanism by which AR-Vs mediate gene regulation and provide a pivotal pathway for rational drug design to disrupt AR-V signaling as a rational strategy for the effective treatment of advanced prostate cancer.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-15-0381

    View details for Web of Science ID 000361917100021

    View details for PubMedID 26060018

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4558376

  • Combined F-18-NaF and F-18-FDG PET/CT in the Evaluation of Sarcoma Patients CLINICAL NUCLEAR MEDICINE Jackson, T., Mosci, C., von Eyben, R., Mittra, E., Ganjoo, K., Biswal, S., Gambhir, S. S., Iagaru, A. 2015; 40 (9): 720-724

    Abstract

    The combined administration of F-NaF and F-FDG in a single PET/CT scan has the potential to improve patient convenience and cancer detection. Here we report the use of this approach for patients with sarcomas.This is a retrospective review of 21 patients (12 men, 9 women; age, 19-66 years) with biopsy-proven sarcomas who had separate F-NaF PET/CT, F-FDG PET/CT, and combined F-NaF/F-FDG PET/CT scans for evaluation of malignancy. Two board-certified nuclear medicine physicians and 1 board-certified musculoskeletal radiologist were randomly assigned to review the scans. Results were analyzed for sensitivity and specificity, using linear regression and receiver operating characteristics.A total of 13 patients had metastatic disease on F-NaF PET/CT, F-FDG PET/CT, and combined F-NaF/F-FDG PET/CT. Skeletal disease was more extensive on the F-NaF PET/CT scan than on the F-FDG PET/CT in 3 patients, whereas in 1 patient, F-FDG PET/CT showed skeletal disease and the F-NaF PET/CT was negative. Extraskeletal lesions were detected on both F-FDG and combined F-NaF/F-FDG PET/CT in 20 patients, with 1 discordant finding in the lung.The combined F-NaF/F-FDG PET/CT scan allows for accurate evaluation of sarcoma patients. Further evaluation of this proposed imaging modality is warranted to identify the most suitable clinical scenarios, including initial treatment strategy and evaluation of response to therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/RLU.0000000000000845

    View details for Web of Science ID 000359668600005

    View details for PubMedID 26053718

  • Multitarget, quantitative nanoplasmonic electrical field-enhanced resonating device (NE2RD) for diagnostics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Inci, F., Filippini, C., Baday, M., Ozen, M. O., Calamak, S., Durmus, N. G., Wang, S., Hanhauser, E., Hobbs, K. S., Juillard, F., Kuang, P. P., Vetter, M. L., Carocci, M., Yamamoto, H. S., Takagi, Y., Yildiz, U. H., Akin, D., Wesemann, D. R., Singhal, A., Yang, P. L., Nibert, M. L., Fichorova, R. N., Lau, D. T., Henrich, T. J., Kaye, K. M., Schachter, S. C., Kuritzkes, D. R., Steinmetz, L. M., Gambhir, S. S., Davis, R. W., Demirci, U. 2015; 112 (32): E4354-63

    Abstract

    Recent advances in biosensing technologies present great potential for medical diagnostics, thus improving clinical decisions. However, creating a label-free general sensing platform capable of detecting multiple biotargets in various clinical specimens over a wide dynamic range, without lengthy sample-processing steps, remains a considerable challenge. In practice, these barriers prevent broad applications in clinics and at patients' homes. Here, we demonstrate the nanoplasmonic electrical field-enhanced resonating device (NE(2)RD), which addresses all these impediments on a single platform. The NE(2)RD employs an immunodetection assay to capture biotargets, and precisely measures spectral color changes by their wavelength and extinction intensity shifts in nanoparticles without prior sample labeling or preprocessing. We present through multiple examples, a label-free, quantitative, portable, multitarget platform by rapidly detecting various protein biomarkers, drugs, protein allergens, bacteria, eukaryotic cells, and distinct viruses. The linear dynamic range of NE(2)RD is five orders of magnitude broader than ELISA, with a sensitivity down to 400 fg/mL This range and sensitivity are achieved by self-assembling gold nanoparticles to generate hot spots on a 3D-oriented substrate for ultrasensitive measurements. We demonstrate that this precise platform handles multiple clinical samples such as whole blood, serum, and saliva without sample preprocessing under diverse conditions of temperature, pH, and ionic strength. The NE(2)RD's broad dynamic range, detection limit, and portability integrated with a disposable fluidic chip have broad applications, potentially enabling the transition toward precision medicine at the point-of-care or primary care settings and at patients' homes.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1510824112

    View details for PubMedID 26195743

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4538635

  • Radiation Dosimetry Study of [(89)Zr]rituximab Tracer for Clinical Translation of B cell NHL Imaging using Positron Emission Tomography. Molecular imaging and biology Natarajan, A., Gambhir, S. S. 2015; 17 (4): 539-547

    Abstract

    We evaluated the dosimetry of [(89)Zr]rituximab, an anti-CD20 immunoPET tracer to image B cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) using a humanized transgenic mouse model that expresses human CD20 transgenic mice (huCD20TM).Rituximab was conjugated to desferrioxamine (Df) for radiolabeling of Zirconium-89. [(89)Zr]rituximab (2.8 ± 0.2 MBq) was tail vein-injected into huCD20T mice. Positron emission tomography (PET)/CT imaging was performed on the two groups of mice (blocking = 2 mg/kg pre-dose of rituximab and non-blocking; n = 5) at eight time points (1, 4, 24, 48, 72, 96, 120, and 168 h) post injection.The novel [(89)Zr]rituximab PET tracer had good immunoreactivity, was stable in human serum, and was able to specifically target human CD20 in mice. The human equivalents of highest dose (mean ± SD) organs with and without pre-dose are liver (345 ± 284 μSv/MBq) and spleen (1165 ± 149 μSv/MBq), respectively.Dosimetry of the human patient whole-body dose was found to be 145 MBq per annum, and the patient dose-limiting organ will be the liver (with rituximab pre-dose blocking) and spleen for non-blocking. The [(89)Zr]rituximab (t½ = 78.4 h) imaging of B cell NHL patients could permit the observation of targeting lesions in NHL patients over an extended period due to longer half-life as compared to the [(64)Cu] rituximab (t½ = 12.7 h).

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11307-014-0810-8

    View details for PubMedID 25500766

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4465424

  • Gene expression profiling of individual circulating tumor cells from non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients via integrated nanotechnologies Park, S., Wong, D. J., Ooi, C., Nair, V. S., Vermesh, O., Lee, S., Suh, S., Lee, L. P., Wang, S. X., Gambhir, S. S. AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH. 2015
  • Isolation and Characterization of a Monobody with a Fibronectin Domain III Scaffold That Specifically Binds EphA2 PLOS ONE Park, S., Park, S., Kim, D., Pyo, A., Kimura, R. H., Sathirachinda, A., Choy, H. E., Min, J., Gambhir, S. S., Hong, Y. 2015; 10 (7)

    Abstract

    Monobodies are binding scaffold proteins originating from a human fibronectin domain III (Fn3) scaffold that can be easily engineered with specificity and affinity. Human EphA2 (hEphA2) is an early detection marker protein for various tumors including lung, breast, and colon cancer. In this study, we isolated two hEphA2-specific monobodies (E1 and E10) by screening a yeast surface display library. They showed the same amino acid sequence except in the DE loop and had high affinity (~2 nM Kd) against hEphA2. E1 bound only hEphA2 and mEphA2, although it bound hEphA2 with an affinity 2-fold higher than that of mEphA2. However, E10 also bound the mEphA6 and mEphA8 homologs as well as hEphA2 and mEphA2. Thus, E1 but not E10 was highly specific for hEphA2. E1 specifically bound human cells and xenograft tumor tissues expressing hEphA on the cell surface. In vivo optical imaging showed strong targeting of Cy5.5-labeled E1 to mouse tumor tissue induced by PC3 cells, a human prostate cancer cell line that expresses a high level of hEphA2. In conclusion, the highly specific monobody E1 is useful as a hEphA2 probe candidate for in vivo diagnosis and therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0132976

    View details for Web of Science ID 000358197600194

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4503726

  • Development and Validation of an Immuno-PET Tracer as a Companion Diagnostic Agent for Antibody-Drug Conjugate Therapy to Target the CA6 Epitope. Radiology Ilovich, O., Natarajan, A., Hori, S., Sathirachinda, A., Kimura, R., Srinivasan, A., Gebauer, M., Kruip, J., Focken, I., Lange, C., Carrez, C., Sassoon, I., Blanc, V., Sarkar, S. K., Gambhir, S. S. 2015; 276 (1): 191-198

    Abstract

    Purpose To develop and compare three copper 64 ((64)Cu)-labeled antibody fragments derived from a CA6-targeting antibody (huDS6) as immuno-positron emission tomography (immuno-PET)-based companion diagnostic agents for an antibody-drug conjugate by using huDS6. Materials and Methods Three antibody fragments derived from huDS6 were produced, purified, conjugated to 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetraacetic acid (DOTA), and evaluated in the following ways: (a) the affinity of the fragments and the DOTA conjugates was measured via flow cytometry, (b) the stability of the labeled fragments was determined ex vivo in human serum over 24 hours, and (c) comparison of the in vivo imaging potential of the fragments was evaluated in mice bearing subcutaneous CA6-positive and CA6-negative xenografts by using serial PET imaging and biodistribution. Isotype controls with antilysozyme and anti-DM4 B-Fabs and blocking experiments with an excess of either B-Fab or huDS6 were used to determine the extent of the antibody fragment (64)Cu-DOTA-B-Fab binding specificity. Immunoreactivity and tracer kinetics were evaluated by using cellular uptake and 48-hour imaging experiments, respectively. Statistical analyses were performed by using t tests, one-way analysis of variance, and Wilcoxon and Mann-Whitney tests. Results The antibody fragment (64)Cu-DOTA-B-Fab was more than 95% stable after 24 hours in human serum, had an immunoreactivity of more than 70%, and allowed differentiation between CA6-positive and CA6-negative tumors in vivo as early as 6 hours after injection, with a 1.7-fold uptake ratio between tumors. Isotype and blocking studies experiments showed tracer-specific uptake in antigen-positive tumors, despite some nonspecific uptake in both tumor models. Conclusion Three antibody fragments were produced and examined as potential companion diagnostic agents. (64)Cu-DOTA-B-Fab is a stable and effective immuno-PET tracer for CA6 imaging in vivo. (©) RSNA, 2015 Online supplemental material is available for this article.

    View details for DOI 10.1148/radiol.15140058

    View details for PubMedID 25734548

  • Early Detection of Sporadic Pancreatic Cancer Summative Review PANCREAS Chari, S. T., Kelly, K., Hollingsworth, M. A., Thayer, S. P., Ahlquist, D. A., Andersen, D. K., Batra, S. K., Brentnall, T. A., Canto, M., Cleeter, D. F., Firpo, M. A., Gambhir, S. S., Go, V. L., Hines, O. J., Kenner, B. J., Klimstra, D. S., Lerch, M. M., Levy, M. J., Maitra, A., Mulvihill, S. J., Petersen, G. M., Rhim, A. D., Simeone, D. M., Srivastava, S., Tanaka, M., Vinik, A. I., Wong, D. 2015; 44 (5): 693-712

    Abstract

    Pancreatic cancer (PC) is estimated to become the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States by 2020. Early detection is the key to improving survival in PC. Addressing this urgent need, the Kenner Family Research Fund conducted the inaugural Early Detection of Sporadic Pancreatic Cancer Summit Conference in 2014 in conjunction with the 45th Anniversary Meeting of the American Pancreatic Association and Japan Pancreas Society. This seminal convening of international representatives from science, practice, and clinical research was designed to facilitate challenging interdisciplinary conversations to generate innovative ideas leading to the creation of a defined collaborative strategic pathway for the future of the field. An in-depth summary of current efforts in the field, analysis of gaps in specific areas of expertise, and challenges that exist in early detection is presented within distinct areas of inquiry: Case for Early Detection: Definitions, Detection, Survival, and Challenges; Biomarkers for Early Detection; Imaging; and Collaborative Studies. In addition, an overview of efforts in familial PC is presented in an addendum to this article. It is clear from the summit deliberations that only strategically designed collaboration among investigators, institutions, and funders will lead to significant progress in early detection of sporadic PC.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/MPA.0000000000000368

    View details for Web of Science ID 000360629300003

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4467589

  • Predictive Modeling of Drug Response in Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma PLOS ONE Frieboes, H. B., Smith, B. R., Wang, Z., Kotsuma, M., Ito, K., Day, A., Cahill, B., Flinders, C., Mumenthaler, S. M., Mallick, P., Simbawa, E., Al-Fhaid, A. S., Mahmoud, S. R., Gambhir, S. S., Cristini, V. 2015; 10 (6)

    Abstract

    We combine mathematical modeling with experiments in living mice to quantify the relative roles of intrinsic cellular vs. tissue-scale physiological contributors to chemotherapy drug resistance, which are difficult to understand solely through experimentation. Experiments in cell culture and in mice with drug-sensitive (Eµ-myc/Arf-/-) and drug-resistant (Eµ-myc/p53-/-) lymphoma cell lines were conducted to calibrate and validate a mechanistic mathematical model. Inputs to inform the model include tumor drug transport characteristics, such as blood volume fraction, average geometric mean blood vessel radius, drug diffusion penetration distance, and drug response in cell culture. Model results show that the drug response in mice, represented by the fraction of dead tumor volume, can be reliably predicted from these inputs. Hence, a proof-of-principle for predictive quantification of lymphoma drug therapy was established based on both cellular and tissue-scale physiological contributions. We further demonstrate that, if the in vitro cytotoxic response of a specific cancer cell line under chemotherapy is known, the model is then able to predict the treatment efficacy in vivo. Lastly, tissue blood volume fraction was determined to be the most sensitive model parameter and a primary contributor to drug resistance.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0129433

    View details for Web of Science ID 000355979500143

    View details for PubMedID 26061425

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4464754

  • Cu-64-Labeled Divalent Cystine Knot Peptide for Imaging Carotid Atherosclerotic Plaques JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE Jiang, L., Tu, Y., Kimura, R. H., Habte, F., Chen, H., Cheng, K., Shi, H., Gambhir, S. S., Cheng, Z. 2015; 56 (6): 939-944

    Abstract

    The rupture of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques that lead to stroke and myocardial infarction may be induced by macrophage infiltration and augmented by the expression of integrin αvβ3. Indeed, atherosclerotic angiogenesis may be a promising marker of inflammation. In this study, an engineered integrin αvβ3-targeting PET probe, (64)Cu-NOTA-3-4A, derived from a divalent knottin miniprotein was evaluated in a mouse model for carotid atherosclerotic plaques.Atherosclerotic plaques in BALB/C mice, maintained on a high-fat diet, were induced with streptozotocin injection and carotid artery ligation and verified by MR imaging. Knottin 3-4A was synthesized by solid-phase peptide synthesis chemistry and coupled to 1,4,7-triazacyclononane-1,4,7-triacetic acid (NOTA) before radiolabeling with (64)Cu. PET probe stability in mouse serum was evaluated. Mice with carotid atherosclerotic plaques were injected via the tail vein with (64)Cu-NOTA-3-4A or (18)F-FDG, followed by small-animal PET/CT imaging at different time points. Receptor targeting specificity of the probe was verified by coinjection of c(RGDyK) administered in molar excess. Subsequently, carotid artery dissection and immunofluorescence staining were performed to evaluate target expression.(64)Cu-NOTA-3-4A was synthesized in high radiochemical purity and yield and demonstrated molecular stability in both phosphate-buffered saline and mouse serum at 4 h. Small-animal PET/CT showed that (64)Cu-NOTA-3-4A accumulated at significantly higher levels in the neovasculature of carotid atherosclerotic plaques (7.41 ± 1.44 vs. 0.67 ± 0.23 percentage injected dose/gram, P < 0.05) than healthy or normal vessels at 1 h after injection. (18)F-FDG also accumulated in atherosclerotic lesions at 0.5 and 1 h after injection but at lower plaque-to-normal tissue ratios than (64)Cu-NOTA-3-4A. For example, plaque-to-normal carotid artery ratios for (18)F-FDG and (64)Cu-NOTA-3-4A at 1 h after injection were 3.75 and 14.71 (P < 0.05), respectively. Furthermore, uptake of (64)Cu-NOTA-3-4A in atherosclerotic plaques was effectively blocked (∼90% at 1 h after injection) by coinjection of c(RGDyK). Immunostaining confirmed integrin αvβ3 expression in both the infiltrating macrophages and the neovasculature of atherosclerotic plaques.(64)Cu-NOTA-3-4A demonstrates specific accumulation in carotid atherosclerotic plaques in which macrophage infiltration and angiogenesis are responsible for elevated integrin αvβ3 levels. Therefore, (64)Cu-NOTA-3-4A may demonstrate clinical utility as a PET probe for atherosclerosis imaging or for the evaluation of therapies used to treat atherosclerosis.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.115.155176

    View details for Web of Science ID 000355570300026

    View details for PubMedID 25908832

  • Development of a High-Throughput Molecular Imaging-Based Orthotopic Hepatocellular Carcinoma Model. Cureus Hwang, G. L., van den Bosch, M. A., Kim, Y. I., Katzenberg, R., Willmann, J. K., Paulmurugan, R., Gambhir, S. S., Hofmann, L. 2015; 7 (6)

    Abstract

    We have developed a novel orthotopic rat hepatocellular (HCC) model and have assessed the ability to use bioluminescence imaging (BLI), positron emission tomography (PET), and ultrasound for early tumor detection and monitoring of disease progression.  Briefly, rat HCC cells were stably transfected with click beetle red as a reporter gene for BLI. Tumor cells were injected under direct visualization into the left or middle lobe of the liver in 37 rats. In six animals, serial PET, BLI, and ultrasound imaging were performed at 10-time points in 28 days. The remainder of the animals underwent PET imaging at 14 days. Tumor implantation was successful in 34 of 37 animals (91.9%). In the six animals that underwent serial imaging, tumor formation was first detected with BLI on Day 4 with continued increase through Day 21, and hypermetabolic activity on PET was first noted on Days 14-15 with continued increase through Day 28. PET activity was seen on Day 14 in the 28 other animals that demonstrated tumor development. Anatomic tumor formation was detected with ultrasound at Days 10-12 with continued growth through Day 28. The first metastases were detected by PET after Day 24.        We have successfully developed and validated a novel orthotopic HCC small animal model that permits longitudinal assessment of change in tumor size using molecular imaging techniques. BLI is the most sensitive imaging method for detection of early tumor formation and growth. This model permits high-throughput in vivo evaluation of image-guided therapies.

    View details for DOI 10.7759/cureus.281

    View details for PubMedID 26180705

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4494575

  • Semiquantitative Analysis of the Biodistribution of the Combined F-18-NaF and F-18-FDG Administration for PET/CT Imaging JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE Minamimoto, R., Mosci, C., Jamali, M., Barkhodari, A., Habte, F., Jackson, T., Mittra, E., Gambhir, S. S., Iagaru, A. 2015; 56 (5): 688-694

    Abstract

    In this study we evaluated the biodistribution of the (18)F-/(18)F-FDG administration compared to separate (18)F-NaF and (18)F-FDG. We also estimated the interaction of (18)F-NaF and (18)F-FDG in the (18)F-/(18)F-FDG administration by semiquantitative analysis.We retrospectively analyzed data of 49 patients (male 39, female 10; mean ± SD age: 59.3 ± 15.2 years) who had separate (18)F-FDG PET/CT and (18)F-NaF PET/CT, as well as the (18)F-/(18)F-FDG PET/CT sequentially. The most common primary diagnosis was prostate cancer (n = 28), followed by sarcoma (n = 9) and breast cancer (n = 6). The mean standardized uptake values (SUVmean) were recorded for 18 organs in all patients, while maximum SUV (SUVmax) and SUVmean were recorded for all the identified malignant lesions. We also estimated the (18)F-/(18)F-FDG uptake by sum of (18)F-FDG uptake and adjusted (18)F-NaF uptake based on the ratio of (18)F-NaF injected dose in (18)F-/(18)F-FDG PET/CT. Lastly, we compared the results in order to explore the interaction of (18)F-FDG and (18)F-NaF uptake in the (18)F-/(18)F-FDG scan.The (18)F-/(18)F-FDG uptake in the cerebral cortex, cerebellum, parotid grand, myocardium and bowel mostly reflect the (18)F-FDG uptake, while the uptake in the other analyzed structures is influenced by both the (18)F-FDG and the (18)F-NaF uptake. The (18)F-/(18)F-FDG uptake in extra skeletal lesions shows no significant difference when compared to the uptake from the separate (18)F-FDG scan. The (18)F-/(18)F-FDG uptake in skeletal lesions reflected mostly the (18)F-NaF uptake. Tumor to background (T/B) ratio of (18)F-/(18)F-FDG in extra skeletal lesions showed no significant difference when compared with that from (18)F-FDG alone (P = 0.73). For skeletal lesions, T/B ratio of (18)F-/(18)F-FDG was lower than that from (18)F-NaF alone (P <0.001); however, this difference did not result in missed skeletal lesions on the (18)F-/(18)F-FDG scan.The understanding of the biodistribution of radiopharmaceuticals and the lesions uptake of the (18)F-/(18)F-FDG scan, as well as the variations compared to the uptake on the separate (18)F-FDG PET/CT and (18)F-NaF PET/CT are valuable for more in depth evaluation of the combined scanning technique.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.115.153767

    View details for Web of Science ID 000353831000013

    View details for PubMedID 25840978

  • Imaging poly(ADP ribose) polymerase-1 activity for personalized cancer medicine using a novel PET tracer Shuhendler, A., Cui, L., Lin, J., Shen, B., James, M., Witney, T., Chattopadhyay, N., Gambhir, S., Chin, F., Rao, J. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2015
  • PET Imaging Carotid Atherosclerostic Plaque Using Divalent Knottin Jiang, L., Tu, Y., Kimura, R., Habte, F., Chen, H., Cheng, K., Shi, H., Gambhir, S., Cheng, Z. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2015
  • F-18 FPPRGD(2) PET as a Surrogate Biomarker of Integrin alpha(v)beta(3) Expression Before and After Anti-angiogenesis Treatment 18 Minamimoto, R., Jamali, M., Barkhodari, A., Mosci, C., Mittra, E., Shen, B., Chin, F., Gambhir, S., Iagaru, A. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2015
  • Antibody mimics, fibronectin domain III for EphA2-targeting as a probe in murine tumor model Park, S., Hong, Y., Park, S., Kimura, R., Min, J., Gambhir, S. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2015
  • Physiological distribution of Ga-68-DOTA-TATE: an atlas of standardized uptake values Moradi, F., Minamimoto, R., Jamali, M., Barkhodari, A., Quon, A., Mittra, E., Gambhir, S., Iagaru, A. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2015
  • Prospective evaluation of Tc-99m MDP scintigraphy, F-18 NaF/F-18 FDG PET/CT and WBMRI in patients with breast and prostate cancers Iagaru, A., Minamimoto, R., Mosci, C., Jamali, M., Barkhodari, A., Loening, A., Taviani, V., Mittra, E., Gambhir, S., Vasanawala, S. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2015
  • Imaging patients with breast and prostate cancers using combined F-18 NaF/F-18 FDG and TOF simultaneous PET/MRI Iagaru, A., Minamimoto, R., Jamali, M., Barkhodari, A., Obara, P., Loening, A., Taviani, V., Mittra, E., Gambhir, S., Vasanawala, S. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2015
  • Imaging of tumor-associated system x(C)(-) activity with 18F-fluoropropylglutamate (FSPG) PET/CT for intracranial malignancies. Mittra, E., Minamimoto, R., Barkhodari, A., Jamali, M., Schneider, B., Koglin, N., Berndt, M., Stephens, A., Chin, F., Gambhir, S. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2015
  • Optical coherence contrast imaging using gold nanorods in living mice eyes CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL OPHTHALMOLOGY de la Zerda, A., Prabhulkar, S., Perez, V. L., Ruggeri, M., Paranjape, A. S., Habte, F., Gambhir, S. S., Awdeh, R. M. 2015; 43 (4): 358-366

    Abstract

    Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a powerful imaging modality to visualize tissue structures, with axial image pixel resolution as high as 1.6 μm in tissue. However, OCT is intrinsically limited to providing structural information as the OCT contrast is produced by optically scattering tissues.Gold nanorods (GNRs) were injected into the anterior chamber (AC) and cornea of mice eyes which could create a significant OCT signal and hence could be used as a contrast agent for in vivo OCT imaging.A dose of 30 nM of GNRs (13 nm in diameter and 45 nm in length) were injected to the AC of mice eyes and produced an OCT contrast nearly 50-fold higher than control mice injected with saline. Furthermore, the lowest detectable concentration of GNRs in living mice AC was experimentally estimated to be as low as 120 pM.The high sensitivity and low toxicity of GNRs brings great promise for OCT to uniquely become a high-resolution molecular imaging modality.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/ceo.12299

    View details for Web of Science ID 000356810200009

    View details for PubMedID 24533647

  • A Real-Time Clinical Endoscopic System for Intraluminal, Multiplexed Imaging of Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering Nanoparticles PLOS ONE Garai, E., Sensarn, S., Zavaleta, C. L., Loewke, N. O., Rogalla, S., Mandella, M. J., Felt, S. A., Friedland, S., Liu, J. T., Gambhir, S. S., Contag, C. H. 2015; 10 (4)

    Abstract

    The detection of biomarker-targeting surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) nanoparticles (NPs) in the human gastrointestinal tract has the potential to improve early cancer detection; however, a clinically relevant device with rapid Raman-imaging capability has not been described. Here we report the design and in vivo demonstration of a miniature, non-contact, opto-electro-mechanical Raman device as an accessory to clinical endoscopes that can provide multiplexed molecular data via a panel of SERS NPs. This device enables rapid circumferential scanning of topologically complex luminal surfaces of hollow organs (e.g., colon and esophagus) and produces quantitative images of the relative concentrations of SERS NPs that are present. Human and swine studies have demonstrated the speed and simplicity of this technique. This approach also offers unparalleled multiplexing capabilities by simultaneously detecting the unique spectral fingerprints of multiple SERS NPs. Therefore, this new screening strategy has the potential to improve diagnosis and to guide therapy by enabling sensitive quantitative molecular detection of small and otherwise hard-to-detect lesions in the context of white-light endoscopy.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0123185

    View details for Web of Science ID 000353711600032

    View details for PubMedID 25923788

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4414592

  • Synthesis of [(18)F]-labelled Maltose Derivatives as PET Tracers for Imaging Bacterial Infection. Molecular imaging and biology Namavari, M., Gowrishankar, G., Hoehne, A., Jouannot, E., Gambhir, S. S. 2015; 17 (2): 168-176

    Abstract

    To develop novel positron emission tomography (PET) agents for visualization and therapy monitoring of bacterial infections.It is known that maltose and maltodextrins are energy sources for bacteria. Hence, (18)F-labelled maltose derivatives could be a valuable tool for imaging bacterial infections. We have developed methods to synthesize 4-O-(α-D-glucopyranosyl)-6-deoxy-6-[(18)F]fluoro-D-glucopyranoside (6-[(18)F]fluoromaltose) and 4-O-(α-D-glucopyranosyl)-1-deoxy-1-[(18)F]fluoro-D-glucopyranoside (1-[(18)F]fluoromaltose) as bacterial infection PET imaging agents. 6-[(18)F]fluoromaltose was prepared from precursor 1,2,3-tri-O-acetyl-4-O-(2',3',-di-O-acetyl-4',6'-benzylidene-α-D-glucopyranosyl)-6-deoxy-6-nosyl-D-glucopranoside (5). The synthesis involved the radio-fluorination of 5 followed by acidic and basic hydrolysis to give 6-[(18)F]fluoromaltose. In an analogous procedure, 1-[(18)F]fluoromaltose was synthesized from 2,3, 6-tri-O-acetyl-4-O-(2',3',4',6-tetra-O-acetyl-α-D-glucopyranosyl)-1-deoxy-1-O-triflyl-D-glucopranoside (9). Stability of 6-[(18)F]fluoromaltose in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) and human and mouse serum at 37 °C was determined. Escherichia coli uptake of 6-[(18)F]fluoromaltose was examined.A reliable synthesis of 1- and 6-[(18)F]fluoromaltose has been accomplished with 4-6 and 5-8 % radiochemical yields, respectively (decay-corrected with 95 % radiochemical purity). 6-[(18)F]fluoromaltose was sufficiently stable over the time span needed for PET studies (∼96 % intact compound after 1-h and ∼65 % after 2-h incubation in serum). Bacterial uptake experiments indicated that E. coli transports 6-[(18)F]fluoromaltose. Competition assays showed that the uptake of 6-[(18)F]fluoromaltose was completely blocked by co-incubation with 1 mM of the natural substrate maltose.We have successfully synthesized 1- and 6-[(18)F]fluoromaltose via direct fluorination of appropriate protected maltose precursors. Bacterial uptake experiments in E. coli and stability studies suggest a possible application of 6-[(18)F]fluoromaltose as a new PET imaging agent for visualization and monitoring of bacterial infections.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11307-014-0793-5

    View details for PubMedID 25277604

  • Detecting cancers through tumor-activatable minicircles that lead to a detectable blood biomarker. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Ronald, J. A., Chuang, H., Dragulescu-Andrasi, A., Hori, S. S., Gambhir, S. S. 2015; 112 (10): 3068-3073

    Abstract

    Earlier detection of cancers can dramatically improve the efficacy of available treatment strategies. However, despite decades of effort on blood-based biomarker cancer detection, many promising endogenous biomarkers have failed clinically because of intractable problems such as highly variable background expression from nonmalignant tissues and tumor heterogeneity. In this work we present a tumor-detection strategy based on systemic administration of tumor-activatable minicircles that use the pan-tumor-specific Survivin promoter to drive expression of a secretable reporter that is detectable in the blood nearly exclusively in tumor-bearing subjects. After systemic administration we demonstrate a robust ability to differentiate mice bearing human melanoma metastases from tumor-free subjects for up to 2 wk simply by measuring blood reporter levels. Cumulative change in reporter levels also identified tumor-bearing subjects, and a receiver operator-characteristic curve analysis highlighted this test's performance with an area of 0.918 ± 0.084. Lung tumor burden additionally correlated (r(2) = 0.714; P < 0.05) with cumulative reporter levels, indicating that determination of disease extent was possible. Continued development of our system could improve tumor detectability dramatically because of the temporally controlled, high reporter expression in tumors and nearly zero background from healthy tissues. Our strategy's highly modular nature also allows it to be iteratively optimized over time to improve the test's sensitivity and specificity. We envision this system could be used first in patients at high risk for tumor recurrence, followed by screening high-risk populations before tumor diagnosis, and, if proven safe and effective, eventually may have potential as a powerful cancer-screening tool for the general population.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1414156112

    View details for PubMedID 25713388

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4364239

  • 18F-FPRGD2 PET/CT imaging of integrin avß3 in renal carcinomas: correlation with histopathology. Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine Withofs, N., Signolle, N., Somja, J., Lovinfosse, P., Nzaramba, E. M., Mievis, F., Giacomelli, F., Waltregny, D., Cataldo, D., Gambhir, S. S., Hustinx, R. 2015; 56 (3): 361-364

    Abstract

    This study aimed to correlate (18)F-FB-mini-PEG-E[c(RGDyK)](2) ((18)F-FPRGD2) uptake to integrin αvβ3 expression and angiogenesis in renal tumors.(18)F-FPRGD2 PET/CT was performed on 27 patients before surgical resection (median 4 d) of a renal mass. The (18)F-FPRGD2 uptake was compared with integrin αvβ3, CD31, CD105, and Ki-67 using immunohistochemistry; with placental growth factor and vascular endothelial growth factor receptors 1 and 2 using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction; and with vascular endothelial growth factor A isoforms using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.Overall, (18)F-FPRGD2 uptake significantly correlated (P < 0.0001) with integrin αvβ3 expression in renal masses. However, it correlated only with integrin αvβ3-positive vessels in the group of papillary carcinomas whereas it correlated with integrin αvβ3 expression by tumor cells in the clear cell carcinoma group.(18)F-FPRGD2 uptake reflects the expression of integrin αvβ3 in renal tumors but represents angiogenesis only when tumor cells do not express the integrin.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.114.149021

    View details for PubMedID 25655629

  • Detection of Osseous Metastasis by 18F-NaF/18F-FDG PET/CT Versus CT Alone. Clinical nuclear medicine Sampath, S. C., Sampath, S. C., Mosci, C., Lutz, A. M., Willmann, J. K., Mittra, E. S., Gambhir, S. S., Iagaru, A. 2015; 40 (3): e173-7

    Abstract

    Sodium fluoride PET (F-NaF) has recently reemerged as a valuable method for detection of osseous metastasis, with recent work highlighting the potential of coadministered F-NaF and F-FDG PET/CT in a single combined imaging examination. We further examined the potential of such combined examinations by comparing dual tracer F-NaF/F-FDG PET/CT with CT alone for detection of osseous metastasis.Seventy-five participants with biopsy-proven malignancy were consecutively enrolled from a single center and underwent combined F-NaF/F-FDG PET/CT and diagnostic CT scans. PET/CT as well as CT only images were reviewed in blinded fashion and compared with the results of clinical, imaging, or histological follow-up as a truth standard.Sensitivity of the combined F-NaF/F-FDG PET/CT was higher than that of CT alone (97.4% vs 66.7%). CT and F-NaF/F-FDG PET/CT were concordant in 73% of studies. Of 20 discordant cases, F-NaF/F-FDG PET/CT was correct in 19 (95%). Three cases were interpreted concordantly but incorrectly, and all 3 were false positives. A single case of osseous metastasis was detected by CT alone, but not by F-NaF/F-FDG PET/CT.Combined F-NaF/F-FDG PET/CT outperforms CT alone and is highly sensitive and specific for detection of osseous metastases. The concordantly interpreted false-positive cases demonstrate the difficulty of distinguishing degenerative from malignant disease, whereas the single case of metastasis seen on CT but not PET highlights the need for careful review of CT images in multimodality studies.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/RLU.0000000000000560

    View details for PubMedID 25140557

  • PET Imaging of Translocator Protein (18 kDa) in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease Using N-(2,5-Dimethoxybenzyl)-2-18F-Fluoro-N-(2-Phenoxyphenyl)Acetamide. Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine James, M. L., Belichenko, N. P., Nguyen, T. V., Andrews, L. E., Ding, Z., Liu, H., Bodapati, D., Arksey, N., Shen, B., Cheng, Z., Wyss-Coray, T., Gambhir, S. S., Longo, F. M., Chin, F. T. 2015; 56 (2): 311-316

    Abstract

    Herein we aimed to evaluate the utility of N-(2,5-dimethoxybenzyl)-2-(18)F-fluoro-N-(2-phenoxyphenyl)acetamide ((18)F-PBR06) for detecting alterations in translocator protein (TSPO) (18 kDa), a biomarker of microglial activation, in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease (AD).Wild-type (wt) and AD mice (i.e., APP(L/S)) underwent (18)F-PBR06 PET imaging at predetermined time points between the ages of 5-6 and 15-16 mo. MR images were fused with PET/CT data to quantify (18)F-PBR06 uptake in the hippocampus and cortex. Ex vivo autoradiography and TSPO/CD68 immunostaining were also performed using brain tissue from these mice.PET images showed significantly higher accumulation of (18)F-PBR06 in the cortex and hippocampus of 15- to 16-mo-old APP(L/S) mice than age-matched wts (cortex/muscle: 2.43 ± 0.19 vs. 1.55 ± 0.15, P < 0.005; hippocampus/muscle: 2.41 ± 0.13 vs. 1.55 ± 0.12, P < 0.005). And although no significant difference was found between wt and APP(L/S) mice aged 9-10 mo or less using PET (P = 0.64), we were able to visualize and quantify a significant difference in (18)F-PBR06 uptake in these mice using autoradiography (cortex/striatum: 1.13 ± 0.04 vs. 0.96 ± 0.01, P < 0.05; hippocampus/striatum: 1.266 ± 0.003 vs. 1.096 ± 0.017, P < 0.001). PET results for 15- to 16-mo-old mice correlated well with autoradiography and immunostaining (i.e., increased (18)F-PBR06 uptake in brain regions containing elevated CD68 and TSPO staining in APP(L/S) mice, compared with wts).(18)F-PBR06 shows great potential as a tool for visualizing TSPO/microglia in the progression and treatment of AD.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.114.141648

    View details for PubMedID 25613536

  • Sol-Gel Synthesis and Electrospraying of Biodegradable (P2O5)(55)-(CaO)(30)-(Na2O)(15) Glass Nanospheres as a Transient Contrast Agent for Ultrasound Stem Cell Imaging ACS NANO Foroutan, F., Jokerst, J. V., Gambhir, S. S., Vermesh, O., Kim, H., Knowles, J. C. 2015; 9 (2): 1868-1877

    Abstract

    Ultrasound imaging is a powerful tool in medicine because of the millisecond temporal resolution and submillimeter spatial resolution of acoustic imaging. However, the current generation of acoustic contrast agents is primarily limited to vascular targets due to their large size. Nanosize particles have the potential to be used as a contrast agent for ultrasound molecular imaging. Silica-based nanoparticles have shown promise here; however, their slow degradation rate may limit their applications as a contrast agent. Phosphate-based glasses are an attractive alternative with controllable degradation rate and easily metabolized degradation components in the body. In this study, biodegradable P2O5-CaO-Na2O phosphate-based glass nanospheres (PGNs) were synthesized and characterized as contrast agents for ultrasound imaging. The structure of the PGNs was characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), X-ray diffraction (XRD), (31)P magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance ((31)P MAS NMR), and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. The SEM images indicated a spherical shape with a diameter size range of 200-500 nm. The XRD, (31)P NMR, and FTIR results revealed the amorphous and glassy nature of PGNs that consisted of mainly Q(1) and Q(2) phosphate units. We used this contrast to label mesenchymal stem cells and determined in vitro and in vivo detection limits of 5 and 9 μg/mL, respectively. Cell counts down to 4000 could be measured with ultrasound imaging with no cytoxicity at doses needed for imaging. Importantly, ion-release studies confirmed these PGNs biodegrade into aqueous media with degradation products that can be easily metabolized in the body.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/nn506789y

    View details for Web of Science ID 000349940500083

    View details for PubMedID 25625373

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4342280

  • 18F-FAZA PET Imaging Response Tracks the Reoxygenation of Tumors in Mice upon Treatment with the Mitochondrial Complex I Inhibitor BAY 87-2243. Clinical cancer research Chang, E., Liu, H., Unterschemmann, K., Ellinghaus, P., Liu, S., Gekeler, V., Cheng, Z., Berndorff, D., Gambhir, S. S. 2015; 21 (2): 335-346

    Abstract

    We describe a noninvasive PET imaging method that monitors early therapeutic efficacy of BAY 87-2243, a novel small-molecule inhibitor of mitochondrial complex I as a function of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF1α) activity.Four PET tracers [(18)F-FDG, (18)F-Fpp(RGD)2, (18)F-FLT, and (18)F-FAZA] were assessed for uptake into tumor xenografts of drug-responsive (H460, PC3) or drug-resistant (786-0) carcinoma cells. Mice were treated with BAY 87-2243 or vehicle. At each point, RNA from treated and vehicle H460 tumor xenografts (n = 3 each) was isolated and analyzed for target genes.Significant changes in uptake of (18)F-FAZA, (18)F-FLT, and (18)F-Fpp(RGD)2 (P < 0.01) occurred with BAY 87-2243 treatment with (18)F-FAZA being the most prominent. (18)F-FDG uptake was unaffected. (18)F-FAZA tumor uptake declined by 55% to 70% (1.21% ± 0.10%ID/g to 0.35 ± 0.1%ID/g; n = 6, vehicle vs. treatment) in both H460 (P < 0.001) and PC3 (P < 0.05) xenografts 1 to 3 days after drug administration. (18)F-FAZA uptake in 786-0 xenografts was unaffected. Decline occurred before significant differences in tumor volume, thus suggesting (18)F-FAZA decrease reflected early changes in tumor metabolism. BAY 87-2243 reduced expression of hypoxia-regulated genes CA IX, ANGPTL4, and EGLN-3 by 99%, 93%, and 83%, respectively (P < 0.001 for all), which corresponds with reduced (18)F-FAZA uptake upon drug treatment. Heterogeneous expression of genes associated with glucose metabolism, vessel density, and proliferation was observed.Our studies suggest suitability of (18)F-FAZA-PET as an early pharmacodynamic monitor on the efficacy of anticancer agents that target the mitochondrial complex I and intratumor oxygen levels (e.g., BAY 87-2243). Clin Cancer Res; 21(2); 335-46. ©2014 AACR.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-14-0217

    View details for PubMedID 25381339

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4297600

  • Simultaneous Whole-Body Time-of-Flight F-18-FDG PET/MRI A Pilot Study Comparing SUVmax With PET/CT and Assessment of MR Image Quality CLINICAL NUCLEAR MEDICINE Iagaru, A., Mittra, E., Minamimoto, R., Jamali, M., Levin, C., Quon, A., Gold, G., Herfkens, R., Vasanawala, S., Gambhir, S. S., Zaharchuk, G. 2015; 14 (1): 1-8

    Abstract

    The recent introduction of hybrid PET/MRI scanners in clinical practice has shown promising initial results for several clinical scenarios. However, the first generation of combined PET/MRI lacks time-of-flight (TOF) technology. Here we report the results of the first patients to be scanned on a completely novel fully integrated PET/MRI scanner with TOF.We analyzed data from patients who underwent a clinically indicated F FDG PET/CT, followed by PET/MRI. Maximum standardized uptake values (SUVmax) were measured from F FDG PET/MRI and F FDG PET/CT for lesions, cerebellum, salivary glands, lungs, aortic arch, liver, spleen, skeletal muscle, and fat. Two experienced radiologists independently reviewed the MR data for image quality.Thirty-six patients (19 men, 17 women, mean [±standard deviation] age of 61 ± 14 years [range: 27-86 years]) with a total of 69 discrete lesions met the inclusion criteria. PET/CT images were acquired at a mean (±standard deviation) of 74 ± 14 minutes (range: 49-100 minutes) after injection of 10 ± 1 mCi (range: 8-12 mCi) of F FDG. PET/MRI scans started at 161 ± 29 minutes (range: 117 - 286 minutes) after the F FDG injection. All lesions identified on PET from PET/CT were also seen on PET from PET/MRI. The mean SUVmax values were higher from PET/MRI than PET/CT for all lesions. No degradation of MR image quality was observed.The data obtained so far using this investigational PET/MR system have shown that the TOF PET system is capable of excellent performance during simultaneous PET/MR with routine pulse sequences. MR imaging was not compromised. Comparison of the PET images from PET/CT and PET/MRI show no loss of image quality for the latter. These results support further investigation of this novel fully integrated TOF PET/MRI instrument.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000346633400023

  • Validation of 64Cu-DOTA-rituximab injection preparation under good manufacturing practices: a PET tracer for imaging of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Molecular imaging Natarajan, A., Arksey, N., Iagaru, A., Chin, F. T., Gambhir, S. S. 2015; 14

    View details for DOI 10.2310/7290.2014.00055

    View details for PubMedID 25762106

  • A Magnetic Bead-Based Sensor for the Quantification of Multiple Prostate Cancer Biomarkers. PloS one Jokerst, J. V., Chen, Z., Xu, L., Nolley, R., Chang, E., Mitchell, B., Brooks, J. D., Gambhir, S. S. 2015; 10 (9): e0139484

    Abstract

    Novel biomarker assays and upgraded analytical tools are urgently needed to accurately discriminate benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) from prostate cancer (CaP). To address this unmet clinical need, we report a piezeoelectric/magnetic bead-based assay to quantitate prostate specific antigen (PSA; free and total), prostatic acid phosphatase, carbonic anhydrase 1 (CA1), osteonectin, IL-6 soluble receptor (IL-6sr), and spondin-2. We used the sensor to measure these seven proteins in serum samples from 120 benign prostate hypertrophy patients and 100 Gleason score 6 and 7 CaP using serum samples previously collected and banked. The results were analyzed with receiver operator characteristic curve analysis. There were significant differences between BPH and CaP patients in the PSA, CA1, and spondin-2 assays. The highest AUC discrimination was achieved with a spondin-2 OR free/total PSA operation-the area under the curve was 0.84 with a p value below 10-6. Some of these data seem to contradict previous reports and highlight the importance of sample selection and proper assay building in the development of biomarker measurement schemes. This bead-based system offers important advantages in assay building including low cost, high throughput, and rapid identification of an optimal matched antibody pair.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0139484

    View details for PubMedID 26421725

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4589536

  • A Magnetic Bead-Based Sensor for the Quantification of Multiple Prostate Cancer Biomarkers. PloS one Jokerst, J. V., Chen, Z., Xu, L., Nolley, R., Chang, E., Mitchell, B., Brooks, J. D., Gambhir, S. S. 2015; 10 (9)

    Abstract

    Novel biomarker assays and upgraded analytical tools are urgently needed to accurately discriminate benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) from prostate cancer (CaP). To address this unmet clinical need, we report a piezeoelectric/magnetic bead-based assay to quantitate prostate specific antigen (PSA; free and total), prostatic acid phosphatase, carbonic anhydrase 1 (CA1), osteonectin, IL-6 soluble receptor (IL-6sr), and spondin-2. We used the sensor to measure these seven proteins in serum samples from 120 benign prostate hypertrophy patients and 100 Gleason score 6 and 7 CaP using serum samples previously collected and banked. The results were analyzed with receiver operator characteristic curve analysis. There were significant differences between BPH and CaP patients in the PSA, CA1, and spondin-2 assays. The highest AUC discrimination was achieved with a spondin-2 OR free/total PSA operation-the area under the curve was 0.84 with a p value below 10-6. Some of these data seem to contradict previous reports and highlight the importance of sample selection and proper assay building in the development of biomarker measurement schemes. This bead-based system offers important advantages in assay building including low cost, high throughput, and rapid identification of an optimal matched antibody pair.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0139484

    View details for PubMedID 26421725

  • Parts per billion detection of uranium with a porphyrinoid-containing nanoparticle and in vivo photoacoustic imaging ANALYST Ho, I., Sessler, J. L., Gambhir, S. S., Jokerst, J. V. 2015; 140 (11): 3731-3737

    Abstract

    Chemical tools that can report radioactive isotopes would be of interest to the defense community. Here we report ∼250 nm polymeric nanoparticles containing porphyrinoid macrocycles with and without pre-complexed depleted uranium and demonstrate that the latter species may be detected easily and with high sensitivity via photoacoustic imaging. The porphyrinoid macrocycles used in the present study are non-aromatic in the absence of the uranyl cation, but aromatic after cation complexation. We solubilized both the freebase and metalated forms of the macrocycles in poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) and found a peak in the photoacoustic spectrum at 910 nm excitation in the case of the uranyl complex. The signal was stable for at least 15 minutes and allowed detection of uranium concentrations down to 6.2 ppb (5.7 nM) in vitro and 0.57 ppm (19 fCi; 0.52 μM) in vivo. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of a nanoparticle that detects an actinide cation via photoacoustic imaging.

    View details for DOI 10.1039/c5an00207a

    View details for Web of Science ID 000354650300006

    View details for PubMedID 25854506

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4437871

  • A multimodal imaging agent for intrinsic surface enhanced Raman scattering of biological tissue Conference on Plasmonics in Biology and Medicine XII Pohling, C. B., Campbell, J. L., Larson, T. A., Gambhir, S. S. SPIE-INT SOC OPTICAL ENGINEERING. 2015

    View details for DOI 10.1117/12.2077890

    View details for Web of Science ID 000353615600006

  • Validation of 64Cu-DOTA-rituximab injection preparation under good manufacturing practices: a PET tracer for imaging of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Molecular imaging Natarajan, A., Arksey, N., Iagaru, A., Chin, F. T., Gambhir, S. S. 2015; 14

    Abstract

    AbstractManufacturing of 64Cu-1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-N,N',N'',N'''-tetraacetic acid (DOTA)-rituximab injection under good manufacturing practices (GMP) was validated for imaging of patients with CD20+ B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Rituximab was purified by size exclusion high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and conjugated to DOTA-mono-(N-hydroxysuccinimidyl) ester. 64CuCl2, buffers, reagents, and other raw materials were obtained as high-grade quality. Following a semi-automated synthesis of 64Cu-DOTA-rituximab, a series of quality control tests was performed. The product was further tested in vivo using micro-positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) to assess targeting ability towards human CD20 in transgenic mice. Three batches of 64Cu-DOTA-rituximab final product were prepared as per GMP specifications. The radiolabeling yield from these batches was 93.1 ± 5.8%; these provided final product with radiopharmaceutical yield, purity, and specific activity of 59.2 ± 5.1% (0.9 ± 0.1 GBq of 64Cu), > 95% (by HPLC and radio-thin layer chromatography), and 229.4 ± 43.3 GBq/µmol (or 1.5 ± 0.3 MBq/µg), respectively. The doses passed apyrogenicity and human serum stability specifications, were sterile up to 14 days, and retained > 60% immunoreactivity. In vivo micro-PET/CT mouse images at 24 hours postinjection showed that the tracer targeted the intended sites of human CD20 expression. Thus, we have validated the manufacturing of GMP grade 64Cu-DOTA-rituximab for injection in the clinical setting.

    View details for DOI 10.2310/7290.2014.00055

    View details for PubMedID 25762106

  • Theranostic mesoporous silica nanoparticles biodegrade after pro-survival drug delivery and ultrasound/magnetic resonance imaging of stem cells. Theranostics Kempen, P. J., Greasley, S., Parker, K. A., Campbell, J. L., Chang, H., Jones, J. R., Sinclair, R., Gambhir, S. S., Jokerst, J. V. 2015; 5 (6): 631-642

    Abstract

    Increasing cell survival in stem cell therapy is an important challenge for the field of regenerative medicine. Here, we report theranostic mesoporous silica nanoparticles that can increase cell survival through both diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. First, the nanoparticle offers ultrasound and MRI signal to guide implantation into the peri-infarct zone and away from the most necrotic tissue. Second, the nanoparticle serves as a slow release reservoir of insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-a protein shown to increase cell survival. Mesenchymal stem cells labeled with these nanoparticles had detection limits near 9000 cells with no cytotoxicity at the 250 µg/mL concentration required for labeling. We also studied the degradation of the nanoparticles and showed that they clear from cells in approximately 3 weeks. The presence of IGF increased cell survival up to 40% (p<0.05) versus unlabeled cells under in vitro serum-free culture conditions.

    View details for DOI 10.7150/thno.11389

    View details for PubMedID 25825602

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4377731

  • A correlative optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy approach to locating nanoparticles in brain tumors. Micron Kempen, P. J., Kircher, M. F., de la Zerda, A., Zavaleta, C. L., Jokerst, J. V., Mellinghoff, I. K., Gambhir, S. S., Sinclair, R. 2015; 68: 70-76

    Abstract

    The growing use of nanoparticles in biomedical applications, including cancer diagnosis and treatment, demands the capability to exactly locate them within complex biological systems. In this work a correlative optical and scanning electron microscopy technique was developed to locate and observe multi-modal gold core nanoparticle accumulation in brain tumor models. Entire brain sections from mice containing orthotopic brain tumors injected intravenously with nanoparticles were imaged using both optical microscopy to identify the brain tumor, and scanning electron microscopy to identify the individual nanoparticles. Gold-based nanoparticles were readily identified in the scanning electron microscope using backscattered electron imaging as bright spots against a darker background. This information was then correlated to determine the exact location of the nanoparticles within the brain tissue. The nanoparticles were located only in areas that contained tumor cells, and not in the surrounding healthy brain tissue. This correlative technique provides a powerful method to relate the macro- and micro-scale features visible in light microscopy with the nanoscale features resolvable in scanning electron microscopy.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.micron.2014.09.004

    View details for PubMedID 25464144

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4262686

  • Syntheses and Discovery of a Novel Class of Cinnamic Hydroxamates as Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors by Multimodality Molecular Imaging in Living Subjects CANCER RESEARCH CHAN, C. T., Qi, J., Smith, W., Paranol, R., Mazitschek, R., West, N., Reeves, R., Chiosis, G., Schreiber, S. L., Bradner, J. E., Paulmurugan, R., Gambhir, S. S. 2014; 74 (24): 7475-7486

    Abstract

    Histone deacetylases (HDAC) that regulate gene expression are being explored as cancer therapeutic targets. In this study, we focused on HDAC6 based on its ability to inhibit cancerous Hsp90 chaperone activities by disrupting Hsp90/p23 interactions. To identify novel HDAC6 inhibitors, we used a dual-luciferase reporter system in cell culture and living mice by bioluminescence imaging (BLI). On the basis of existing knowledge, a library of hydrazone compounds was generated for screening by coupling cinnamic hydroxamates with aldehydes and ketones. Potency and selectivity were determined by in vitro HDAC profiling assays, with further evaluation to inhibit Hsp90(α/β)/p23 interactions by BLI. In this manner, we identified compound 1A12 as a dose-dependent inhibitor of Hsp90(α/β)/p23 interactions, UKE-1 myeloid cell proliferation, p21(waf1) upregulation, and acetylated histone H3 levels. 1A12 was efficacious in tumor xenografts expressing Hsp90(α)/p23 reporters relative to carrier control-treated mice as determined by BLI. Small animal (18)F-FDG PET/CT imaging on the same cohort showed that 1A12 also inhibited glucose metabolism relative to control subjects. Ex vivo analyses of tumor lysates showed that 1A12 administration upregulated acetylated-H3 by approximately 3.5-fold. Taken together, our results describe the discovery and initial preclinical validation of a novel selective HDAC inhibitor.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-14-0197

    View details for Web of Science ID 000346363900031

    View details for PubMedID 25320008

  • Noninvasive Reporter Gene Imaging of Human Oct4 (Pluripotency) Dynamics During the Differentiation of Embryonic Stem Cells in Living Subjects MOLECULAR IMAGING AND BIOLOGY Ahn, B., Parashurama, N., Patel, M., Ziv, K., Bhaumik, S., Yaghoubi, S. S., Paulmurugan, R., Gambhir, S. S. 2014; 16 (6): 865-876

    Abstract

    Human pluripotency gene networks (PGNs), controlled in part by Oct4, are central to understanding pluripotent stem cells, but current fluorescent reporter genes (RGs) preclude noninvasive assessment of Oct4 dynamics in living subjects.To assess Oc4 activity noninvasively, we engineered a mouse embryonic stem cell line which encoded both a pOct4-hrluc (humanized renilla luciferase) reporter and a pUbi-hfluc2-gfp (humanized firefly luciferase 2 fused to green fluorescent protein) reporter.In cell culture, pOct4-hRLUC activity demonstrated a peak at 48 h (day 2) and significant downregulation by 72 h (day 3) (p=0.0001). Studies in living subjects demonstrated significant downregulation in pOct4-hRLUC activity between 12 and 144 h (p = 0.001) and between 12 and 168 h (p = 0.0003). pOct4-hRLUC signal dynamics after implantation was complex, characterized by transient upregulation after initial downregulation in all experiments (n = 10, p = 0.01). As expected, cell culture differentiation of the engineered mouse embryonic stem cell line demonstrated activation of mesendodermal, mesodermal, endodermal, and ectodermal master regulators of differentiation, indicating potency to form all three germ layers.We conclude that the Oct4-hrluc RG system enables noninvasive Oct4 imaging in cell culture and in living subjects.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11307-014-0744-1

    View details for Web of Science ID 000345281600014

  • A Radiofluorinated Divalent Cystine Knot Peptide for Tumor PET Imaging MOLECULAR PHARMACEUTICS Jiang, L., Kimura, R. H., Ma, X., Tu, Y., Miao, Z., Shen, B., Chin, F. T., Shi, H., Gambhir, S. S., Cheng, Z. 2014; 11 (11): 3885-3892

    Abstract

    A divalent knottin containing two separate integrin binding epitopes (RGD) in the adjacent loops, 3-4A, was recently developed and reported in our previous publication. In the current study, 3-4A was radiofluorinated with a 4-nitrophenyl 2-(18)F-fluoropropinate ((18)F-NFP) group and the resulting divalent positron emission tomography (PET) probe, (18)F-FP-3-4A, was evaluated as a novel imaging probe to detect integrin αvβ3 positive tumors in living animals. Knottin 3-4A was synthesized by solid phase peptide synthesis, folded, and site-specifically conjugated with (18/19)F-NFP to produce the fluorinated peptide (18/19)F-fluoropropinate-3-4A ((18/19)F-FP-3-4A). The stability of (18)F-FP-3-4A was tested in both phosphate buffered saline (PBS) buffer and mouse serum. Cell uptake assays of the radiolabeled peptides were performed using U87MG cells. In addition, small animal PET imaging and biodistribution studies of (18)F-FP-3-4A were performed in U87MG tumor-bearing mice. The receptor targeting specificity of the radiolabeled peptide was also verified by coinjecting the probe with a blocking peptide cyclo(RGDyK). Our study showed that (18)F-FP-3-4A exhibited excellent stability in PBS buffer (pH 7.4) and mouse serum. Small animal PET imaging and biodistribution data revealed that (18)F-FP-3-4A exhibited rapid and good tumor uptake (3.76 ± 0.59% ID/g and 2.22 ± 0.62% ID/g at 0.5 and 1 h, respectively). (18)F-FP-3-4A was rapidly cleared from the normal tissues, resulting in excellent tumor-to-normal tissue contrasts. For example, liver uptake was only 0.39 ± 0.07% ID/g and the tumor to liver ratio was 5.69 at 1 h p.i. Furthermore, coinjection of cyclo(RGDyK) with (18)F-FP-3-4A significantly inhibited tumor uptake (0.41 ± 0.12 vs 1.02 ± 0.19% ID/g at 2.5 h) in U87MG xenograft models, demonstrating specific accumulation of the probe in the tumor. In summary, the divalent probe (18)F-FP-3-4A is characterized by rapid and high tumor uptake and excellent tumor-to-normal tissue ratios. (18)F-FP-3-4A is a highly promising knottin based PET probe for translating into clinical imaging of tumor angiogenesis.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/mp500018s

    View details for Web of Science ID 000344307700012

  • THE NATURALLY OCCURRING STEROID, WITHAFERIN A, IN SYNERGISTIC CONCERT WITH HER2/EGFR INHIBITORS ABROGATES PROLIFERATION OF HUMAN GLIOBLASTOMA CELL CULTURES AT NANOMOLAR CONCENTRATIONS Chang, E., Abbasi, T., D'Souza, A., Gowrishankar, G., Mallick, P., Gambhir, S. S. OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC. 2014
  • Cerenkov luminescence endoscopy: improved molecular sensitivity with ß--emitting radiotracers. Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine Carpenter, C. M., Ma, X., Liu, H., Sun, C., Pratx, G., Wang, J., Gambhir, S. S., Xing, L., Cheng, Z. 2014; 55 (11): 1905-1909

    Abstract

    Cerenkov luminescence endoscopy (CLE) is an optical technique that captures the Cerenkov photons emitted from highly energetic moving charged particles (β(+) or β(-)) and can be used to monitor the distribution of many clinically available radioactive probes. A main limitation of CLE is its limited sensitivity to small concentrations of radiotracer, especially when used with a light guide. We investigated the improvement in the sensitivity of CLE brought about by using a β(-) radiotracer that improved Cerenkov signal due to both higher β-particle energy and lower γ noise in the imaging optics because of the lack of positron annihilation.The signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of (90)Y was compared with that of (18)F in both phantoms and small-animal tumor models. Sensitivity and noise characteristics were demonstrated using vials of activity both at the surface and beneath 1 cm of tissue. Rodent U87MG glioma xenograft models were imaged with radiotracers bound to arginine-glycine-aspartate (RGD) peptides to determine the SNR.γ noise from (18)F was demonstrated by both an observed blurring across the field of view and a more pronounced fall-off with distance. A decreased γ background and increased energy of the β particles resulted in a 207-fold improvement in the sensitivity of (90)Y compared with (18)F in phantoms. (90)Y-bound RGD peptide produced a higher tumor-to-background SNR than (18)F in a mouse model.The use of (90)Y for Cerenkov endoscopic imaging enabled superior results compared with an (18)F radiotracer.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.114.139105

    View details for PubMedID 25300598

  • Endometrial VEGF induces placental sFLT1 and leads to pregnancy complications JOURNAL OF CLINICAL INVESTIGATION Fan, X., Rai, A., Kambham, N., Sung, J. F., Singh, N., Petitt, M., Dhal, S., Agrawal, R., Sutton, R. E., Druzin, M. L., Gambhir, S. S., Ambati, B. K., Cross, J. C., Nayak, N. R. 2014; 124 (11): 4941-4952

    Abstract

    There is strong evidence that overproduction of soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 (sFLT1) in the placenta is a major cause of vascular dysfunction in preeclampsia through sFLT1-dependent antagonism of VEGF. However, the cause of placental sFLT1 upregulation is not known. Here we demonstrated that in women with preeclampsia, sFLT1 is upregulated in placental trophoblasts, while VEGF is upregulated in adjacent maternal decidual cells. In response to VEGF, expression of sFlt1 mRNA, but not full-length Flt1 mRNA, increased in cultured murine trophoblast stem cells. We developed a method for transgene expression specifically in mouse endometrium and found that endometrial-specific VEGF overexpression induced placental sFLT1 production and elevated sFLT1 levels in maternal serum. This led to pregnancy losses, placental vascular defects, and preeclampsia-like symptoms, including hypertension, proteinuria, and glomerular endotheliosis in the mother. Knockdown of placental sFlt1 with a trophoblast-specific transgene caused placental vascular changes that were consistent with excess VEGF activity. Moreover, sFlt1 knockdown in VEGF-overexpressing animals enhanced symptoms produced by VEGF overexpression alone. These findings indicate that sFLT1 plays an essential role in maintaining vascular integrity in the placenta by sequestering excess maternal VEGF and suggest that a local increase in VEGF can trigger placental overexpression of sFLT1, potentially contributing to the development of preeclampsia and other pregnancy complications.

    View details for DOI 10.1172/JCI76864

    View details for Web of Science ID 000344203300029

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4347223

  • F-18-FPPRGD2 PET/CT: Pilot Phase Evaluation of Breast Cancer Patients RADIOLOGY Lagaru, A., Mosci, C., Shen, B., Chin, F. T., Mittra, E., Telli, M. L., Gambhir, S. S. 2014; 273 (2): 549-559

    Abstract

    Purpose To present data from the first prospective pilot phase trial of breast cancer participants imaged with fluorine 18 ((18)F)-2-fluoropropionyl-labeled PEGylated dimeric arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD) peptide (PEG3-E[c{RGDyk}]2) (FPPRGD2), a radiopharmaceutical agent used in positron emission tomographic (PET) imaging. Materials and Methods The local institutional review board approved the HIPAA-compliant protocol. Written informed consent was obtained from each patient. Eight women (age range, 44-67 years; mean age, 54.3 years ± 8.8 [standard deviation]) with newly diagnosed or recurrent breast cancer were recruited between November 2010 and February 2011. (18)F-FPPRGD2 PET/computed tomographic (CT) and (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET/CT examinations were performed within 3 weeks of each other. Dynamic (18)F-FPPRGD2 PET and two whole-body static (18)F-FPPRGD2 PET/CT scans were obtained. During this time, vital signs and electrocardiograms were recorded at regular intervals. Blood samples were obtained before the injection of (18)F-FPPRGD2 and at 24 hours and 1 week after injection to evaluate for toxicity. A nonparametric version of multivariate analysis of variance was used to assess the safety outcome measures simultaneously across time points. A paired two-sample t test was performed to compare the maximum standardized uptake values (SUVmax). Results (18)F-FPPRGD2 was well tolerated, without noticeable changes in vital signs, on electrocardiograms, or in laboratory values. A total of 30 lesions were evaluated at (18)F-FDG PET/CT and (18)F-FPPRGD2 PET/CT. The primary breast lesions had (18)F-FPPRGD2 uptake with SUVmax of 2.4-9.4 (mean, 5.6 ± 2.8) 60 minutes after injection, compared with (18)F-FDG uptake with SUVmax of 2.8-18.6 (mean, 10.4 ± 7.2). Metastatic lesions also showed (18)F-FPPRGD2 uptake, with SUVmax of 2.4-9.7 (mean, 5.0 ± 2.3) at 60 minutes, compared with (18)F-FDG uptake with SUVmax of 2.2-14.6 (mean, 6.6 ± 4.2). Conclusion Data from this pilot phase study suggest that (18)F-FPPRGD2 is a safe PET radiopharmaceutical agent. Evaluation of (18)F-FPPRGD2 in participants with breast cancer demonstrated significant uptake in the primary lesion and in the metastases. Larger cohorts are required to confirm these preliminary findings. © RSNA, 2014.

    View details for DOI 10.1148/radiol.14140028

    View details for Web of Science ID 000345069800028

  • Endoscopic molecular imaging of human bladder cancer using a CD47 antibody SCIENCE TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE Pan, Y., Volkmer, J., Mach, K. E., Rouse, R. V., Liu, J., Sahoo, D., Chang, T. C., Metzner, T. J., Kang, L., van de Rijn, M., Skinner, E. C., Gambhir, S. S., Weissman, I. L., Liao, J. C. 2014; 6 (260)

    Abstract

    A combination of optical imaging technologies with cancer-specific molecular imaging agents is a potentially powerful strategy to improve cancer detection and enable image-guided surgery. Bladder cancer is primarily managed endoscopically by white light cystoscopy with suboptimal diagnostic accuracy. Emerging optical imaging technologies hold great potential for improved diagnostic accuracy but lack imaging agents for molecular specificity. Using fluorescently labeled CD47 antibody (anti-CD47) as molecular imaging agent, we demonstrated consistent identification of bladder cancer with clinical grade fluorescence imaging systems, confocal endomicroscopy, and blue light cystoscopy in fresh surgically removed human bladders. With blue light cystoscopy, the sensitivity and specificity for CD47-targeted imaging were 82.9 and 90.5%, respectively. We detected variants of bladder cancers, which are diagnostic challenges, including carcinoma in situ, residual carcinoma in tumor resection bed, recurrent carcinoma following prior intravesical immunotherapy with Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), and excluded cancer from benign but suspicious-appearing mucosa. CD47-targeted molecular imaging could improve diagnosis and resection thoroughness for bladder cancer.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/scitranslmed.3009457

    View details for Web of Science ID 000343920500006

  • Transferring biomarker into molecular probe: melanin nanoparticle as a naturally active platform for multimodality imaging. Journal of the American Chemical Society Fan, Q., Cheng, K., Hu, X., Ma, X., Zhang, R., Yang, M., Lu, X., Xing, L., Huang, W., Gambhir, S. S., Cheng, Z. 2014; 136 (43): 15185-15194

    Abstract

    Developing multifunctional and easily prepared nanoplatforms with integrated different modalities is highly challenging for molecular imaging. Here, we report the successful transferring an important molecular target, melanin, into a novel mul-timodality imaging nanoplatform. Melanin is abundantly expressed in melanotic melanomas and thus has been actively studied as a target for melanoma imaging. In our work, the multifunctional biopolymer nanoplatform based on ultrasmall (< 10 nm) water-soluble melanin nanoparticle (MNP) was developed and showed unique photoacoustic property and natural binding ability with metal ions (for example, 64Cu2+, Fe3+). Therefore MNP can serve not only as a photoacoustic contrast agent, but also as a nanoplatform for positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Traditional passive nanoplatforms require complicated and time-consuming processes for pre-building reporting moieties or chemical modifications using active groups to integrate different contrast properties into one entity. In comparison, utilizing functional biomarker melanin can greatly simplify the building process. We further conjugated αvβ3 integrins targeting peptide, cyclic c(RGDfC) peptide, to MNPs and this allowed targeting of these nanoparticles to allow for greater U87MG tumor accumulation than that simply possible due to the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect. The multimodal properties of MNPs demonstrate the high potential of endogenous materials with multifunctions as nanoplatforms for molecular theranostics and clinical translation.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/ja505412p

    View details for PubMedID 25292385

  • Novel method of liver tumor detection and characterization using ultrasound-induced biomarker release D'Souza, A. L., Yan, X., Gambhir, S. S. AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH. 2014
  • First evaluation of a time-of-flight whole-body PET/MRI scanner in oncology patients: comparison with PET/CT Iagaru, A., Jamali, M., Minamimoto, R., Mittra, E., Gold, G., Vasanwala, S., Gambhir, S. S., Zaharchuk, G. SPRINGER. 2014: S287–S288
  • Molecular photoacoustic imaging and serum diagnostics rapidly detect response to angiopoietin 1 and 2 blockade in ovarian cancer Bohndiek, S. E., Sasportas, L., Machtaler, S., Jokerst, J. V., Hori, S., Gambhir, S. S. AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH. 2014
  • Correlation of plasma biomarker levels with early-stage tumor viability in an orthotopic ovarian cancer mouse model Hori, S. S., Lutz, A. M., Paulmurugan, R., Gambhir, S. S. AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH. 2014
  • MicroRNA footprints of circulating tumor cells in patients with non-small cell lung cancer Nair, V. S., Giraldez, M., Luttgen, M., Keu, K., Vasanawala, M., Horng, G., Jamali, M., Kolatkar, A., Kuschner, W., Kuhn, P., Gambhir, S., Tewari, M. AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH. 2014
  • Investigation of 6-[F-18]-Fluoromaltose as a Novel PET Tracer for Imaging Bacterial Infection PLOS ONE Gowrishankar, G., Namavari, M., Jouannot, E. B., Hoehne, A., Reeves, R., Hardy, J., Gambhir, S. S. 2014; 9 (9)

    Abstract

    Despite advances in the field of nuclear medicine, the imaging of bacterial infections has remained a challenge. The existing reagents suffer from poor sensitivity and specificity. In this study we investigate the potential of a novel PET (positron emission tomography) tracer that overcomes these limitations.6-[¹⁸F]-fluoromaltose was synthesized. Its behavior in vitro was evaluated in bacterial and mammalian cultures. Detailed pharmacokinetic and biodistribution profiles for the tracer were obtained from a murine model.6-[¹⁸F]-fluoromaltose is taken up by multiple strains of pathogenic bacteria. It is not taken up by mammalian cancer cell lines. 6-[¹⁸F]-fluoromaltose is retained in infected muscles in a murine model of bacterial myositis. It does not accumulate in inflamed tissue.We have shown that 6-[¹⁸F]-fluoromaltose can be used to image bacterial infection in vivo with high specificity. We believe that this class of agents will have a significant impact on the clinical management of patients.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0107951

    View details for Web of Science ID 000343679800058

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4171493

  • Cellulose Nanoparticles are a Biodegradable Photoacoustic Contrast Agent for Use in Living Mice. Photoacoustics Jokerst, J. V., Van de Sompel, D., Bohndiek, S. E., Gambhir, S. S. 2014; 2 (3): 119-127

    Abstract

    Molecular imaging with photoacoustic ultrasound is an emerging field that combines the spatial and temporal resolution of ultrasound with the contrast of optical imaging. However, there are few imaging agents that offer both high signal intensity and biodegradation into small molecules. Here we describe a cellulose-based nanoparticle with peak photoacoustic signal at 700 nm and an in vitro limit of detection of 6 pM (0.02 mg/mL). Doses down to 0.35 nM (1.2 mg/mL) were used to image mouse models of ovarian cancer. Most importantly, the nanoparticles were shown to biodegrade in the presence of cellulase both through a glucose assay and electron microscopy.

    View details for PubMedID 25225633

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4161983

  • Cellulose nanoparticles are a biodegradable photoacoustic contrast agent for use in living mice PHOTOACOUSTICS Jokerst, J. V., Van de Sompel, D., Bohndiek, S. E., Gambhir, S. S. 2014; 2 (3): 119–27
  • Circulating Tumor Microemboli Diagnostics for Patients with Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer JOURNAL OF THORACIC ONCOLOGY Carlsson, A., Nair, V. S., Luttgen, M. S., Keu, K. V., Horng, G., Vasanawala, M., Kolatkar, A., Jamali, M., Iagaru, A. H., Kuschner, W., Loo, B. W., Shrager, J. B., Bethel, K., Hoh, C. K., Bazhenova, L., Nieva, J., Kuhn, P., Gambhir, S. S. 2014; 9 (8): 1111-1119

    Abstract

    Circulating tumor microemboli (CTM) are potentially important cancer biomarkers, but using them for cancer detection in early-stage disease has been assay limited. We examined CTM test performance using a sensitive detection platform to identify stage I non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients undergoing imaging evaluation.First, we prospectively enrolled patients during 18F-FDG PET-CT imaging evaluation for lung cancer that underwent routine phlebotomy where CTM and circulating tumor cells (CTCs) were identified in blood using nuclear (DAPI), cytokeratin (CK), and CD45 immune-fluorescent antibodies followed by morphologic identification. Second, CTM and CTC data were integrated with patient (age, gender, smoking, and cancer history) and imaging (tumor diameter, location in lung, and maximum standard uptake value [SUVmax]) data to develop and test multiple logistic regression models using a case-control design in a training and test cohort followed by cross-validation in the entire group.We examined 104 patients with NSCLC, and the subgroup of 80 with stage I disease, and compared them to 25 patients with benign disease. Clinical and imaging data alone were moderately discriminating for all comers (Area under the Curve [AUC] = 0.77) and by stage I disease only (AUC = 0.77). However, the presence of CTM combined with clinical and imaging data was significantly discriminating for diagnostic accuracy in all NSCLC patients (AUC = 0.88, p value = 0.001) and for stage I patients alone (AUC = 0.87, p value = 0.002).CTM may add utility for lung cancer diagnosis during imaging evaluation using a sensitive detection platform.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000340138700012

    View details for PubMedID 25157764

  • Imaging of hepatocellular carcinoma patient-derived xenografts using Zr-89-labeled anti-glypican-3 monoclonal antibody BIOMATERIALS Yang, X., Liu, H., Sun, C. K., Natarajan, A., Hu, X., Wang, X., Allegretta, M., Guttmann, R. D., Gambhir, S. S., Chua, M., Cheng, Z., So, S. K. 2014; 35 (25): 6964-6971

    Abstract

    Imaging probes for early detection of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are highly desired to overcome current diagnostic limitations which lead to poor prognosis. The membrane protein glypican-3 (GPC3) is a potential molecular target for early HCC detection as it is over-expressed in >50% of HCCs, and is associated with early hepatocarcinogenesis. We synthesized the positron emission tomography (PET) probe (89)Zr-DFO-1G12 by bioconjugating and radiolabeling the anti-GPC3 monoclonal antibody (clone 1G12) with (89)Zr, and evaluated its tumor-targeting capacity. In vitro, (89)Zr-DFO-1G12 was specifically taken up into GPC3-positive HCC cells only, but not in the GPC3-negative prostate cancer cell line (PC3). In vivo, (89)Zr-DFO-1G12 specifically accumulated in subcutaneous GPC3-positive HCC xenografts only, but not in PC3 xenografts. Importantly, (89)Zr-DFO-1G12 delineated orthotopic HCC xenografts from surrounding normal liver, with tumor/liver (T/L) ratios of 6.65 ± 1.33 for HepG2, and 4.29 ± 0.52 for Hep3B xenografts. It also delineated orthotopic xenografts derived from three GPC3-positive HCC patient specimens, with T/L ratios of 4.21 ± 0.64, 2.78 ± 0.26, and 2.31 ± 0.38 at 168 h p.i. Thus, (89)Zr-DFO-1G12 is a highly translatable probe for the specific and high contrast imaging of GPC3-positive HCCs, which may aid early detection of HCC to allow timely intervention.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2014.04.089

    View details for Web of Science ID 000338386800028

  • A High-Affinity, High-Stability Photoacoustic Agent for Imaging Gastrin-Releasing Peptide Receptor in Prostate Cancer CLINICAL CANCER RESEARCH Levi, J., Sathirachinda, A., Gambhir, S. S. 2014; 20 (14): 3721-3729

    Abstract

    To evaluate the utility of targeted photoacoustic imaging (PAI) in providing molecular information to complement intrinsic functional and anatomical details of the vasculature within prostate lesion.We developed a PAI agent, AA3G-740, that targets gastrin-releasing peptide receptor (GRPR), found to be highly overexpressed in prostate cancer. The binding specificity of the agent was evaluated in human prostate cancer cell lines, PC3 and LNCaP, and antagonist properties determined by cell internalization and intracellular calcium mobilization studies. The imaging sensitivity was assessed for the agent itself and for the PC3 cells labeled with agent. The in vivo stability of the agent was determined in human plasma and in the blood of living mice. The in vivo binding of the agent was evaluated in PC3 prostate tumor models in mice, and was validated ex vivo by optical imaging.AA3G-740 demonstrated strong and specific binding to GRPR. The sensitivity of detection in vitro indicated suitability of the agent to image very small lesions. In mice, the agent was able to bind to GRPR even in poorly vascularized tumors leading to nearly 2-fold difference in photoacoustic signal relative to the control agent.The ability to image both vasculature and molecular profile outside the blood vessels gives molecular PAI a unique advantage over currently used imaging techniques. The imaging method presented here can find application both in diagnosis and in image-guided biopsy.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-13-3405

    View details for Web of Science ID 000339611500013

    View details for PubMedID 24850845

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4121111

  • Selective uptake of single-walled carbon nanotubes by circulating monocytes for enhanced tumour delivery. Nature nanotechnology Smith, B. R., Ghosn, E. E., Rallapalli, H., Prescher, J. A., Larson, T., Herzenberg, L. A., Gambhir, S. S. 2014; 9 (6): 481-487

    Abstract

    In cancer imaging, nanoparticle biodistribution is typically visualized in living subjects using 'bulk' imaging modalities such as magnetic resonance imaging, computerized tomography and whole-body fluorescence. Accordingly, nanoparticle influx is observed only macroscopically, and the mechanisms by which they target cancer remain elusive. Nanoparticles are assumed to accumulate via several targeting mechanisms, particularly extravasation (leakage into tumour). Here, we show that, in addition to conventional nanoparticle-uptake mechanisms, single-walled carbon nanotubes are almost exclusively taken up by a single immune cell subset, Ly-6C(hi) monocytes (almost 100% uptake in Ly-6C(hi) monocytes, below 3% in all other circulating cells), and delivered to the tumour in mice. We also demonstrate that a targeting ligand (RGD) conjugated to nanotubes significantly enhances the number of single-walled carbon nanotube-loaded monocytes reaching the tumour (P < 0.001, day 7 post-injection). The remarkable selectivity of this tumour-targeting mechanism demonstrates an advanced immune-based delivery strategy for enhancing specific tumour delivery with substantial penetration.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nnano.2014.62

    View details for PubMedID 24727688

  • Prospective evaluation of combined NaF/FDG PET/CT and whole-body MRI in patients with breast and prostate cancer Iagaru, A., Mosci, C., Jamali, M., Loening, A., Mittra, E., Gambhir, S., Vasanawala, S. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2014
  • Combined NaF/FDG PET/CT evaluation of prostate cancer patients Iagaru, A., Mosci, C., Keu, K., Mittra, E., Hancock, S., Pachynski, R., Srinivas, S., Gambhir, S. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2014
  • 99mTc-MDP scintigraphy vs. 18F NaF PET/CT for detection of skeletal metastases Iagaru, A., Jackson, T., Sabbah, N., Guo, H., Quon, A., Mittra, E., Gambhir, S. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2014
  • 99mTc-MDP scintigraphy vs. 18F NaF PET/CT for detection of skeletal metastases Iagaru, A., Jackson, T., Sabbah, N., Guo, H., Quon, A., Mittra, E., Gambhir, S. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2014
  • 18F FPPRGD2 PET/CT evaluation of patients with suspected recurrence of glioblastoma multiforme Iagaru, A., Mosci, C., Jamali, M., Minamimoto, R., Mittra, E., Shen, B., Chin, F., Gambhir, S. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2014
  • Single cell metabolomics in circulating tumor cells Sasportas, L., Turkcan, S., Pratx, G., Gambhir, S. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2014
  • A novel radioluminescence microscope for imaging radiotracers at the single-cell level Pratx, G., Natarajan, A., Turkcan, S., Sasportas, L., Axente, M., Gambhir, S., Xing, L. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2014
  • FDG uptake in normal tissues and malignant lesions from the first whole-body time-of-flight PET/MRI scanner: Comparison with PET/CT Iagaru, A., Mittra, E., Zaharchuk, G., Frost, R., Elekes, A., Anderson, J., Bobb, C., Lahrman, J., Gold, G., Gambhir, S. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2014
  • Tumor imaging with a radiofluorinated divalent knottin Jiang, L., Kimura, R., Ma, X., Tu, Y., Miao, Z., Shen, B., Chin, F., Shi, H., Gambhir, S., Cheng, Z. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2014
  • Detection of tumor cell apoptosis by PET: Comparison of [F-18]C-SNAT, [Tc-99m]HYNIC-Annexin V and [F-18]ML-10 Witney, T., Hoehne, A., Ilovich, O., Namavari, M., Shen, B., Chin, F., Rao, J., Gambhir, S. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2014
  • Observed standardized uptake values in normal tissues and malignant lesions on combined 18F-NaF/18F-FDG PET/CT Minamimoto, R., Mosci, C., Jamali, M., Mittra, E., Gambhir, S., Iagaru, A. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2014
  • 99mTc-labeled cystine knot peptide targeting integrin avß6 for tumor SPECT imaging. Molecular pharmaceutics Zhu, X., Li, J., Hong, Y., Kimura, R. H., Ma, X., Liu, H., Qin, C., Hu, X., Hayes, T. R., Benny, P., Gambhir, S. S., Cheng, Z. 2014; 11 (4): 1208-1217

    Abstract

    Integrin αvβ6 is overexpressed in a variety of cancers, and its expression is often associated with poor prognosis. Therefore, there is a need to develop affinity reagents for noninvasive imaging of integrin αvβ6 expression since it may provide early cancer diagnosis, more accurate prognosis, and better treatment planning. We recently engineered and validated highly stable cystine knot peptides that selectively bind integrin αvβ6 with no cross-reactivity to integrins αvβ5, α5β1, or αvβ3, also known to be overexpressed in many cancers. Here, we developed a single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) probe for imaging integrin αvβ6 positive tumors. Cystine knot peptide, S02, was first conjugated with a single amino acid chelate (SAAC) and labeled with [(99m)Tc(H2O)3(CO)3](+). The resulting probe, (99m)Tc-SAAC-S02, was then evaluated by in vitro cell uptake studies using two αvβ6 positive cell lines (human lung adenocarcinoma cell line HCC4006 and pancreatic cancer cell line BxPC-3) and two αvβ6 negative cell lines (human lung adenocarcinoma cell line H838 and human embryonic kidney cell line 293T). Next, SPECT/CT and biodistribution studies were performed in nude mice bearing HCC4006 and H838 tumor xenografts to evaluate the in vivo performance of (99m)Tc-SAAC-S02. Significant differences in the uptake of (99m)Tc-SAAC-S02 were observed in αvβ6 positive vs negative cells (P < 0.05). Biodistribution and small animal SPECT/CT studies revealed that (99m)Tc-SAAC-S02 accumulated to moderate levels in antigen positive tumors (∼2% ID/g at 1 and 6 h postinjection, n = 3 or 4/group). Moreover, the probe demonstrated tumor-to-background tissue ratios of 6.81 ± 2.32 (tumor-to-muscle) and 1.63 ± 0.18 (tumor-to-blood) at 6 h postinjection in αvβ6 positive tumor xenografts. Co-incubation of the probe with excess amount of unlabeled S02 as a blocking agent demonstrated significantly reduced tumor uptake, which is consistent with specific binding to the target. Renal filtration was the main route of clearance. In conclusion, knottin peptides are excellent scaffolds for which to develop highly stable imaging probes for a variety of oncological targets. (99m)Tc-SAAC-S02 demonstrates promise for use as a SPECT agent to image integrin αvβ6 expression in living systems.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/mp400683q

    View details for PubMedID 24524409

  • A tunable silk-alginate hydrogel scaffold for stem cell culture and transplantation. Biomaterials Ziv, K., Nuhn, H., Ben-Haim, Y., Sasportas, L. S., Kempen, P. J., Niedringhaus, T. P., Hrynyk, M., Sinclair, R., Barron, A. E., Gambhir, S. S. 2014; 35 (12): 3736-3743

    Abstract

    One of the major challenges in regenerative medicine is the ability to recreate the stem cell niche, which is defined by its signaling molecules, the creation of cytokine gradients, and the modulation of matrix stiffness. A wide range of scaffolds has been developed in order to recapitulate the stem cell niche, among them hydrogels. This paper reports the development of a new silk-alginate based hydrogel with a focus on stem cell culture. This biocomposite allows to fine tune its elasticity during cell culture, addressing the importance of mechanotransduction during stem cell differentiation. The silk-alginate scaffold promotes adherence of mouse embryonic stem cells and cell survival upon transplantation. In addition, it has tunable stiffness as function of the silk-alginate ratio and the concentration of crosslinker - a characteristic that is very hard to accomplish in current hydrogels. The hydrogel and the presented results represents key steps on the way of creating artificial stem cell niche, opening up new paths in regenerative medicine.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2014.01.029

    View details for PubMedID 24484675

  • A titratable two-step transcriptional amplification strategy for targeted gene therapy based on ligand-induced intramolecular folding of a mutant human estrogen receptor. Molecular imaging and biology Chen, I. Y., Paulmurugan, R., Nielsen, C. H., Wang, D. S., Chow, V., Robbins, R. C., Gambhir, S. S. 2014; 16 (2): 224-234

    Abstract

    The efficacy and safety of cardiac gene therapy depend critically on the level and the distribution of therapeutic gene expression following vector administration. We aimed to develop a titratable two-step transcriptional amplification (tTSTA) vector strategy, which allows modulation of transcriptionally targeted gene expression in the myocardium.We constructed a tTSTA plasmid vector (pcTnT-tTSTA-fluc), which uses the cardiac troponin T (cTnT) promoter to drive the expression of the recombinant transcriptional activator GAL4-mER(LBD)-VP2, whose ability to transactivate the downstream firefly luciferase reporter gene (fluc) depends on the binding of its mutant estrogen receptor (ER(G521T)) ligand binding domain (LBD) to an ER ligand such as raloxifene. Mice underwent either intramyocardial or hydrodynamic tail vein (HTV) injection of pcTnT-tTSTA-fluc, followed by differential modulation of fluc expression with varying doses of intraperitoneal raloxifene prior to bioluminescence imaging to assess the kinetics of myocardial or hepatic fluc expression.Intramyocardial injection of pcTnT-tTSTA-fluc followed by titration with intraperitoneal raloxifene led to up to tenfold induction of myocardial fluc expression. HTV injection of pcTnT-tTSTA-fluc led to negligible long-term hepatic fluc expression, regardless of the raloxifene dose given.The tTSTA vector strategy can effectively modulate transgene expression in a tissue-specific manner. Further refinement of this strategy should help maximize the benefit-to-risk ratio of cardiac gene therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11307-013-0673-4

    View details for PubMedID 23955099

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4154804

  • Construction of hybrid nanostructures as multimodal contrast agents for cancer imaging Cheng, K., Jokerst, J. V., Liu, H., Kothapalli, R., Jiang, H., Yang, M., Su, X., Ming, S., Hu, X., Li, J., Liu, Y., Levi, J., Gambhir, S., Cheng, Z. AMER CHEMICAL SOC. 2014
  • Construction and validation of nano gold tripods for molecular imaging of living subjects. Journal of the American Chemical Society Cheng, K., Kothapalli, S., Liu, H., Koh, A. L., Jokerst, J. V., Jiang, H., Yang, M., Li, J., Levi, J., Wu, J. C., Gambhir, S. S., Cheng, Z. 2014; 136 (9): 3560-3571

    Abstract

    Anisotropic colloidal hybrid nanoparticles exhibit superior optical and physical properties compared to their counterparts with regular architectures. We herein developed a controlled, stepwise strategy to build novel, anisotropic, branched, gold nanoarchitectures (Au-tripods) with predetermined composition and morphology for bioimaging. The resultant Au-tripods with size less than 20 nm showed great promise as contrast agents for in vivo photoacoustic imaging (PAI). We further identified Au-tripods with two possible configurations as high-absorbance nanomaterials from various gold multipods using a numerical simulation analysis. The PAI signals were linearly correlated with their concentrations after subcutaneous injection. The in vivo biodistribution of Au-tripods favorable for molecular imaging was confirmed using small animal positron emission tomography (PET). Intravenous administration of cyclic Arg-Gly-Asp-d-Phe-Cys (RGDfC) peptide conjugated Au-tripods (RGD-Au-tripods) to U87MG tumor-bearing mice showed PAI contrasts in tumors almost 3-fold higher than for the blocking group. PAI results correlated well with the corresponding PET images. Quantitative biodistribution data revealed that 7.9% ID/g of RGD-Au-tripods had accumulated in the U87MG tumor after 24 h post-injection. A pilot mouse toxicology study confirmed that no evidence of significant acute or systemic toxicity was observed in histopathological examination. Our study suggests that Au-tripods can be reliably synthesized through stringently controlled chemical synthesis and could serve as a new generation of platform with high selectivity and sensitivity for multimodality molecular imaging.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/ja412001e

    View details for PubMedID 24495038

  • Ultrasound Molecular Imaging in a Human CD276 Expression-Modulated Murine Ovarian Cancer Model. Clinical cancer research Lutz, A. M., Bachawal, S. V., Drescher, C. W., Pysz, M. A., Willmann, J. K., Gambhir, S. S. 2014; 20 (5): 1313-1322

    Abstract

    To develop a mouse ovarian cancer model that allows modulating the expression levels of human vascular targets in mouse xenograft tumors and to test whether expression of CD276 during tumor angiogenesis can be visualized by molecularly targeted ultrasound in vivo.CD276-expressing MILE SVEN 1 (MS1) mouse endothelial cells were engineered and used for coinjection with 2008 human ovarian cancer cells for subcutaneous xenograft tumor induction in 15 nude mice. Fourteen control mice were injected with 2008 cells only. After confirming their binding specificity in flow chamber cell attachment studies, anti-CD276 antibody-functionalized contrast microbubbles were used for in vivo CD276-targeted contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging.CD276-targeted ultrasound imaging signal was significantly higher (P = 0.006) in mixed MS1/2008 tumors than in control tumors. Compared with control microbubbles, the ultrasound signal using CD276-targeted microbubbles was significantly higher (P = 0.002), and blocking with purified anti-CD276 antibody significantly decreased (P = 0.0096) the signal in mixed MS1/2008 tumors. Immunofluorescence analysis of the tumor tissue confirmed higher quantitative immunofluorescence signal in mixed MS1/2008 tumors than in control 2008 only tumors, but showed not significantly different (P = 0.54) microvessel density.Our novel small animal model allows for modulating the expression of human tumor-associated vascular endothelial imaging targets in a mouse host and these expression differences can be visualized noninvasively by ultrasound molecular imaging. The animal model can be applied to other human vascular targets and may facilitate the preclinical development of new imaging probes such as microbubbles targeted at human vascular markers not expressed in mice. Clin Cancer Res; 20(5); 1313-22. ©2014 AACR.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-13-1642

    View details for PubMedID 24389327

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3965293

  • Semiconducting polymer nanoparticles as photoacoustic molecular imaging probes in living mice. Nature nanotechnology Pu, K., Shuhendler, A. J., Jokerst, J. V., Mei, J., Gambhir, S. S., Bao, Z., Rao, J. 2014; 9 (3): 233-239

    Abstract

    Photoacoustic imaging holds great promise for the visualization of physiology and pathology at the molecular level with deep tissue penetration and fine spatial resolution. To fully utilize this potential, photoacoustic molecular imaging probes have to be developed. Here, we introduce near-infrared light absorbing semiconducting polymer nanoparticles as a new class of contrast agents for photoacoustic molecular imaging. These nanoparticles can produce a stronger signal than the commonly used single-walled carbon nanotubes and gold nanorods on a per mass basis, permitting whole-body lymph-node photoacoustic mapping in living mice at a low systemic injection mass. Furthermore, the semiconducting polymer nanoparticles possess high structural flexibility, narrow photoacoustic spectral profiles and strong resistance to photodegradation and oxidation, enabling the development of the first near-infrared ratiometric photoacoustic probe for in vivo real-time imaging of reactive oxygen species-vital chemical mediators of many diseases. These results demonstrate semiconducting polymer nanoparticles to be an ideal nanoplatform for developing photoacoustic molecular probes.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nnano.2013.302

    View details for PubMedID 24463363

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3947658

  • Light in and sound out: emerging translational strategies for photoacoustic imaging. Cancer research Zackrisson, S., van de Ven, S. M., Gambhir, S. S. 2014; 74 (4): 979-1004

    Abstract

    Photoacoustic imaging (PAI) has the potential for real-time molecular imaging at high resolution and deep inside the tissue, using nonionizing radiation and not necessarily depending on exogenous imaging agents, making this technique very promising for a range of clinical applications. The fact that PAI systems can be made portable and compatible with existing imaging technologies favors clinical translation even more. The breadth of clinical applications in which photoacoustics could play a valuable role include: noninvasive imaging of the breast, sentinel lymph nodes, skin, thyroid, eye, prostate (transrectal), and ovaries (transvaginal); minimally invasive endoscopic imaging of gastrointestinal tract, bladder, and circulating tumor cells (in vivo flow cytometry); and intraoperative imaging for assessment of tumor margins and (lymph node) metastases. In this review, we describe the basics of PAI and its recent advances in biomedical research, followed by a discussion of strategies for clinical translation of the technique. Cancer Res; 74(4); 979-1004. ©2014 AACR.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-13-2387

    View details for PubMedID 24514041

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3944207

  • Antiviral drug ganciclovir is a potent inhibitor of microglial proliferation and neuroinflammation. journal of experimental medicine Ding, Z., Mathur, V., Ho, P. P., James, M. L., Lucin, K. M., Hoehne, A., Alabsi, H., Gambhir, S. S., Steinman, L., Luo, J., Wyss-Coray, T. 2014; 211 (2): 189-198

    Abstract

    Aberrant microglial responses contribute to neuroinflammation in many neurodegenerative diseases, but no current therapies target pathogenic microglia. We discovered unexpectedly that the antiviral drug ganciclovir (GCV) inhibits the proliferation of microglia in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a mouse model for multiple sclerosis (MS), as well as in kainic acid-induced excitotoxicity. In EAE, GCV largely prevented infiltration of T lymphocytes into the central nervous system (CNS) and drastically reduced disease incidence and severity when delivered before the onset of disease. In contrast, GCV treatment had minimal effects on peripheral leukocyte distribution in EAE and did not inhibit generation of antibodies after immunization with ovalbumin. Additionally, a radiolabeled analogue of penciclovir, [(18)F]FHBG, which is similar in structure to GCV, was retained in areas of CNS inflammation in EAE, but not in naive control mice, consistent with the observed therapeutic effects. Our experiments suggest GCV may have beneficial effects in the CNS beyond its antiviral properties.

    View details for DOI 10.1084/jem.20120696

    View details for PubMedID 24493798

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3920559

  • Imaging circulating tumor cells in freely moving awake small animals using a miniaturized intravital microscope. PloS one Sasportas, L. S., Gambhir, S. S. 2014; 9 (1)

    Abstract

    Metastasis, the cause for 90% of cancer mortality, is a complex and poorly understood process involving the invasion of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) into blood vessels. These cells have potential prognostic value as biomarkers for early metastatic risk. But their rarity and the lack of specificity and sensitivity in measuring them render their interrogation by current techniques very challenging. How and when these cells are circulating in the blood, on their way to potentially give rise to metastasis, is a question that remains largely unanswered. In order to provide an insight into this "black box" using non-invasive imaging, we developed a novel miniature intravital microscopy (mIVM) strategy capable of real-time long-term monitoring of CTCs in awake small animals. We established an experimental 4T1-GL mouse model of metastatic breast cancer, in which tumor cells express both fluorescent and bioluminescent reporter genes to enable both single cell and whole body tumor imaging. Using mIVM, we monitored blood vessels of different diameters in awake mice in an experimental model of metastasis. Using an in-house software algorithm we developed, we demonstrated in vivo CTC enumeration and computation of CTC trajectory and speed. These data represent the first reported use we know of for a miniature mountable intravital microscopy setup for in vivo imaging of CTCs in awake animals.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0086759

    View details for PubMedID 24497977

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3908955

  • Selective uptake of single-walled carbon nanotubes by circulating monocytes for enhanced tumour delivery Nature Nanotechnology Smith, B. R., Ghosn, E. E., et al 2014: 481–87

    Abstract

    In cancer imaging, nanoparticle biodistribution is typically visualized in living subjects using 'bulk' imaging modalities such as magnetic resonance imaging, computerized tomography and whole-body fluorescence. Accordingly, nanoparticle influx is observed only macroscopically, and the mechanisms by which they target cancer remain elusive. Nanoparticles are assumed to accumulate via several targeting mechanisms, particularly extravasation (leakage into tumour). Here, we show that, in addition to conventional nanoparticle-uptake mechanisms, single-walled carbon nanotubes are almost exclusively taken up by a single immune cell subset, Ly-6C(hi) monocytes (almost 100% uptake in Ly-6C(hi) monocytes, below 3% in all other circulating cells), and delivered to the tumour in mice. We also demonstrate that a targeting ligand (RGD) conjugated to nanotubes significantly enhances the number of single-walled carbon nanotube-loaded monocytes reaching the tumour (P < 0.001, day 7 post-injection). The remarkable selectivity of this tumour-targeting mechanism demonstrates an advanced immune-based delivery strategy for enhancing specific tumour delivery with substantial penetration.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nnano.2014.62

  • Detection and quantitation of circulating tumor cell dynamics by bioluminescence imaging in an orthotopic mammary carcinoma model. PloS one Sasportas, L. S., Hori, S. S., Pratx, G., Gambhir, S. S. 2014; 9 (9): e105079

    Abstract

    Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) have been detected in the bloodstream of both early-stage and advanced cancer patients. However, very little is know about the dynamics of CTCs during cancer progression and the clinical relevance of longitudinal CTC enumeration. To address this, we developed a simple bioluminescence imaging assay to detect CTCs in mouse models of metastasis. In a 4T1 orthotopic metastatic mammary carcinoma mouse model, we demonstrated that this quantitative method offers sensitivity down to 2 CTCs in 0.1-1mL blood samples and high specificity for CTCs originating from the primary tumor, independently of their epithelial status. In this model, we simultaneously monitored blood CTC dynamics, primary tumor growth, and lung metastasis progression over the course of 24 days. Early in tumor development, we observed low numbers of CTCs in blood samples (10-15 cells/100 µL) and demonstrated that CTC dynamics correlate with viable primary tumor growth. To our knowledge, these data represent the first reported use of bioluminescence imaging to detect CTCs and quantify their dynamics in any cancer mouse model. This new assay is opening the door to the study of CTC dynamics in a variety of animal models. These studies may inform clinical decision on the appropriate timing of blood sampling and value of longitudinal CTC enumeration in cancer patients.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0105079

    View details for PubMedID 25188396

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4154864

  • Evaluation of s-1 receptor radioligand 18F-FTC-146 in rats and squirrel monkeys using PET. Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine James, M. L., Shen, B., Nielsen, C. H., Behera, D., Buckmaster, C. L., Mesangeau, C., Zavaleta, C., Vuppala, P. K., Jamalapuram, S., Avery, B. A., Lyons, D. M., McCurdy, C. R., Biswal, S., Gambhir, S. S., Chin, F. T. 2014; 55 (1): 147-153

    Abstract

    The noninvasive imaging of σ-1 receptors (S1Rs) could provide insight into their role in different diseases and lead to novel diagnostic/treatment strategies. The main objective of this study was to assess the S1R radiotracer (18)F-FTC-146 in rats. Preliminary squirrel monkey imaging and human serum/liver microsome studies were performed to gain information about the potential of (18)F-FTC-146 for eventual clinical translation.The distribution and stability of (18)F-FTC-146 in rats were assessed via PET/CT, autoradiography, γ counting, and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Preliminary PET/MRI of squirrel monkey brain was conducted along with HPLC assessment of (18)F-FTC-146 stability in monkey plasma and human serum.Biodistribution studies showed that (18)F-FTC-146 accumulated in S1R-rich rat organs, including the lungs, pancreas, spleen, and brain. Pretreatment with known S1R compounds, haloperidol, or BD1047, before radioligand administration, significantly attenuated (18)F-FTC-146 accumulation in all rat brain regions by approximately 85% (P < 0.001), suggesting radiotracer specificity for S1Rs. Similarly, PET/CT and autoradiography results demonstrated accumulation of (18)F-FTC-146 in rat brain regions known to contain S1Rs and that this uptake could be blocked by BD1047 pretreatment. Ex vivo analysis of (18)F-FTC-146 in the brain showed that only intact radiotracer was present at 15, 30, and 60 min, whereas rapid metabolism of residual (18)F-FTC-146 was observed in rat plasma. Preliminary monkey PET/MRI studies demonstrated specific accumulation of (18)F-FTC-146 in the brain (mainly in cortical structures, cerebellum, and vermis) that could be attenuated by pretreatment with haloperidol. HPLC of monkey plasma suggested radioligand metabolism, whereas (18)F-FTC-146 appeared to be stable in human serum. Finally, liver microsome studies revealed that (18)F-FTC-146 has a longer half-life in human microsomes, compared with rodents.Together, these results indicate that (18)F-FTC-146 is a promising tool for visualizing S1Rs in preclinical studies and that it has potential for mapping these sites in the human brain.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.113.120261

    View details for PubMedID 24337599

  • Cellulose nanoparticles: Photoacoustic contrast agents that biodegrade to simple sugars Conference on Photons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing Jokerst, J. V., Bohndiek, S. E., Gambhir, S. S. SPIE-INT SOC OPTICAL ENGINEERING. 2014

    View details for DOI 10.1117/12.2036256

    View details for Web of Science ID 000338768500011

  • Photoacoustic Imaging of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Living Mice via Silica-Coated Gold Nanorods Conference on Photons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing Jokerst, J. V., Thangaraj, M., Gambhir, S. S. SPIE-INT SOC OPTICAL ENGINEERING. 2014

    View details for DOI 10.1117/12.2036786

    View details for Web of Science ID 000338768500035

  • Tracking Cellular and Immune Therapies in Cancer EMERGING APPLICATIONS OF MOLECULAR IMAGING TO ONCOLOGY Kurtz, D. M., Gambhir, S. S. 2014; 124: 257-296

    Abstract

    The field of tumor immunology has seen an explosion of renewed interest over the last decade. With the FDA approval of new immunotherapies for prostate cancer and melanoma, as well as several exciting new drugs in clinical trials, tumor immunology is becoming an increasingly important topic in preclinical studies and patient care. However, the current methods for assessing the immune status of a patient and tumor are limited, which has led to the development of novel molecular imaging methods for assessing tumor immunology. From cell tracking for cellular therapeutics to assessing the tumor immune microenvironment, these imaging methods have the potential to further preclinical understanding of immunotherapies and potentially translate into clinically useful tests to predict and assess therapeutic response of these exciting new agents. In this review, we first discuss the recent advances in cancer immunotherapy, followed by a detailed review of the current state of molecular imaging for tumor immunology. Finally, we discuss opportunities for further development and innovation in this rapidly growing field.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/B978-0-12-411638-2.00008-2

    View details for Web of Science ID 000344511500008

  • A simple model for deep tissue attenuation correction and large organ analysis of Cerenkov luminescence imaging Medical Imaging - Physics of Medical Imaging Habte, F., Natarajan, A., Paik, D. S., Gambhir, S. S. SPIE-INT SOC OPTICAL ENGINEERING. 2014

    View details for DOI 10.1117/12.2043879

    View details for Web of Science ID 000338775800154

  • Gold nanorods combine photoacoustic and Raman imaging for detection and treatment of ovarian cancer Conference on Photons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing Jokerst, J. V., Cole, A. J., Bohndiek, S. E., Gambhir, S. S. SPIE-INT SOC OPTICAL ENGINEERING. 2014

    View details for DOI 10.1117/12.2036776

    View details for Web of Science ID 000338768500134

  • Detection and quantitation of circulating tumor cell dynamics by bioluminescence imaging in an orthotopic mammary carcinoma model. PloS one Sasportas, L. S., Hori, S. S., Pratx, G., Gambhir, S. S. 2014; 9 (9)

    Abstract

    Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) have been detected in the bloodstream of both early-stage and advanced cancer patients. However, very little is know about the dynamics of CTCs during cancer progression and the clinical relevance of longitudinal CTC enumeration. To address this, we developed a simple bioluminescence imaging assay to detect CTCs in mouse models of metastasis. In a 4T1 orthotopic metastatic mammary carcinoma mouse model, we demonstrated that this quantitative method offers sensitivity down to 2 CTCs in 0.1-1mL blood samples and high specificity for CTCs originating from the primary tumor, independently of their epithelial status. In this model, we simultaneously monitored blood CTC dynamics, primary tumor growth, and lung metastasis progression over the course of 24 days. Early in tumor development, we observed low numbers of CTCs in blood samples (10-15 cells/100 µL) and demonstrated that CTC dynamics correlate with viable primary tumor growth. To our knowledge, these data represent the first reported use of bioluminescence imaging to detect CTCs and quantify their dynamics in any cancer mouse model. This new assay is opening the door to the study of CTC dynamics in a variety of animal models. These studies may inform clinical decision on the appropriate timing of blood sampling and value of longitudinal CTC enumeration in cancer patients.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0105079

    View details for PubMedID 25188396

  • A Novel Engineered Anti-CD20 Tracer Enables Early Time PET Imaging in a Humanized Transgenic Mouse Model of B-cell Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma CLINICAL CANCER RESEARCH Natarajan, A., Hackel, B. J., Gambhir, S. S. 2013; 19 (24): 6820-6829

    Abstract

    The aim of this article was to evaluate the use of a novel engineered anti-CD20 protein based on the 10 kDa human fibronectin type 3 domain (FN3) and subsequently compare with (64)Cu-rituximab for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of CD20.The engineered FN3(CD20) and FN3(WT) were produced in Escherichia coli cells at 2 to 5 mg/L, conjugated to DOTA, labeled with (64)Cu, and used for PET imaging of huCD20 expression in B cells. Humanized transgenic mice and subcutaneously xenografted mice each received intravenous (64)Cu-FN3(CD20) or FN3(WT) (3.7 MBq/4 μg Do-FN3 in 200 μL PBS). Control group received a blocking dose (50-fold excess) of unconjugated FN3(CD20) two hours before radiotracer injection. PET imaging was carried out at 1 to 24 hours postinjections.In vitro assay demonstrated FN3 binds CD20 with 20 nmol/L affinity on CD20-expressing cells. (64)Cu-FN3(CD20) showed clear, high-contrast visualization of huCD20-expressing B cells in the spleen of transgenic mice as early as 1 hour postinjection [38 ± 3% injected dose (ID)/g] and exhibited a spleen-to-blood ratio of 13 by 4 hours. This is higher uptake (P = 0.04) and 10-fold greater signal-to-background (P = 0.04) than the (64)Cu-rituximab antibody radiotracer. Tumor uptake (16.8 ± 1.6 vs. 5.6 ± 1.4%ID/g) and tumor:background ratios were superior for FN3CD20 relative to rituximab in xenograft studies as well.The (64)Cu-Do-FN3(CD20) radiotracer represents a novel small, high-affinity binder for imaging human CD20, which may be well suited for B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma imaging in patients at early time points.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-13-0626

    View details for Web of Science ID 000328938700019

    View details for PubMedID 24097872

  • A F-18-Labeled Saxitoxin Derivative for in Vivo PET-MR Imaging of Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel Expression Following Nerve Injury JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY Hoehne, A., Behera, D., Parsons, W. H., James, M. L., Shen, B., Borgohain, P., Bodapati, D., Prabhakar, A., Gambhir, S. S., Yeomans, D. C., Biswal, S., Chin, F. T., Du Bois, J. 2013; 135 (48): 18012-18015

    Abstract

    Both chronic and neuropathic pain conditions are associated with increased expression of certain voltage-gated sodium ion channel (NaV) isoforms in peripheral sensory neurons. A method for noninvasive imaging of these channels could represent a powerful tool for investigating aberrant expression of NaV and its role in pain pathogenesis. Herein, we describe the synthesis and evaluation of a positron emission tomography (PET) radiotracer targeting NaVs, the design of which is based on the potent, NaV-selective inhibitor saxitoxin. Both autoradiography analysis of sciatic nerves excised from injured rats as well as whole animal PET-MR imaging demonstrate that a systemically administered [(18)F]-labeled saxitoxin derivative concentrates at the site of nerve injury, consistent with upregulated sodium channel expression following axotomy. This type of PET agent has potential use for serial monitoring of channel expression levels at injured nerves throughout wound healing and/or following drug treatment. Such information may be correlated with pain behavioral analyses to help shed light on the complex molecular processes that underlie pain sensation.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/ja408300e

    View details for Web of Science ID 000328100000002

    View details for PubMedID 24261833

  • Combined 18F-fluoride and 18F-FDG PET/CT: a response based on actual data from prospective studies. European journal of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging Iagaru, A., Mosci, C., Dick, D. W., Sathekge, M., Lapa, P., de Lima, J. M., Gambhir, S. S. 2013; 40 (12): 1922-1924

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s00259-013-2556-y

    View details for PubMedID 24057457

  • Single-cell photonic nanocavity probes. Nano letters Shambat, G., Kothapalli, S., Provine, J., Sarmiento, T., Harris, J., Gambhir, S. S., Vuckovic, J. 2013; 13 (11): 4999-5005

    Abstract

    In this report, we demonstrate for the first time photonic nanocavities operating inside single biological cells. Here we develop a nanobeam photonic crystal (PC) cavity as an advanced cellular nanoprobe, active in nature, and configurable to provide a multitude of actions for both intracellular sensing and control. Our semiconductor nanocavity probes emit photoluminescence (PL) from embedded quantum dots (QD) and sustain high quality resonant photonic modes inside cells. The probes are shown to be minimally cytotoxic to cells from viability studies, and the beams can be loaded in cells and tracked for days at a time, with cells undergoing regular division with the beams. We present in vitro label-free protein sensing with our probes to detect streptavidin as a path towards real-time biomarker and biomolecule detection inside single cells. The results of this work will enable new areas of research merging the strengths of photonic nanocavities with fundamental cell biology.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/nl304602d

    View details for PubMedID 23387382

  • Nanooncology: The Future of Cancer Diagnosis and Therapy CA-A CANCER JOURNAL FOR CLINICIANS Thakor, A. S., Gambhir, S. S. 2013; 63 (6): 395-418

    Abstract

    In recent years, there has been an unprecedented expansion in the field of nanomedicine with the development of new nanoparticles for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Nanoparticles have unique biological properties given their small size and large surface area-to-volume ratio, which allows them to bind, absorb, and carry compounds such as small molecule drugs, DNA, RNA, proteins, and probes with high efficiency. Their tunable size, shape, and surface characteristics also enable them to have high stability, high carrier capacity, the ability to incorporate both hydrophilic and hydrophobic substances and compatibility with different administration routes, thereby making them highly attractive in many aspects of oncology. This review article will discuss how nanoparticles are able to function as carriers for chemotherapeutic drugs to increase their therapeutic index; how they can function as therapeutic agents in photodynamic, gene, and thermal therapy; and how nanoparticles can be used as molecular imaging agents to detect and monitor cancer progression.

    View details for DOI 10.3322/caac.21199

    View details for Web of Science ID 000326887000004

    View details for PubMedID 24114523

  • Integrin-Targeted Molecular Imaging of Experimental Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms by 18F-labeled Arg-Gly-Asp Positron-Emission Tomography. Circulation. Cardiovascular imaging Kitagawa, T., Kosuge, H., Chang, E., James, M. L., Yamamoto, T., Shen, B., Chin, F. T., Gambhir, S. S., Dalman, R. L., McConnell, M. V. 2013; 6 (6): 950-956

    Abstract

    Background- Both inflammation and neoangiogenesis contribute to abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) disease. Arg-Gly-Asp-based molecular imaging has been shown to detect the integrin αvβ3. We studied a clinical dimeric (18)F-labeled Arg-Gly-Asp positron-emission tomography (PET) agent ((18)F-FPPRGD2) for molecular imaging of experimental AAAs. Methods and Results- Murine AAAs were induced in Apo-E-deficient mice by angiotensin II infusion, with monitoring of aortic diameter on ultrasound. AAA (n=10) and saline-infused control mice (n=7) were injected intravenously with (18)F-FPPRGD2, as well as an intravascular computed tomography contrast agent, then scanned using a small-animal PET/computed tomography scanner. Aortic uptake of (18)F-FPPRGD2 was quantified by percentage-injected dose per gram and target-to-=0.003; median target-to-=0.0008). Ex vivo autoradiography demonstrated high uptake of (18)F-FPPRGD2 into the AAA wall, with immunohistochemistry showing substantial cluster of differentiation (CD)-11b(+) macrophages and CD-31(+) neovessels. Target-to-=-0.29, P=0.41) but did strongly correlate with both mural macrophage density (r=0.79, P=0.007) and neovessel counts (r=0.87, P=0.001) on immunohistochemistry. Conclusions- PET imaging of experimental AAAs using (18)F-FPPRGD2 detects biologically active disease, correlating to the degree of vascular inflammation and neoangiogenesis. This may provide a clinically translatable molecular imaging approach to characterize AAA biology to predict risk beyond size alone.

    View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCIMAGING.113.000234

    View details for PubMedID 23995363

  • Preclinical Efficacy of the Anti-Hepatocyte Growth Factor Antibody Ficlatuzumab in a Mouse Brain Orthotopic Glioma Model Evaluated by Bioluminescence, PET, and MRI CLINICAL CANCER RESEARCH Mittra, E. S., Fan-Minogue, H., Lin, F. I., Karamchandani, J., Sriram, V., Han, M., Gambhir, S. S. 2013; 19 (20): 5711-5721

    Abstract

    Ficlatuzumab is a novel therapeutic agent targeting the hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)/c-MET pathway. We summarize extensive preclinical work using this agent in a mouse brain orthotopic model of glioblastoma.Sequential experiments were done using eight- to nine-week-old nude mice injected with 3 × 10(5) U87 MG (glioblastoma) cells into the brain. Evaluation of ficlatuzumab dose response for this brain tumor model and comparison of its response to ficlatuzumab and to temozolamide were conducted first. Subsequently, various small-animal imaging modalities, including bioluminescence imaging (BLI), positron emission tomography (PET), and MRI, were used with a U87 MG-Luc 2 stable cell line, with and without the use of ficlatuzumab, to evaluate the ability to noninvasively assess tumor growth and response to therapy. ANOVA was conducted to evaluate for significant differences in the response.There was a survival benefit with ficlatuzumab alone or in combination with temozolamide. BLI was more sensitive than PET in detecting tumor cells. Fluoro-D-thymidine (FLT) PET provided a better signal-to-background ratio than 2[(18)F]fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose (FDG) PET. In addition, both BLI and FLT PET showed significant changes over time in the control group as well as with response to therapy. MRI does not disclose any time-dependent change. Also, the MRI results showed a temporal delay in comparison to the BLI and FLT PET findings, showing similar results one drug cycle later.Targeting the HGF/c-MET pathway with the novel agent ficlatuzumab appears promising for the treatment of glioblastoma. Various clinically applicable imaging modalities including FLT, PET, and MRI provide reliable ways of assessing tumor growth and response to therapy. Given the clinical applicability of these findings, future studies on patients with glioblastoma may be appropriate.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-12-1015

    View details for Web of Science ID 000325797600019

    View details for PubMedID 23983258

  • A scanning transmission electron microscopy approach to analyzing large volumes of tissue to detect nanoparticles. Microscopy and microanalysis Kempen, P. J., Thakor, A. S., Zavaleta, C., Gambhir, S. S., Sinclair, R. 2013; 19 (5): 1290-1297

    Abstract

    The use of nanoparticles for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer requires the complete characterization of their toxicity, including accurately locating them within biological tissues. Owing to their size, traditional light microscopy techniques are unable to resolve them. Transmission electron microscopy provides the necessary spatial resolution to image individual nanoparticles in tissue, but is severely limited by the very small analysis volume, usually on the order of tens of cubic microns. In this work, we developed a scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) approach to analyze large volumes of tissue for the presence of polyethylene glycol-coated Raman-active-silica-gold-nanoparticles (PEG-R-Si-Au-NPs). This approach utilizes the simultaneous bright and dark field imaging capabilities of STEM along with careful control of the image contrast settings to readily identify PEG-R-Si-Au-NPs in mouse liver tissue without the need for additional time-consuming analytical characterization. We utilized this technique to analyze 243,000 μm3 of mouse liver tissue for the presence of PEG-R-Si-Au-NPs. Nanoparticles injected into the mice intravenously via the tail vein accumulated in the liver, whereas those injected intrarectally did not, indicating that they remain in the colon and do not pass through the colon wall into the systemic circulation.

    View details for DOI 10.1017/S143192761300192X

    View details for PubMedID 23803218

  • Noninvasive imaging of hypoxia-inducible factor-1a gene therapy for myocardial ischemia. Human gene therapy methods Chen, I. Y., Gheysens, O., Li, Z., Rasooly, J. A., Wang, Q., Paulmurugan, R., Rosenberg, J., Rodriguez-Porcel, M., Willmann, J. K., Wang, D. S., Contag, C. H., Robbins, R. C., Wu, J. C., Gambhir, S. S. 2013; 24 (5): 279-288

    Abstract

    Abstract Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha (HIF-1α) gene therapy holds great promise for the treatment of myocardial ischemia. Both preclinical and clinical evaluations of this therapy are underway and can benefit from a vector strategy that allows noninvasive assessment of HIF-1α expression as an objective measure of gene delivery. We have developed a novel bidirectional plasmid vector (pcTnT-HIF-1α-VP2-TSTA-fluc), which employs the cardiac troponin T (cTnT) promoter in conjunction with a two-step transcriptional amplification (TSTA) system to drive the linked expression of a recombinant HIF-1α gene (HIF-1α-VP2) and the firefly luciferase gene (fluc). The firefly luciferase (FLuc) activity serves as a surrogate for HIF-1α-VP2 expression, and can be noninvasively assessed in mice using bioluminescence imaging after vector delivery. Transfection of cultured HL-1 cardiomyocytes with pcTnT-HIF-1α-VP2-TSTA-fluc led to a strong correlation between FLuc and HIF-1α-dependent vascular endothelial growth factor expression (r(2)=0.88). Intramyocardial delivery of pcTnT-HIF-1α-VP2-TSTA-fluc into infarcted mouse myocardium led to persistent HIF-1α-VP2 expression for 4 weeks, even though it improved neither CD31+ microvessel density nor echocardiographically determined left ventricular systolic function. These results lend support to recent findings of suboptimal efficacy associated with plasmid-mediated HIF-1α therapy. The imaging techniques developed herein should be useful for further optimizing HIF-1α-VP2 therapy in preclinical models of myocardial ischemia.

    View details for DOI 10.1089/hgtb.2013.028

    View details for PubMedID 23937265

  • Pilot Prospective Evaluation of Early Response to Bevacizumab Treatment Using the Novel PET/CT Radiopharmaceutical 18F FPPRGD2 Iagaru, A., Mosci, C., Davidzon, G., Kumar, M., Shen, B., Chin, F., Gambhir, S. S. SPRINGER. 2013: S185
  • Noninvasive imaging of hypoxia-inducible factor-1a gene therapy for myocardial ischemia. Human gene therapy methods Chen, I. Y., Gheysens, O., Li, Z., Rasooly, J. A., Wang, Q., Paulmurugan, R., Rosenberg, J., Rodriguez-Porcel, M., Willmann, J. K., Wang, D. S., Contag, C. H., Robbins, R. C., Wu, J. C., Gambhir, S. S. 2013; 24 (5): 279-288

    View details for DOI 10.1089/hgtb.2013.028

    View details for PubMedID 23937265

  • MicroRNA-regulated non-viral vectors with improved tumor specificity in an orthotopic rat model of hepatocellular carcinoma GENE THERAPY Ronald, J. A., Katzenberg, R., Nielsen, C. H., Jae, H. J., Hofmann, L. V., Gambhir, S. S. 2013; 20 (10): 1006-1013

    Abstract

    In hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), tumor specificity of gene therapy is of utmost importance to preserve liver function. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are powerful negative regulators of gene expression and many are downregulated in human HCC. We identified seven miRNAs that are also downregulated in tumors in a rat hepatoma model (P<0.05) and attempted to improve tumor specificity by constructing a panel of luciferase-expressing vectors containing binding sites for these miRNAs. Attenuation of luciferase expression by the corresponding miRNAs was confirmed across various cell lines and in mouse liver. We then tested our vectors in tumor-bearing rats and identified two miRNAs, miR-26a and miR-122, that significantly decreased expression in liver compared with the control vector (6.40 and 0.26%, respectively; P<0.05). In tumor, miR-122 had a nonsignificant trend towards decreased (∼50%) expression, whereas miR-26 had no significant effect on tumor expression. To our knowledge, this is the first work using differentially expressed miRNAs to de-target transgene expression in an orthotopic hepatoma model and to identify miR-26a, in addition to miR-122, for de-targeting liver. Considering the heterogeneity of miRNA expression in human HCC, this information will be important in guiding development of more personalized vectors for the treatment of this devastating disease.Gene Therapy advance online publication, 30 May 2013; doi:10.1038/gt.2013.24.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/gt.2013.24

    View details for Web of Science ID 000325633500006

    View details for PubMedID 23719066

  • A c-Myc Activation Sensor-Based High-Throughput Drug Screening Identifies an Antineoplastic Effect of Nitazoxanide. Molecular cancer therapeutics Fan-Minogue, H., Bodapati, S., Solow-Cordero, D., Fan, A., Paulmurugan, R., Massoud, T. F., Felsher, D. W., Gambhir, S. S. 2013; 12 (9): 1896-1905

    Abstract

    Deregulation of c-Myc plays a central role in the tumorigenesis of many human cancers. Yet, the development of drugs regulating c-Myc activity has been challenging. To facilitate the identification of c-Myc inhibitors, we developed a molecular imaging sensor based high throughput-screening (HTS) system. This system uses a cell-based assay to detect c-Myc activation in a HTS format, which is established from a pure clone of a stable breast cancer cell line that constitutively expresses a c-Myc activation sensor. Optimization of the assay performance in the HTS format resulted in uniform and robust signals at the baseline. Using this system, we performed a quantitative HTS against approximately 5,000 existing bioactive compounds from five different libraries. Thirty-nine potential hits were identified, including currently known c-Myc inhibitors. There are a few among the top potent hits that are not known for anti-c-Myc activity. One of these hits is nitazoxanide (NTZ), a thiazolide for treating human protozoal infections. Validation of NTZ in different cancer cell lines revealed a high potency for c-Myc inhibition with IC50 ranging between 10 - 500nM. Oral administration of NTZ in breast cancer xenograft mouse models significantly suppressed tumor growth by inhibition of c-Myc and induction of apoptosis. These findings suggest a potential of NTZ to be repurposed as a new anti-tumor agent for inhibition of c-Myc associated neoplasia. Our work also demonstrated the unique advantage of molecular imaging in accelerating discovery of drugs for c-Myc targeted cancer therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-12-1243

    View details for PubMedID 23825064

  • Target-Specific Molecular Imaging with Cystine Knot Peptides Kimura, R. H., Gambhir, S. S. SPRINGER WIEN. 2013: 608
  • High-sensitivity, real-time, ratiometric imaging of surface-enhanced Raman scattering nanoparticles with a clinically translatable Raman endoscope device. Journal of biomedical optics Garai, E., Sensarn, S., Zavaleta, C. L., Van de Sompel, D., Loewke, N. O., Mandella, M. J., Gambhir, S. S., Contag, C. H. 2013; 18 (9): 096008-?

    Abstract

    ABSTRACT. Topical application and quantification of targeted, surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) nanoparticles offer a new technique that has the potential for early detection of epithelial cancers of hollow organs. Although less toxic than intravenous delivery, the additional washing required to remove unbound nanoparticles cannot necessarily eliminate nonspecific pooling. Therefore, we developed a real-time, ratiometric imaging technique to determine the relative concentrations of at least two spectrally unique nanoparticle types, where one serves as a nontargeted control. This approach improves the specific detection of bound, targeted nanoparticles by adjusting for working distance and for any nonspecific accumulation following washing. We engineered hardware and software to acquire SERS signals and ratios in real time and display them via a graphical user interface. We report quantitative, ratiometric imaging with nanoparticles at pM and sub-pM concentrations and at varying working distances, up to 50 mm. Additionally, we discuss optimization of a Raman endoscope by evaluating the effects of lens material and fiber coating on background noise, and theoretically modeling and simulating collection efficiency at various working distances. This work will enable the development of a clinically translatable, noncontact Raman endoscope capable of rapidly scanning large, topographically complex tissue surfaces for small and otherwise hard to detect lesions.

    View details for DOI 10.1117/1.JBO.18.9.096008

    View details for PubMedID 24008818

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3763230

  • Evaluation of Zr-89-rituximab Tracer by Cerenkov Luminescence Imaging and Correlation with PET in a Humanized Transgenic Mouse Model to Image NHL MOLECULAR IMAGING AND BIOLOGY Natarajan, A., Habte, F., Liu, H., Sathirachinda, A., Hu, X., Cheng, Z., Nagamine, C. M., Gambhir, S. S. 2013; 15 (4): 468-475

    Abstract

    PURPOSE: This research aimed to study the use of Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI) for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) using (89)Zr-rituximab positron emission tomography (PET) tracer with a humanized transgenic mouse model that expresses human CD20 and the correlation of CLI with PET. PROCEDURES: Zr-rituximab (2.6 MBq) was tail vein-injected into transgenic mice that express the human CD20 on their B cells (huCD20TM). One group (n = 3) received 2 mg/kg pre-dose (blocking) of cold rituximab 2 h prior to tracer; a second group (n = 3) had no pre-dose (non-blocking). CLI was performed using a cooled charge-coupled device optical imager. We also performed PET imaging and ex vivo studies in order to confirm the in vivo CLI results. At each time point (4, 24, 48, 72, and 96 h), two groups of mice were imaged in vivo and ex vivo with CLI and PET, and at 96 h, organs were measured by gamma counter. RESULTS: huCD20 transgenic mice injected with (89)Zr-rituximab demonstrated a high-contrast CLI image compared to mice blocked with a cold dose. At various time points of 4-96 h post-radiotracer injection, the in vivo CLI signal intensity showed specific uptake in the spleen where B cells reside and, hence, the huCD20 biomarker is present at very high levels. The time-activity curve of dose decay-corrected CLI intensity and percent injected dose per gram of tissue of PET uptake in the spleen were increased over the time period (4-96 h). At 96 h, the (89)Zr-rituximab uptake ratio (non-blocking vs blocking) counted (mean ± standard deviation) for the spleen was 1.5 ± 0.6 for CLI and 1.9 ± 0.3 for PET. Furthermore, spleen uptake measurements (non-blocking and blocking of all time points) of CLI vs PET showed good correlation (R (2) = 0.85 and slope = 0.576), which also confirmed the corresponding correlations parameter value (R (2) = 0.834 and slope = 0.47) obtained for ex vivo measurements. CONCLUSIONS: CLI and PET of huCD20 transgenic mice injected with (89)Zr-rituximab demonstrated that the tracer was able to target huCD20-expressing B cells. The in vivo and ex vivo tracer uptake corresponding to the CLI radiance intensity from the spleen is in good agreement with PET. In this report, we have validated the use of CLI with PET for NHL imaging in huCD20TM.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11307-013-0624-0

    View details for Web of Science ID 000321972500014

    View details for PubMedID 23471750

  • Molecular imaging with surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy nanoparticle reporters MRS BULLETIN Jokerst, J. V., Pohling, C., Gambhir, S. S. 2013; 38 (8): 625-630
  • Real-time, continuous, fluorescence sensing in a freely-moving subject with an implanted hybrid VCSEL/CMOS biosensor BIOMEDICAL OPTICS EXPRESS O'Sullivan, T. D., Heitz, R. T., Parashurama, N., Barkin, D. B., Wooley, B. A., Gambhir, S. S., Harris, J. S., Levi, O. 2013; 4 (8): 1332-1341

    Abstract

    Performance improvements in instrumentation for optical imaging have contributed greatly to molecular imaging in living subjects. In order to advance molecular imaging in freely moving, untethered subjects, we designed a miniature vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL)-based biosensor measuring 1cm(3) and weighing 0.7g that accurately detects both fluorophore and tumor-targeted molecular probes in small animals. We integrated a critical enabling component, a complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) read-out integrated circuit, which digitized the fluorescence signal to achieve autofluorescence-limited sensitivity. After surgical implantation of the lightweight sensor for two weeks, we obtained continuous and dynamic fluorophore measurements while the subject was un-anesthetized and mobile. The technology demonstrated here represents a critical step in the path toward untethered optical sensing using an integrated optoelectronic implant.

    View details for DOI 10.1364/BOE.4.001332

    View details for Web of Science ID 000322618900008

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3756575

  • Imaging Tumor Angiogenesis: The Road to Clinical Utility AMERICAN JOURNAL OF ROENTGENOLOGY Iagaru, A., Gambhir, S. S. 2013; 201 (2): W183-W191

    Abstract

    OBJECTIVE. Tumor growth and progression require the formation of new blood vessels from preexisting vasculature, a process called angiogenesis. The ability to noninvasively visualize angiogenesis may provide new opportunities to more appropriately select patients for antiangiogenesis treatment and to monitor treatment efficacy. CONCLUSION. The superior molecular sensitivity of PET and the lack of radiation from MRI and contrast-enhanced ultrasound put these techniques at the forefront of clinical translation.

    View details for DOI 10.2214/AJR.12.8568

    View details for Web of Science ID 000322225400003

    View details for PubMedID 23883233

  • Activatable oligomerizable imaging agents for photoacoustic imaging of furin-like activity in living subjects. Journal of the American Chemical Society Dragulescu-Andrasi, A., Kothapalli, S., Tikhomirov, G. A., Rao, J., Gambhir, S. S. 2013; 135 (30): 11015-11022

    Abstract

    Photoacoustic (PA) imaging is continuing to be applied for physiological imaging and more recently for molecular imaging of living subjects. Owing to its high spatial resolution in deep tissues, PA imaging holds great potential for biomedical applications and molecular diagnostics. There is however a lack of probes for targeted PA imaging, especially in the area of enzyme-activatable probes. Here we introduce a molecular probe, which upon proteolytic processing is retained at the site of enzyme activity and provides PA contrast. The probe oligomerizes via a condensation reaction and accumulates in cells and tumors that express the protease. We demonstrate that this probe reports furin and furin-like activity in cells and tumor models by generating a significantly higher PA signal relative to furin-deficient and nontarget controls. This probe could report enzyme activity in living subjects at depths significantly greater than fluorescence imaging probes and has potential for molecular imaging in deep tumors.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/ja4010078

    View details for PubMedID 23859847

  • A small animal Raman instrument for rapid, wide-area, spectroscopic imaging PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Bohndiek, S. E., Wagadarikar, A., Zavaleta, C. L., Van de Sompel, D., Garai, E., Jokerst, J. V., Yazdanfar, S., Gambhir, S. S. 2013; 110 (30): 12408-12413

    Abstract

    Raman spectroscopy, amplified by surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) nanoparticles, is a molecular imaging modality with ultra-high sensitivity and the unique ability to multiplex readouts from different molecular targets using a single wavelength of excitation. This approach holds exciting prospects for a range of applications in medicine, including identification and characterization of malignancy during endoscopy and intraoperative image guidance of surgical resection. The development of Raman molecular imaging with SERS nanoparticles is presently limited by long acquisition times, poor spatial resolution, small field of view, and difficulty in animal handling with existing Raman spectroscopy instruments. Our goal is to overcome these limitations by designing a bespoke instrument for Raman molecular imaging in small animals. Here, we present a unique and dedicated small-animal Raman imaging instrument that enables rapid, high-spatial resolution, spectroscopic imaging over a wide field of view (> 6 cm(2)), with simplified animal handling. Imaging of SERS nanoparticles in small animals demonstrated that this small animal Raman imaging system can detect multiplexed SERS signals in both superficial and deep tissue locations at least an order of magnitude faster than existing systems without compromising sensitivity.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1301379110

    View details for Web of Science ID 000322112300062

    View details for PubMedID 23821752

  • An Observational Study of Circulating Tumor Cells and F-18-FDG PET Uptake in Patients with Treatment-Naive Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer PLOS ONE Nair, V. S., Keu, K. V., Luttgen, M. S., Kolatkar, A., Vasanawala, M., Kuschner, W., Bethel, K., Iagaru, A. H., Hoh, C., Shrager, J. B., Loo, B. W., Bazhenova, L., Nieva, J., Gambhir, S. S., Kuhn, P. 2013; 8 (7)

    Abstract

    We investigated the relationship of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with tumor glucose metabolism as defined by (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) uptake since both have been associated with patient prognosis.We performed a retrospective screen of patients at four medical centers who underwent FDG PET-CT imaging and phlebotomy prior to a therapeutic intervention for NSCLC. We used an Epithelial Cell Adhesion Molecule (EpCAM) independent fluid biopsy based on cell morphology for CTC detection and enumeration (defined here as High Definition CTCs or "HD-CTCs"). We then correlated HD-CTCs with quantitative FDG uptake image data calibrated across centers in a cross-sectional analysis.We assessed seventy-one NSCLC patients whose median tumor size was 2.8 cm (interquartile range, IQR, 2.0-3.6) and median maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) was 7.2 (IQR 3.7-15.5). More than 2 HD-CTCs were detected in 63% of patients, whether across all stages (45 of 71) or in stage I disease (27 of 43). HD-CTCs were weakly correlated with partial volume corrected tumor SUVmax (r = 0.27, p-value = 0.03) and not correlated with tumor diameter (r = 0.07; p-value = 0.60). For a given partial volume corrected SUVmax or tumor diameter there was a wide range of detected HD-CTCs in circulation for both early and late stage disease.CTCs are detected frequently in early-stage NSCLC using a non-EpCAM mediated approach with a wide range noted for a given level of FDG uptake or tumor size. Integrating potentially complementary biomarkers like these with traditional patient data may eventually enhance our understanding of clinical, in vivo tumor biology in the early stages of this deadly disease.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0067733

    View details for Web of Science ID 000321425300025

    View details for PubMedID 23861795

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3702496

  • Noninvasive Monitoring of Oxidative Stress in Transplanted Mesenchymal Stromal Cells JACC-CARDIOVASCULAR IMAGING Psaltis, P. J., Peterson, K. M., Xu, R., Franchi, F., Witt, T., Chen, I. Y., Lerman, A., Simari, R. D., Gambhir, S. S., Rodriguez-Porcel, M. 2013; 6 (7): 795-802

    Abstract

    OBJECTIVES: The goal of this study was to validate a pathway-specific reporter gene that could be used to noninvasively image the oxidative status of progenitor cells. BACKGROUND: In cell therapy studies, reporter gene imaging plays a valuable role in the assessment of cell fate in living subjects. After myocardial injury, noxious stimuli in the host tissue confer oxidative stress to transplanted cells that may influence their survival and reparative function. METHODS: Rat mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) were studied for phenotypic evidence of increased oxidative stress under in vitro stress. On the basis of their up-regulation of the pro-oxidant enzyme p67(phox) subunit of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAD[P]H oxidase p67(phox)), an oxidative stress sensor was constructed, comprising the firefly luciferase (Fluc) reporter gene driven by the NAD(P)H p67(phox) promoter. MSCs cotransfected with NAD(P)H p67(phox)-Fluc and a cell viability reporter gene (cytomegalovirus-Renilla luciferase) were studied under in vitro and in vivo pro-oxidant conditions. RESULTS: After in vitro validation of the sensor during low-serum culture, transfected MSCs were transplanted into a rat model of myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (IR) and monitored by using bioluminescence imaging. Compared with sham controls (no IR), cardiac Fluc intensity was significantly higher in IR rats (3.5-fold at 6 h, 2.6-fold at 24 h, 5.4-fold at 48 h; p < 0.01), indicating increased cellular oxidative stress. This finding was corroborated by ex vivo luminometry after correcting for Renilla luciferase activity as a measure of viable MSC number (Fluc:Renilla luciferase ratio 0.011 ± 0.003 for sham vs. 0.026 ± 0.004 for IR at 48 h; p < 0.05). Furthermore, in IR animals that received MSCs preconditioned with an antioxidant agent (tempol), Fluc signal was strongly attenuated, substantiating the specificity of the oxidative stress sensor. CONCLUSIONS: Pathway-specific reporter gene imaging allows assessment of changes in the oxidative status of MSCs after delivery to ischemic myocardium, providing a template to monitor key biological interactions between transplanted cells and their host environment in living subjects.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jcmg.2012.11.018

    View details for Web of Science ID 000321677300006

    View details for PubMedID 23643284

  • F-18-Fluorobenzoate-Labeled Cystine Knot Peptides for PET Imaging of Integrin alpha(v)beta(6) JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE Hackel, B. J., Kimura, R. H., Miao, Z., Liu, H., Sathirachinda, A., Cheng, Z., Chin, F. T., Gambhir, S. S. 2013; 54 (7): 1101-1105

    Abstract

    Integrin αvβ6 is a cell surface receptor minimally expressed by healthy tissue but elevated in lung, colon, skin, ovarian, cervical, and pancreatic cancers. A molecular PET agent for integrin αvβ6 could provide significant clinical utility by facilitating both cancer staging and treatment monitoring to more rapidly identify an effective therapeutic approach. METHODS: Here, we evaluated 2 cystine knot peptides, R01 and S02, previously engineered with a 3-6 nM affinity for integrin αvβ6, for (18)F radiolabeling and PET imaging of BxPC3 pancreatic adenocarcinoma xenografts in mice. Cystine knot peptides were labeled with N-succinimidyl-4-(18)F-fluorobenzoate and evaluated for binding affinity and serum stability. Peptides conjugated with (18)F-fluorobenzoate (2-3 MBq) were injected via the tail vein into nude mice xenografted with BxPC3 (integrin αvβ6-positive) or 293 (integrin αvβ6-negative) tumors. Small-animal PET scans were acquired at 0.5, 1, and 2 h after injection. Ex vivo γ-counting of dissected tissues was performed at 0.5 and 2 h. RESULTS: (18)F-fluorobenzoate peptides were produced in 93% ((18)F-fluorobenzoate-R01) and 99% ((18)F-fluorobenzoate-S02) purity. (18)F-fluorobenzoate-R01 and (18)F-fluorobenzoate-S02 had affinities of 1.1 ± 0.2 and 0.7 ± 0.4 nM, respectively, and were 87% and 94%, respectively, stable in human serum at 37°C for 2 h. (18)F-fluorobenzoate-R01 and (18)F-fluorobenzoate-S02 exhibited 2.3 ± 0.6 and 1.3 ± 0.4 percentage injected dose per gram (%ID/g), respectively, in BxPC3 xenografted tumors at 0.5 h (n = 4-5). Target specificity was confirmed by low tumor uptake in integrin αvβ6-negative 293 tumors (1.4 ± 0.6 and 0.5 ± 0.2 %ID/g, respectively, for (18)F-fluorobenzoate-R01 and (18)F-fluorobenzoate-S02; both P < 0.05; n = 3-4) and low muscle uptake (3.1 ± 1.0 and 2.7 ± 0.4 tumor to muscle for (18)F-fluorobenzoate-R01 and (18)F-fluorobenzoate-S02, respectively). Small-animal PET data were corroborated by ex vivo γ-counting of dissected tissues, which demonstrated low uptake in nontarget tissues with only modest kidney uptake (9.2 ± 3.3 and 1.9 ± 1.2 %ID/g, respectively, at 2 h for (18)F-fluorobenzoate-R01 and (18)F-fluorobenzoate-S02; n = 8). Uptake in healthy pancreas was low (0.3% ± 0.1% for (18)F-fluorobenzoate-R01 and 0.03% ± 0.01% for (18)F-fluorobenzoate-S02; n = 8). CONCLUSION: These cystine knot peptide tracers, in particular (18)F-fluorobenzoate-R01, show translational promise for molecular imaging of integrin αvβ6 overexpression in pancreatic and other cancers.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.112.110759

    View details for Web of Science ID 000321113500019

  • Pilot prospective evaluation of 99mTc-MDP scintigraphy, 18F NaF PET/CT, 18F FDG PET/CT and whole-body MRI for detection of skeletal metastases. Clinical nuclear medicine Iagaru, A., Young, P., Mittra, E., Dick, D. W., Herfkens, R., Gambhir, S. S. 2013; 38 (7): e290-6

    View details for DOI 10.1097/RLU.0b013e3182815f64

    View details for PubMedID 23455520

  • 18F-fluorobenzoate-labeled cystine knot peptides for PET imaging of integrin avß6. Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine Hackel, B. J., Kimura, R. H., Miao, Z., Liu, H., Sathirachinda, A., Cheng, Z., Chin, F. T., Gambhir, S. S. 2013; 54 (7): 1101-1105

    Abstract

    Integrin αvβ6 is a cell surface receptor minimally expressed by healthy tissue but elevated in lung, colon, skin, ovarian, cervical, and pancreatic cancers. A molecular PET agent for integrin αvβ6 could provide significant clinical utility by facilitating both cancer staging and treatment monitoring to more rapidly identify an effective therapeutic approach. METHODS: Here, we evaluated 2 cystine knot peptides, R01 and S02, previously engineered with a 3-6 nM affinity for integrin αvβ6, for (18)F radiolabeling and PET imaging of BxPC3 pancreatic adenocarcinoma xenografts in mice. Cystine knot peptides were labeled with N-succinimidyl-4-(18)F-fluorobenzoate and evaluated for binding affinity and serum stability. Peptides conjugated with (18)F-fluorobenzoate (2-3 MBq) were injected via the tail vein into nude mice xenografted with BxPC3 (integrin αvβ6-positive) or 293 (integrin αvβ6-negative) tumors. Small-animal PET scans were acquired at 0.5, 1, and 2 h after injection. Ex vivo γ-counting of dissected tissues was performed at 0.5 and 2 h. RESULTS: (18)F-fluorobenzoate peptides were produced in 93% ((18)F-fluorobenzoate-R01) and 99% ((18)F-fluorobenzoate-S02) purity. (18)F-fluorobenzoate-R01 and (18)F-fluorobenzoate-S02 had affinities of 1.1 ± 0.2 and 0.7 ± 0.4 nM, respectively, and were 87% and 94%, respectively, stable in human serum at 37°C for 2 h. (18)F-fluorobenzoate-R01 and (18)F-fluorobenzoate-S02 exhibited 2.3 ± 0.6 and 1.3 ± 0.4 percentage injected dose per gram (%ID/g), respectively, in BxPC3 xenografted tumors at 0.5 h (n = 4-5). Target specificity was confirmed by low tumor uptake in integrin αvβ6-negative 293 tumors (1.4 ± 0.6 and 0.5 ± 0.2 %ID/g, respectively, for (18)F-fluorobenzoate-R01 and (18)F-fluorobenzoate-S02; both P < 0.05; n = 3-4) and low muscle uptake (3.1 ± 1.0 and 2.7 ± 0.4 tumor to muscle for (18)F-fluorobenzoate-R01 and (18)F-fluorobenzoate-S02, respectively). Small-animal PET data were corroborated by ex vivo γ-counting of dissected tissues, which demonstrated low uptake in nontarget tissues with only modest kidney uptake (9.2 ± 3.3 and 1.9 ± 1.2 %ID/g, respectively, at 2 h for (18)F-fluorobenzoate-R01 and (18)F-fluorobenzoate-S02; n = 8). Uptake in healthy pancreas was low (0.3% ± 0.1% for (18)F-fluorobenzoate-R01 and 0.03% ± 0.01% for (18)F-fluorobenzoate-S02; n = 8). CONCLUSION: These cystine knot peptide tracers, in particular (18)F-fluorobenzoate-R01, show translational promise for molecular imaging of integrin αvβ6 overexpression in pancreatic and other cancers.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.112.110759

    View details for PubMedID 23670900

  • A Raman-based endoscopic strategy for multiplexed molecular imaging. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Zavaleta, C. L., Garai, E., Liu, J. T., Sensarn, S., Mandella, M. J., Van de Sompel, D., Friedland, S., Van Dam, J., Contag, C. H., Gambhir, S. S. 2013; 110 (25): E2288-97

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1211309110

    View details for PubMedID 23703909

  • A Raman-based endoscopic strategy for multiplexed molecular imaging PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Zavaleta, C. L., Garai, E., Liu, J. C., Sensarn, S., Mandella, M. J., Van de Sompel, D., Friedland, S., Van Dam, J., Contag, C. H., Gambhir, S. S. 2013; 110 (25): 10062–63
  • Molecular Imaging of Inflammation in Inflammatory Bowel Disease with a Clinically Translatable Dual-Selectin-targeted US Contrast Agent: Comparison with FDG PET/CT in a Mouse Model. Radiology Wang, H., Machtaler, S., Bettinger, T., Lutz, A. M., Luong, R., Bussat, P., Gambhir, S. S., Tranquart, F., Tian, L., Willmann, J. K. 2013; 267 (3): 818-829

    Abstract

    Purpose: To develop and test a molecular imaging approach that uses ultrasonography (US) and a clinically translatable dual-targeted (P- and E-selectin) contrast agent (MBSelectin) in the quantification of inflammation at the molecular level and to quantitatively correlate selectin-targeted US with fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) combined positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT) in terms of visualization and quantification of different levels of inflammation in a murine acute colitis model. Materials and Methods: Animal studies were approved by the Institutional Administrative Panel on Laboratory Animal Care at Stanford University. MBSelectin was developed by covalently binding an analog of the naturally occurring binding ligand P-selectin glycoprotein ligand 1 fused to a human fragment crystallizable(or Fc) domain onto the lipid shell of perfluorobutane and nitrogen-containing MBs. Binding specificity of MBSelectin was assessed in vitro with a flow chamber assay and in vivo with a chemically induced acute colitis murine model. US signal was quantitatively correlated with FDG uptake at PET/CT and histologic grade. Statistical analysis was performed with the Student t test, analysis of variance, and Pearson correlation analysis. Results: MBSelectin showed strong attachment to both human and mouse P- and E-selectin compared with MBControl in vitro (P ≤ .002). In vivo, US signal was significantly increased (P < .001) in mice with acute colitis (173.8 arbitrary units [au] ± 134.8 [standard deviation]) compared with control mice (5.0 au ± 4.5). US imaging signal strongly correlated with FDG uptake on PET/CT images (ρ = 0.89, P < .001). Ex vivo analysis enabled confirmation of inflammation in mice with acute colitis and high expression levels of P- and E-selectin in mucosal capillaries (P = .014). Conclusion: US with MBSelectin specifically enables detection and quantification of inflammation in a murine acute colitis model, leveraging the natural pathway of leukocyte recruitment in inflammatory tissue. US imaging with MBSelectin correlates well with FDG uptake at PET/CT imaging. © RSNA, 2013 Supplemental material: http://radiology.rsna.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1148/radiol.13122509/-/DC1.

    View details for DOI 10.1148/radiol.13122509

    View details for PubMedID 23371306

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3662899

  • A comparison of noise models in a hybrid reference spectrum and principal components analysis algorithm for Raman spectroscopy JOURNAL OF RAMAN SPECTROSCOPY Van de Sompel, D., Garai, E., Zavaleta, C., Gambhir, S. S. 2013; 44 (6): 841-856

    View details for DOI 10.1002/jrs.4258

    View details for Web of Science ID 000319935700009

  • Development and validation of an immuno-PET tracer for patient stratification and therapy monitoring of antibody-drug conjugate therapy Ilovich, O., Natarajan, A., Sathirachinda, A., Kimura, R., Srinivasan, A., Gebauer, M., Kruip, J., Carrez, C., Sassoon, I., Blanc, V., Sarkar, S. K., Gambhir, S. AMER SOC CLINICAL ONCOLOGY. 2013
  • Advanced Characterization Techniques for Nanoparticles for Cancer Research: Applications of SEM and NanoSIMS for Locating Au Nanoparticles in Cells. Materials Research Society symposia proceedings. Materials Research Society Kempen, P. J., Hitzman, C., Sasportas, L. S., Gambhir, S. S., Sinclair, R. 2013; 1569: 157-163

    Abstract

    The ability of nano secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS) to locate and analyze Raman active gold core nanoparticles (R-AuNPs) in a biological system is compared with the standard analysis using the scanning electron microscope (SEM). The same cell with R-AuNPs on and inside the macrophage was analyzed with both techniques to directly compare them. SEM analysis showed a large number of nanoparticles within the cell. Subsequent NanoSIMS analysis showed fewer R-AuNPs with lower spatial resolution. SEM was determined to be superior to NanoSIMS for the analysis of inorganic nanoparticles in complex biological systems.

    View details for PubMedID 25364091

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4215514

  • [F-18]CAIP a smart PET tracer for imaging caspase-3 induced Apoptosis Shen Bin, B., Jeon, J., Palner, M., Tong Ling, L., Felsher, D., Gambhir, S. S., Chin, F. T., Rao Jianghong, J. H. WILEY-BLACKWELL. 2013: S6–S6
  • Biodistribution and kinetics of 18F FPPRGD2 in cancer patients Davidzon, G., Mosci, C., Mittra, E., Shen, B., Chin, F., Gambhir, S., Iagaru, A. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2013
  • Evaluation of the antitumor effects of rilotumumab by PET imaging in a U-87 MG mouse xenograft model NUCLEAR MEDICINE AND BIOLOGY Rex, K., Lewis, X. Z., Sundaresan, G., Glaus, C., Silva, M. D., Radinsky, R., Burgess, T. L., Gambhir, S. S., Coxon, A. 2013; 40 (4): 458-463

    Abstract

    Dysregulation of the hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)/MET pathway has been implicated in various cancers. Rilotumumab is an investigational, fully human monoclonal antibody that binds and neutralizes HGF. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of rilotumumab in a U-87 MG mouse xenograft tumor model using (18)F-FDG and (18)F-FLT PET.U-87 MG tumor-bearing nude mice received rilotumumab or control IgG2. In the dose response study, increasing doses of rilotumumab (10, 30, 100, 300, or 500 μg) were administered, and mice were evaluated with (18)F-FDG PET at baseline and 7 days post-treatment. In the time course study, 300 μg of rilotumumab twice per week was used for the treatment, and mice were evaluated over 7 days using (18)F-FDG and (18)F-FLT PET.In the dose response study, rilotumumab at doses of 300 and 500 μg was similarly effective against tumor growth. Treatment with 300 and 500 μg rilotumumab inhibited (18)F-FDG accumulation with significant decreases of -37% and -40% in the percent injected dose per gram of tissue (%ID/g), respectively. In the time course study, treatment with 300 μg rilotumumab inhibited (18)F-FDG and (18)F-FLT accumulation with a maximum %ID/g of -41% and -64%, respectively. No apparent differences between the use of either tracer to evaluate rilotumumab efficacy were observed.Rilotumumab inhibited (18)F-FDG and (18)F-FLT accumulation as early as 2 and 4 days after treatment, respectively, in a mouse tumor model. Further studies to evaluate (18)F-FDG PET imaging as an early tumor response marker for rilotumumab are warranted. Rilotumumab is currently being tested in patients with MET-positive, advanced gastric and gastroesophageal cancer.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.nucmedbio.2013.01.004

    View details for Web of Science ID 000325842800005

  • Evaluation of the antitumor effects of rilotumumab by PET imaging in a U-87 MG mouse xenograft model. Nuclear medicine and biology Rex, K., Lewis, X. Z., Gobalakrishnan, S., Glaus, C., Silva, M. D., Radinsky, R., Burgess, T. L., Gambhir, S. S., Coxon, A. 2013; 40 (4): 458-463

    Abstract

    Dysregulation of the hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)/MET pathway has been implicated in various cancers. Rilotumumab is an investigational, fully human monoclonal antibody that binds and neutralizes HGF. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of rilotumumab in a U-87 MG mouse xenograft tumor model using (18)F-FDG and (18)F-FLT PET.U-87 MG tumor-bearing nude mice received rilotumumab or control IgG2. In the dose response study, increasing doses of rilotumumab (10, 30, 100, 300, or 500 μg) were administered, and mice were evaluated with (18)F-FDG PET at baseline and 7 days post-treatment. In the time course study, 300 μg of rilotumumab twice per week was used for the treatment, and mice were evaluated over 7 days using (18)F-FDG and (18)F-FLT PET.In the dose response study, rilotumumab at doses of 300 and 500 μg was similarly effective against tumor growth. Treatment with 300 and 500 μg rilotumumab inhibited (18)F-FDG accumulation with significant decreases of -37% and -40% in the percent injected dose per gram of tissue (%ID/g), respectively. In the time course study, treatment with 300 μg rilotumumab inhibited (18)F-FDG and (18)F-FLT accumulation with a maximum %ID/g of -41% and -64%, respectively. No apparent differences between the use of either tracer to evaluate rilotumumab efficacy were observed.Rilotumumab inhibited (18)F-FDG and (18)F-FLT accumulation as early as 2 and 4 days after treatment, respectively, in a mouse tumor model. Further studies to evaluate (18)F-FDG PET imaging as an early tumor response marker for rilotumumab are warranted. Rilotumumab is currently being tested in patients with MET-positive, advanced gastric and gastroesophageal cancer.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.nucmedbio.2013.01.004

    View details for PubMedID 23454250

  • Developing a non-invasive, diagnostic test for stage I non-small cell lung cancer using circulating tumor cells. Luttgen, M. S., Keu, K., Nair, V. S., Horng, G., Vasanawala, M., Kolatkar, A., Carlsson, A., Sabouri, M., Loo, B. W., Shrager, J. B., Iagaru, A., Kuschner, W., Kuhn, P., Gambhir, S. S. AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH. 2013
  • High-resolution, serial intravital microscopic imaging of nanoparticle delivery and targeting in a small animal tumor model NANO TODAY Smith, B. R., Zavaleta, C., Rosenberg, J., Tong, R., Ramunas, J., Liu, Z., Dai, H., Gambhir, S. S. 2013; 8 (2): 126-137
  • Intracellular Aggregation of Multimodal Silica Nanoparticles for Ultrasound-Guided Stem Cell Implantation SCIENCE TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE Jokerst, J. V., Khademi, C., Gambhir, S. S. 2013; 5 (177)

    Abstract

    The promises of cardiac stem cell therapy have yet to be fully realized, in part because of poor survival and engraftment efficacy of implanted cells. Cells die after implantation owing to ischemia, inflammation, immune response, as well as mis-injection or implantation into fibrotic tissue. Imaging tools can help implant cells in areas of the heart most receptive to stem cell therapy and monitor the efficacy of treatment by reporting the viability, location, and number of implanted stem cells. We describe a multimodal, silica-based nanoparticle that can be used for cell sorting (fluorescence), real-time guided cell implantation ultrasound, and high-resolution, long-term monitoring by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The nanoparticle agent increased the ultrasound and MRI contrast of labeled human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) 700 and 200% versus unlabeled cells, respectively, and allowed cell imaging in animal models for 13 days after implantation. The agent had no significant impact on hMSC cell metabolic activity, proliferation, or pluripotency, and it increased the production of many paracrine factors implicated in cardiac repair. Electron microscopy and ultrasound imaging suggest that the mechanism of action is in vivo aggregation of the 300-nm silica nanoparticles into larger silica frameworks that amplify the ultrasound backscatter. The detection limit in cardiac tissue was 250,000 hMSCs via MRI and 70,000 via ultrasound. This ultrasound-guided cell delivery and multimodal optical/ultrasound/MRI intracardiac cell-tracking platform could improve cell therapy in the clinic by minimizing misdelivery or implantation into fibrotic tissue.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/scitranslmed.3005228

    View details for Web of Science ID 000316454100004

    View details for PubMedID 23515077

  • Molecular Photoacoustic Imaging of Follicular Thyroid Carcinoma CLINICAL CANCER RESEARCH Levi, J., Kothapalli, S., Bohndiek, S., Yoon, J., Dragulescu-Andrasi, A., Nielsen, C., Tisma, A., Bodapati, S., Gowrishankar, G., Yan, X., Chan, C., Starcevic, D., Gambhir, S. S. 2013; 19 (6): 1494-1502

    Abstract

    To evaluate the potential of targeted photoacoustic imaging as a noninvasive method for detection of follicular thyroid carcinoma.We determined the presence and activity of two members of matrix metalloproteinase family (MMP), MMP-2 and MMP-9, suggested as biomarkers for malignant thyroid lesions, in FTC133 thyroid tumors subcutaneously implanted in nude mice. The imaging agent used to visualize tumors was MMP-activatable photoacoustic probe, Alexa750-CXeeeeXPLGLAGrrrrrXK-BHQ3. Cleavage of the MMP-activatable agent was imaged after intratumoral and intravenous injections in living mice optically, observing the increase in Alexa750 fluorescence, and photoacoustically, using a dual-wavelength imaging method.Active forms of both MMP-2 and MMP-9 enzymes were found in FTC133 tumor homogenates, with MMP-9 detected in greater amounts. The molecular imaging agent was determined to be activated by both enzymes in vitro, with MMP-9 being more efficient in this regard. Both optical and photoacoustic imaging showed significantly higher signal in tumors of mice injected with the active agent than in tumors injected with the control, nonactivatable, agent.With the combination of high spatial resolution and signal specificity, targeted photoacoustic imaging holds great promise as a noninvasive method for early diagnosis of follicular thyroid carcinomas.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-12-3061

    View details for Web of Science ID 000316188900021

    View details for PubMedID 23349314

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3602312

  • Earlier Detection of Breast Cancer with Ultrasound Molecular Imaging in a Transgenic Mouse Model CANCER RESEARCH Bachawal, S. V., Jensen, K. C., Lutz, A. M., Gambhir, S. S., Tranquart, F., Tian, L., Willmann, J. K. 2013; 73 (6): 1689-1698

    Abstract

    While there is an increasing role of ultrasound for breast cancer screening in patients with dense breast, conventional anatomical ultrasound lacks sensitivity and specificity for early breast cancer detection. In this study, we assessed the potential of ultrasound molecular imaging using clinically translatable vascular endothelial growth factor receptor type 2 (VEGFR2)-targeted microbubbles (MB(VEGFR2)) to improve the diagnostic accuracy of ultrasound in earlier detection of breast cancer and ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) in a transgenic mouse model [FVB/N-Tg(MMTV-PyMT)634Mul]. In vivo binding specificity studies (n = 26 tumors) showed that ultrasound imaging signal was significantly higher (P < 0.001) using MB(VEGFR2) than nontargeted microbubbles and imaging signal significantly decreased (P < 0.001) by blocking antibodies. Ultrasound molecular imaging signal significantly increased (P < 0.001) when breast tissue (n = 315 glands) progressed from normal [1.65 ± 0.17 arbitrary units (a.u.)] to hyperplasia (4.21 ± 1.16), DCIS (15.95 ± 1.31), and invasive cancer (78.1 ± 6.31) and highly correlated with ex vivo VEGFR2 expression [R(2) = 0.84; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.72-0.91; P < 0.001]. At an imaging signal threshold of 4.6 a.u., ultrasound molecular imaging differentiated benign from malignant entities with a sensitivity of 84% (95% CI, 78-88) and specificity of 89% (95% CI, 81-94). In a prospective screening trail (n = 63 glands), diagnostic performance of detecting DCIS and breast cancer was assessed and two independent readers correctly diagnosed malignant disease in more than 95% of cases and highly agreed between each other [intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) = 0.98; 95% CI, 97-99]. These results suggest that VEGFR2-targeted ultrasound molecular imaging allows highly accurate detection of DCIS and breast cancer in transgenic mice and may be a promising approach for early breast cancer detection in women.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-12-3391

    View details for Web of Science ID 000316187500006

    View details for PubMedID 23328585

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3602408

  • An Integrated Computational/Experimental Model of Lymphoma Growth PLOS COMPUTATIONAL BIOLOGY Frieboes, H. B., Smith, B. R., Chuang, Y., Ito, K., Roettgers, A. M., Gambhir, S. S., Cristini, V. 2013; 9 (3)

    Abstract

    Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is a disseminated, highly malignant cancer, with resistance to drug treatment based on molecular- and tissue-scale characteristics that are intricately linked. A critical element of molecular resistance has been traced to the loss of functionality in proteins such as the tumor suppressor p53. We investigate the tissue-scale physiologic effects of this loss by integrating in vivo and immunohistological data with computational modeling to study the spatiotemporal physical dynamics of lymphoma growth. We compare between drug-sensitive Eμ-myc Arf-/- and drug-resistant Eμ-myc p53-/- lymphoma cell tumors grown in live mice. Initial values for the model parameters are obtained in part by extracting values from the cellular-scale from whole-tumor histological staining of the tumor-infiltrated inguinal lymph node in vivo. We compare model-predicted tumor growth with that observed from intravital microscopy and macroscopic imaging in vivo, finding that the model is able to accurately predict lymphoma growth. A critical physical mechanism underlying drug-resistant phenotypes may be that the Eμ-myc p53-/- cells seem to pack more closely within the tumor than the Eμ-myc Arf-/- cells, thus possibly exacerbating diffusion gradients of oxygen, leading to cell quiescence and hence resistance to cell-cycle specific drugs. Tighter cell packing could also maintain steeper gradients of drug and lead to insufficient toxicity. The transport phenomena within the lymphoma may thus contribute in nontrivial, complex ways to the difference in drug sensitivity between Eμ-myc Arf-/- and Eμ-myc p53-/- tumors, beyond what might be solely expected from loss of functionality at the molecular scale. We conclude that computational modeling tightly integrated with experimental data gives insight into the dynamics of Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and provides a platform to generate confirmable predictions of tumor growth.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003008

    View details for Web of Science ID 000316864200070

    View details for PubMedID 23555235

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3610621

  • BIOENGINEERING AND REGENERATIVE MEDICINE Keeping track NATURE MATERIALS Ziv, K., Gambhir, S. S. 2013; 12 (3): 180-181

    View details for Web of Science ID 000315707200009

    View details for PubMedID 23422714

  • Non-Invasive Imaging of Phosphoinositide-3-Kinase-Catalytic-Subunit-Alpha (PIK3CA) Promoter Modulation in Small Animal Models PLOS ONE Gaikwad, S. M., Gunjal, L., Junutula, A. R., Astanehe, A., Gambhir, S. S., Ray, P. 2013; 8 (2)

    Abstract

    Activation of the PI3K/Akt pathway, a critical step for survival in cancer cells is often associated with decreased sensitivity to several chemotherapeutic drugs. PIK3CA gene amplification is observed in 16-24% of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) patients in conjunction with p53 mutations. A 900 bp long PIK3CA promoter is shown to be negatively regulated by p53 in ovarian surface epithelial cells but the consequence of chemotherapeutic drug treatments on this promoter in ovarian cancer cells is largely unknown. We aim to study the modulation of this promoter by cisplatin using an improved fusion reporter in ovarian cancer cells and tumor xenografts by non-invasive imaging approach. A PIK3CA sensor was developed using a bi-fusion reporter from a newly constructed library of bi- and tri-fusion vectors comprising of two mutant far red fluorescent proteins (mcherry/mch and tdTomato/tdt), a mutant firefly luciferase (fluc2), and a PET reporter protein (ttk). In vivo imaging of mice implanted with 293T cells transiently expressing these bi- and tri-fusion reporters along with respective controls revealed comparable activity of each reporter in the fusion background and fluc2-tdt as the most sensitive one. Repression of the PIK3CA sensor by drugs was inversely proportional to cellular p53 level in a germline (PA1) and in an EOC (A2780) cell line but not in a p53 deficient EOC (SKOV3) cell line. Bioluminescence imaging of tumor xenografts stably expressing the PIK3CA sensor in PA1 and A2780 cells exhibited attenuating activity without any change in SKOV3 tumors expressing the PIK3CA sensor after cisplatin treatment. Sequential mutation at p53 binding sites showed gradual increase in promoter activity and decreased effects of the drugs. These newly developed PIK3CA-fluc2-tdt and the mutant reporter sensors thus would be extremely useful for screening new drugs and for functional assessment of PIK3CA expression from intact cells to living subjects.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0055971

    View details for Web of Science ID 000314692800061

    View details for PubMedID 23393606

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3564913

  • Dissection of the role of the tumor microenvironment in oncogene addiction by ex vivo and in situ imaging AACR/SNMMI Joint Conference on State-of-the-Art Molecular Imaging in Cancer Biology and Therapy Tong, L., Jeon, J., Shen, B., Jianghong, R., Chin, F., Gambhir, S., Felsher, D. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2013: 25–25
  • Combined F-18-Fluoride and F-18-FDG PET/CT Scanning for Evaluation of Malignancy: Results of an International Multicenter Trial JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE Iagaru, A., Mittra, E., Mosci, C., Dick, D. W., Sathekge, M., Prakash, V., Iyer, V., Lapa, P., Isidoro, J., de Lima, J. M., Gambhir, S. S. 2013; 54 (2): 176-183

    Abstract

    (18)F-FDG PET/CT is used in a variety of cancers, but because of variable rates of glucose metabolism, not all cancers are reliably identified. (18)F(-) PET/CT allows for the acquisition of highly sensitive and specific images of the skeleton. We prospectively evaluated combined (18)F(-)/(18)F-FDG as a single PET/CT examination for evaluation of cancer patients and compared it with separate (18)F(-) PET/CT and (18)F-FDG PET/CT scans.One hundred fifteen participants with cancer were prospectively enrolled in an international multicenter trial evaluating (18)F(-) PET/CT, (18)F-FDG PET/CT, and combined (18)F(-)/(18)F-FDG PET/CT. The 3 PET/CT scans were performed sequentially within 4 wk of one another for each patient.(18)F(-)/(18)F-FDG PET/CT allowed for accurate interpretation of radiotracer uptake outside the skeleton, with findings similar to those of (18)F-FDG PET/CT. In 19 participants, skeletal disease was more extensive on (18)F(-) PET/CT and (18)F(-)/(18)F-FDG PET/CT than on (18)F-FDG PET/CT. In another 29 participants, (18)F(-) PET/CT and (18)F(-)/(18)F-FDG PET/CT showed osseous metastases where (18)F-FDG PET/CT was negative. The extent of skeletal lesions was similar in 18 participants on all 3 scans.This trial demonstrated that combined (18)F(-)/(18)F-FDG PET/CT shows promising results when compared with separate (18)F(-) PET/CT and (18)F-FDG PET/CT for evaluation of cancer patients. This result opens the possibility for improved patient care and reduction in health-care costs, as will be further evaluated in future trials.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.112.108803

    View details for Web of Science ID 000314691200016

    View details for PubMedID 23243299

  • Colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor (CSF1R) signaling in injured neurons facilitates protection and survival JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL MEDICINE Luo, J., Elwood, F., Britschgi, M., Villeda, S., Zhang, H., Ding, Z., Zhu, L., Alabsi, H., Getachew, R., Narasimhan, R., Wabl, R., Fainberg, N., James, M. L., Wong, G., Relton, J., Gambhir, S. S., Pollard, J. W., Wyss-Coray, T. 2013; 210 (1): 157-172

    Abstract

    Colony-stimulating factor 1 (CSF1) and interleukin-34 (IL-34) are functional ligands of the CSF1 receptor (CSF1R) and thus are key regulators of the monocyte/macrophage lineage. We discovered that systemic administration of human recombinant CSF1 ameliorates memory deficits in a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. CSF1 and IL-34 strongly reduced excitotoxin-induced neuronal cell loss and gliosis in wild-type mice when administered systemically before or up to 6 h after injury. These effects were accompanied by maintenance of cAMP responsive element-binding protein (CREB) signaling in neurons rather than in microglia. Using lineage-tracing experiments, we discovered that a small number of neurons in the hippocampus and cortex express CSF1R under physiological conditions and that kainic acid-induced excitotoxic injury results in a profound increase in neuronal receptor expression. Selective deletion of CSF1R in forebrain neurons in mice exacerbated excitotoxin-induced death and neurodegeneration. We conclude that CSF1 and IL-34 provide powerful neuroprotective and survival signals in brain injury and neurodegeneration involving CSF1R expression on neurons.

    View details for DOI 10.1084/jem.20120412

    View details for Web of Science ID 000313560900014

    View details for PubMedID 23296467

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3549715

  • Synthesis of ligand-functionalized water-soluble [F-18]YF3 nanoparticles for PET imaging NANOSCALE Xiong, L., Shen, B., Behera, D., Gambhir, S. S., Chin, F. T., Rao, J. 2013; 5 (8): 3253-3256

    Abstract

    We report a simple, efficient synthesis of novel (18)F-labeled imaging agents based on YF3 nanoparticles. Targeting ligands and antitumor drug molecules can be introduced onto the YF3 nanoparticles in a one-pot synthesis. The (18)F-labeling reaction proceeds in aqueous solutions at room temperature with excellent radiolabeling yields (>80%) in a very short time (5-10 min). (18)F-labeled YF3 nanoparticles displayed high stability in mouse and human serum, and their application for mapping lymph nodes in live rats after local injection has also been demonstrated.

    View details for DOI 10.1039/c3nr00335c

    View details for Web of Science ID 000316959500019

    View details for PubMedID 23508229

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3645980

  • Modification of a commercially available photoacoustic imaging system for the use of 1064nm and 532nm wavelengths to assess photoacoustic contrast agents Heinmiller, A., Homan, K., Emelianov, S., Cole, A., Gambhir, S., Needles, A., Theodoropoulos, C., Hirson, D., Oraevsky, A. A., Wang, L. V. SPIE-INT SOC OPTICAL ENGINEERING. 2013

    View details for DOI 10.1117/12.2004804

    View details for Web of Science ID 000322832800085

  • Single-cell Photonic Nanocavity Probes Shambat, G., Kothapalli, R., Provine, J., Sarmiento, T., Harris, J., Gambhir, S., Vuckovic, J., IEEE IEEE. 2013
  • Evolution of BRET Biosensors from Live Cell to Tissue-Scale In vivo Imaging. Frontiers in endocrinology De, A., Jasani, A., Arora, R., Gambhir, S. S. 2013; 4: 131-?

    Abstract

    Development of bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET) based genetic sensors for sensing biological functions such as protein-protein interactions (PPIs) in vivo has a special value in measuring such dynamic events at their native environment. Since its inception in the late nineties, BRET related research has gained significant momentum in terms of adding versatility to the assay format and wider applicability where it has been suitably used. Beyond the scope of quantitative measurement of PPIs and protein dimerization, molecular imaging applications based on BRET assays have broadened its scope for screening pharmacologically important compounds by in vivo imaging as well. In this mini-review we focus on an in-depth analysis of engineered BRET systems developed and their successful application to cell-based assays as well as in vivo non-invasive imaging in live subjects.

    View details for DOI 10.3389/fendo.2013.00131

    View details for PubMedID 24065957

  • Comparison of Gaussian and Poisson Noise Models in a Hybrid Reference Spectrum and Principal Component Analysis Algorithm for Raman Spectroscopy Conference on Single Molecule Spectroscopy and Superresolution Imaging VI Van de Sompel, D., Garai, E., Zavaleta, C., Gambhir, S. S. SPIE-INT SOC OPTICAL ENGINEERING. 2013

    View details for DOI 10.1117/12.2005455

    View details for Web of Science ID 000321741600011

  • A Brain Tumor Molecular Imaging Strategy using a New Triple-Modality MRI-Photoacoustic-Raman Nanoparticle Conference on Photons Plus Ultrasound - Imaging and Sensing de la Zerda, A., Kircher, M. F., Jokerst, J. V., Zavaleta, C. L., Kempen, P. J., Mittra, E., Pitter, K., Huang, R., Campos, C., Habte, F., Sinclair, R., Brennan, C. W., Mellinghoff, I. K., Holland, E. C., Gambhir, S. S. SPIE-INT SOC OPTICAL ENGINEERING. 2013

    View details for DOI 10.1117/12.2001719

    View details for Web of Science ID 000322832800007

  • Development and validation of non-integrative, self-limited, and replicating minicircles for safe reporter gene imaging of cell-based therapies. PloS one Ronald, J. A., Cusso, L., Chuang, H., Yan, X., Dragulescu-Andrasi, A., Gambhir, S. S. 2013; 8 (8)

    Abstract

    Reporter gene (RG) imaging of cell-based therapies provides a direct readout of therapeutic efficacy by assessing the fate of implanted cells. To permit long-term cellular imaging, RGs are traditionally required to be integrated into the cellular genome. This poses a potential safety risk and regulatory bottleneck for clinical translation as integration can lead to cellular transformation. To address this issue, we have developed non-integrative, replicating minicircles (MCs) as an alternative platform for safer monitoring of cells in living subjects. We developed both plasmids and minicircles containing the scaffold/matrix attachment regions (S/MAR) of the human interferon-beta gene, driven by the CMV promoter, and expressing the bioluminescence RG firefly luciferase. Constructs were transfected into breast cancer cells, and expanded S/MAR minicircle clones showed luciferase signal for greater than 3 months in culture and minicircles remained as episomes. Importantly, luciferase activity in clonal populations was slowly lost over time and this corresponded to a loss of episome, providing a way to reversibly label cells. To monitor cell proliferation in vivo, 1.5×10(6) cells carrying the S/MAR minicircle were implanted subcutaneously into mice (n = 5) and as tumors developed significantly more bioluminescence signal was noted at day 35 and 43 compared to day 7 post-implant (p<0.05). To our knowledge, this is the first work examining the use of episomal, self-limited, replicating minicircles to track the proliferation of cells using non-invasive imaging in living subjects. Continued development of S/MAR minicircles will provide a broadly applicable vector platform amenable with any of the numerous RG technologies available to allow therapeutic cell fate to be assessed in individual patients, and to achieve this without the need to manipulate the cell's genome so that safety concerns are minimized. This will lead to safe tools to assess treatment response at earlier time points and improve the precision of cell-based therapies.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0073138

    View details for PubMedID 24015294

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3756008

  • A transgenic tri-modality reporter mouse. PloS one Yan, X., Ray, P., Paulmurugan, R., Tong, R., Gong, Y., Sathirachinda, A., Wu, J. C., Gambhir, S. S. 2013; 8 (8)

    Abstract

    Transgenic mouse with a stably integrated reporter gene(s) can be a valuable resource for obtaining uniformly labeled stem cells, tissues, and organs for various applications. We have generated a transgenic mouse model that ubiquitously expresses a tri-fusion reporter gene (fluc2-tdTomato-ttk) driven by a constitutive chicken β-actin promoter. This "Tri-Modality Reporter Mouse" system allows one to isolate most cells from this donor mouse and image them for bioluminescent (fluc2), fluorescent (tdTomato), and positron emission tomography (PET) (ttk) modalities. Transgenic colonies with different levels of tri-fusion reporter gene expression showed a linear correlation between all three-reporter proteins (R(2)=0.89 for TdTomato vs Fluc, R(2)=0.94 for Fluc vs TTK, R(2)=0.89 for TdTomato vs TTK) in vitro from tissue lysates and in vivo by optical and PET imaging. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) isolated from this transgenics showed high level of reporter gene expression, which linearly correlated with the cell numbers (R(2)=0.99 for bioluminescence imaging (BLI)). Both BLI (R(2)=0.93) and micro-PET (R(2)=0.94) imaging of the subcutaneous implants of Tri-Modality Reporter Mouse derived MSCs in nude mice showed linear correlation with the cell numbers and across different imaging modalities (R(2)=0.97). Serial imaging of MSCs transplanted to mice with acute myocardial infarction (MI) by intramyocardial injection exhibited significantly higher signals in MI heart at days 2, 3, 4, and 7 (p<0.01). MSCs transplanted to the ischemic hindlimb of nude mice showed significantly higher BLI and PET signals in the first 2 weeks that dropped by 4(th) week due to poor cell survival. However, laser Doppler perfusion imaging revealed that blood circulation in the ischemic limb was significantly improved in the MSCs transplantation group compared with the control group. In summary, this mouse can be used as a source of donor cells and organs in various research areas such as stem cell research, tissue engineering research, and organ transplantation.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0073580

    View details for PubMedID 23951359

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3739740

  • Development and application of stable phantoms for the evaluation of photoacoustic imaging instruments. PloS one Bohndiek, S. E., Bodapati, S., Van de Sompel, D., Kothapalli, S., Gambhir, S. S. 2013; 8 (9)

    Abstract

    Photoacoustic imaging combines the high contrast of optical imaging with the spatial resolution and penetration depth of ultrasound. This technique holds tremendous potential for imaging in small animals and importantly, is clinically translatable. At present, there is no accepted standard physical phantom that can be used to provide routine quality control and performance evaluation of photoacoustic imaging instruments. With the growing popularity of the technique and the advent of several commercial small animal imaging systems, it is important to develop a strategy for assessment of such instruments. Here, we developed a protocol for fabrication of physical phantoms for photoacoustic imaging from polyvinyl chloride plastisol (PVCP). Using this material, we designed and constructed a range of phantoms by tuning the optical properties of the background matrix and embedding spherical absorbing targets of the same material at different depths. We created specific designs to enable: routine quality control; the testing of robustness of photoacoustic signals as a function of background; and the evaluation of the maximum imaging depth available. Furthermore, we demonstrated that we could, for the first time, evaluate two small animal photoacoustic imaging systems with distinctly different light delivery, ultrasound imaging geometries and center frequencies, using stable physical phantoms and directly compare the results from both systems.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0075533

    View details for PubMedID 24086557

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3783368

  • Stable phantoms for characterization of photoacoustic tomography (PAT) systems Conference on Design and Performance Validation of Phantoms Used in Conjunction with Optical Measurement of Tissue V Bohndiek, S. E., Van de Sompel, D., Bodapati, S., Kothapalli, S. R., Gambhir, S. S. SPIE-INT SOC OPTICAL ENGINEERING. 2013

    View details for DOI 10.1117/12.2005195

    View details for Web of Science ID 000322903900005

  • Human flexor tendon tissue engineering: revitalization of biostatic allograft scaffolds. Tissue engineering. Part A Woon, C. Y., Farnebo, S., Schmitt, T., Kraus, A., Megerle, K., Pham, H., Yan, X., Gambhir, S. S., Chang, J. 2012; 18 (23-24): 2406-2417

    Abstract

    Cadaveric tendon allografts form a readily available and underutilized source of graft material. Because of their material properties, allografts are biomechanically and biologically superior to synthetic scaffolds. However, before clinical use, allografts must undergo decellularization to reduce immunogenicity and oxidation to increase porosity, leaving a nonvital biostatic scaffold. Ex vivo seeding, or revitalization, is thought to hasten graft incorporation and stimulate intrinsic tendon healing, permitting early mobilization and return to function. In this study, we examined physical and biochemical augmentation methods, including scaffold surface scoring (physical) and rehydration of lyophilized scaffolds in serum (biochemical). Scaffolds were divided into four groups: (1) scored scaffolds, (2) lyophilized scaffolds rehydrated in fetal calf serum (FCS), (3) scaffolds both scored and rehydrated in FCS, and (4) control scaffolds. Scaffolds were reseeded with adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs). Reseeding efficacy was quantified by a live cell and total cell assays and qualified histologically with hematoxylin and eosin, live/dead and SYTO green nucleic acid stains, TUNEL apoptosis stains, procollagen stains, and transmission electron microscopy. Scaffold-seeded cell viability at up to 2 weeks in vitro and up to 4 weeks in vivo was demonstrated with bioluminescent imaging of scaffolds seeded with luciferase-positive ADSCs. The effect of seeding on scaffold biomechanical properties was demonstrated with evaluation of ultimate tensile stress (UTS) and an elastic modulus (EM). We found that scaffold surface scoring led to an increase in live and total cell attachment and penetration (MTS assay, p<0.001 and DNA assay, p=0.003, respectively). Histology confirmed greater total cell number in both construct core and surface in scored compared with unscored constructs. Cells reseeded on scored constructs displayed reduced apoptosis, persistent procollagen production, and had a similar ultrastructural relationship to the surrounding matrix as native tenocytes on transmission electron microscopy. Rehydration of lyophilized scaffolds in serum did not improve reseeding. Seeded constructs demonstrated greater UTS and EM than unseeded constructs. Scaffolds seeded with ADSC-luc2-eGFP demonstrated persistent viability for at least 2 weeks in vitro. In conclusion, tendon surface scoring increases surface and core reseeding in vitro and may be incorporated as a final step in allograft processing before clinical implantation.

    View details for DOI 10.1089/ten.TEA.2012.0152

    View details for PubMedID 22712522

  • Human Flexor Tendon Tissue Engineering: Revitalization of Biostatic Allograft Scaffolds TISSUE ENGINEERING PART A Woon, C. Y., Farnebo, S., Schmitt, T., Kraus, A., Megerle, K., Hung Pham, H., Yan, X., Gambhir, S. S., Chang, J. 2012; 18 (23-24): 2406-2417

    Abstract

    Cadaveric tendon allografts form a readily available and underutilized source of graft material. Because of their material properties, allografts are biomechanically and biologically superior to synthetic scaffolds. However, before clinical use, allografts must undergo decellularization to reduce immunogenicity and oxidation to increase porosity, leaving a nonvital biostatic scaffold. Ex vivo seeding, or revitalization, is thought to hasten graft incorporation and stimulate intrinsic tendon healing, permitting early mobilization and return to function. In this study, we examined physical and biochemical augmentation methods, including scaffold surface scoring (physical) and rehydration of lyophilized scaffolds in serum (biochemical). Scaffolds were divided into four groups: (1) scored scaffolds, (2) lyophilized scaffolds rehydrated in fetal calf serum (FCS), (3) scaffolds both scored and rehydrated in FCS, and (4) control scaffolds. Scaffolds were reseeded with adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs). Reseeding efficacy was quantified by a live cell and total cell assays and qualified histologically with hematoxylin and eosin, live/dead and SYTO green nucleic acid stains, TUNEL apoptosis stains, procollagen stains, and transmission electron microscopy. Scaffold-seeded cell viability at up to 2 weeks in vitro and up to 4 weeks in vivo was demonstrated with bioluminescent imaging of scaffolds seeded with luciferase-positive ADSCs. The effect of seeding on scaffold biomechanical properties was demonstrated with evaluation of ultimate tensile stress (UTS) and an elastic modulus (EM). We found that scaffold surface scoring led to an increase in live and total cell attachment and penetration (MTS assay, p<0.001 and DNA assay, p=0.003, respectively). Histology confirmed greater total cell number in both construct core and surface in scored compared with unscored constructs. Cells reseeded on scored constructs displayed reduced apoptosis, persistent procollagen production, and had a similar ultrastructural relationship to the surrounding matrix as native tenocytes on transmission electron microscopy. Rehydration of lyophilized scaffolds in serum did not improve reseeding. Seeded constructs demonstrated greater UTS and EM than unseeded constructs. Scaffolds seeded with ADSC-luc2-eGFP demonstrated persistent viability for at least 2 weeks in vitro. In conclusion, tendon surface scoring increases surface and core reseeding in vitro and may be incorporated as a final step in allograft processing before clinical implantation.

    View details for DOI 10.1089/ten.tea.2012.0152

    View details for Web of Science ID 000311600800002

  • Exogenous MC3T3 Preosteoblasts Migrate Systemically and Mitigate the Adverse Effects of Wear Particles TISSUE ENGINEERING PART A Fritton, K., Ren, P., Gibon, E., Rao, A. J., Ma, T., Biswal, S., Gambhir, S. S., Goodman, S. B. 2012; 18 (23-24): 2559-2567

    Abstract

    Understanding how relevant cell types respond to wear particles will reveal new avenues for treating osteolysis following joint replacements. In this study, we investigate the effects of ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) particles on preosteoblast migration and function. We infused UHMWPE particles or saline into the left femur of mice and injected luciferase-expressing preosteoblasts (MC3T3 cells) into each left ventricle. Bioluminescence imaging (BLI) confirmed systemic administration of MC3T3 cells. BLI throughout the 28-day experiment showed greater MC3T3 migration to the site of particle infusion than to the site of saline infusion, with significant differences on days 0, 4, and 6 (p≤0.055). Immunostaining revealed a greater number of osteoblasts and osteoclasts in the particle-infused femora, indicating greater bone turnover. The bone mineralization of the particle-infused femora increased significantly when compared to saline-infused femora (an increase of 146.4±27.9 vs. 12.8±8.7 mg/mL, p=0.008). These results show that infused preosteoblasts can migrate to the site of wear particles. Additionally, as the migrated cells were associated with increased bone mineralization in spite of the presence of particles, increasing osteoblast recruitment is a potential strategy for combating bone loss due to increased osteoclast/macrophage number and decreased osteoblast function.

    View details for DOI 10.1089/ten.tea.2012.0086

    View details for Web of Science ID 000311600800016

    View details for PubMedID 22741555

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3501117

  • Unexpected Dissemination Patterns in Lymphoma Progression Revealed by Serial Imaging within a Murine Lymph Node CANCER RESEARCH Ito, K., Smith, B. R., Parashurama, N., Yoon, J., Song, S. Y., Miething, C., Mallick, P., Lowe, S., Gambhir, S. S. 2012; 72 (23): 6111-6118

    Abstract

    Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is a heterogeneous and highly disseminated disease, but the mechanisms of its growth and dissemination are not well understood. Using a mouse model of this disease, we used multimodal imaging, including intravital microscopy (IVM) combined with bioluminescence, as a powerful tool to better elucidate NHL progression. We injected enhanced green fluorescent protein and luciferase-expressing Eμ-Myc/Arf(-/-) (Cdkn2a(-/-)) mouse lymphoma cells (EL-Arf(-/-)) into C57BL/6NCrl mice intravenously. Long-term observation inside a peripheral lymph node was enabled by a novel lymph node internal window chamber technique that allows chronic, sequential lymph node imaging under in vivo physiologic conditions. Interestingly, during early stages of tumor progression we found that few if any lymphoma cells homed initially to the inguinal lymph node (ILN), despite clear evidence of lymphoma cells in the bone marrow and spleen. Unexpectedly, we detected a reproducible efflux of lymphoma cells from spleen and bone marrow, concomitant with a massive and synchronous influx of lymphoma cells into the ILN, several days after injection. We confirmed a coordinated efflux/influx of tumor cells by injecting EL-Arf(-/-) lymphoma cells directly into the spleen and observing a burst of lymphoma cells, validating that the burst originated in organs remote from the lymph nodes. Our findings argue that in NHL an efflux of tumor cells from one disease site to another, distant site in which they become established occurs in discrete bursts.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-12-2579

    View details for Web of Science ID 000311893100005

    View details for PubMedID 23033441

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3664177

  • Dimeric 18F-RGD PET Tracer for alpha v beta 3-Targeted Imaging of Experimental Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Disease Kitagawa, T., Kosuge, H., Chang, E., James, M. L., Yamamoto, T., Gambhir, S. S., Dalman, R. L., McConnell, M. V. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2012
  • Continuous sensing of tumor-targeted molecular probes with a vertical cavity surface emitting laser-based biosensor JOURNAL OF BIOMEDICAL OPTICS Parashurama, N., O'Sullivan, T. D., de la Zerda, A., El Kalassi, P., Cho, S., Liu, H., Teed, R., Levy, H., Rosenberg, J., Cheng, Z., Levi, O., Harris, J. S., Gambhir, S. S. 2012; 17 (11)

    Abstract

    Molecular optical imaging is a widespread technique for interrogating molecular events in living subjects. However, current approaches preclude long-term, continuous measurements in awake, mobile subjects, a strategy crucial in several medical conditions. Consequently, we designed a novel, lightweight miniature biosensor for in vivo continuous optical sensing. The biosensor contains an enclosed vertical-cavity surface-emitting semiconductor laser and an adjacent pair of near-infrared optically filtered detectors. We employed two sensors (dual sensing) to simultaneously interrogate normal and diseased tumor sites. Having established the sensors are precise with phantom and in vivo studies, we performed dual, continuous sensing in tumor (human glioblastoma cells) bearing mice using the targeted molecular probe cRGD-Cy5.5, which targets αVβ3 cell surface integrins in both tumor neovasculature and tumor. The sensors capture the dynamic time-activity curve of the targeted molecular probe. The average tumor to background ratio after signal calibration for cRGD-Cy5.5 injection is approximately 2.43±0.95 at 1 h and 3.64±1.38 at 2 h (N=5 mice), consistent with data obtained with a cooled charge coupled device camera. We conclude that our novel, portable, precise biosensor can be used to evaluate both kinetics and steady state levels of molecular probes in various disease applications.

    View details for DOI 10.1117/1.JBO.17.11.117004

    View details for Web of Science ID 000314502700046

    View details for PubMedID 23123976

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3595658

  • Gold Nanorods for Ovarian Cancer Detection with Photoacoustic Imaging and Resection Guidance via Raman Imaging in Living Mice ACS NANO Jokerst, J. V., Cole, A. J., Van de Sompel, D., Gambhir, S. S. 2012; 6 (11): 10366-10377

    Abstract

    Improved imaging approaches are needed for ovarian cancer screening, diagnosis, staging, and resection guidance. Here, we propose a combined photoacoustic (PA)/Raman approach using gold nanorods (GNRs) as a passively targeted molecular imaging agent. GNRs with three different aspect ratios were studied. Those with an aspect ratio of 3.5 were selected for their highest ex vivo and in vivo PA signal and used to image subcutaneous xenografts of the 2008, HEY, and SKOV3 ovarian cancer cell lines in living mice. Maximum PA signal was observed within 3 h for all three lines tested and increased signal persisted for at least two days postadministration. There was a linear relationship (R(2) = 0.95) between the PA signal and the concentration of injected molecular imaging agent with a calculated limit of detection of 0.40 nM GNRs in the 2008 cell line. The same molecular imaging agent could be used for clear visualization of the margin between tumor and normal tissue and tumor debulking via surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) imaging. Finally, we validated the imaging findings with biodistribution data and elemental analysis. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of in vivo imaging of ovarian cancer tumors with a photoacoustic and Raman imaging agent.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/nn304347g

    View details for Web of Science ID 000311521700112

    View details for PubMedID 23101432

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3572720

  • New Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Radioligand for Imaging sigma-1 Receptors in Living Subjects JOURNAL OF MEDICINAL CHEMISTRY James, M. L., Shen, B., Zavaleta, C. L., Nielsen, C. H., Mesangeau, C., Vuppala, P. K., Chan, C., Avery, B. A., Fishback, J. A., Matsumoto, R. R., Gambhir, S. S., McCurdy, C. R., Chin, F. T. 2012; 55 (19): 8272-8282

    Abstract

    σ-1 receptor (S1R) radioligands have the potential to detect and monitor various neurological diseases. Herein we report the synthesis, radiofluorination, and evaluation of a new S1R ligand 6-(3-fluoropropyl)-3-(2-(azepan-1-yl)ethyl)benzo[d]thiazol-2(3H)-one ([(18)F]FTC-146, [(18)F]13). [(18)F]13 was synthesized by nucleophilic fluorination, affording a product with >99% radiochemical purity (RCP) and specific activity (SA) of 2.6 ± 1.2 Ci/μmol (n = 13) at end of synthesis (EOS). Positron emission tomography (PET) and ex vivo autoradiography studies of [(18)F]13 in mice showed high uptake of the radioligand in S1R rich regions of the brain. Pretreatment with 1 mg/kg haloperidol (2), nonradioactive 13, or BD1047 (18) reduced the binding of [(18)F]13 in the brain at 60 min by 80%, 82%, and 81%, respectively, suggesting that [(18)F]13 accumulation in mouse brain represents specific binding to S1Rs. These results indicate that [(18)F]13 is a promising candidate radiotracer for further evaluation as a tool for studying S1Rs in living subjects.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/jm300371c

    View details for Web of Science ID 000309643500008

    View details for PubMedID 22853801

  • Improving Image Quality by Accounting for Changes in Water Temperature during a Photoacoustic Tomography Scan PLOS ONE Van de Sompel, D., Sasportas, L. S., Dragulescu-Andrasi, A., Bohndiek, S., Gambhir, S. S. 2012; 7 (10)

    Abstract

    The emerging field of photoacoustic tomography is rapidly evolving with many new system designs and reconstruction algorithms being published. Many systems use water as a coupling medium between the scanned object and the ultrasound transducers. Prior to a scan, the water is heated to body temperature to enable small animal imaging. During the scan, the water heating system of some systems is switched off to minimize the risk of bubble formation, which leads to a gradual decrease in water temperature and hence the speed of sound. In this work, we use a commercially available scanner that follows this procedure, and show that a failure to model intra-scan temperature decreases as small as 1.5°C leads to image artifacts that may be difficult to distinguish from true structures, particularly in complex scenes. We then improve image quality by continuously monitoring the water temperature during the scan and applying variable speed of sound corrections in the image reconstruction algorithm. While upgrading to an air bubble-free heating pump and keeping it running during the scan could also solve the changing temperature problem, we show that a software correction for the temperature changes provides a cost-effective alternative to a hardware upgrade. The efficacy of the software corrections was shown to be consistent across objects of widely varying appearances, namely physical phantoms, ex vivo tissue, and in vivo mouse imaging. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate the efficacy of modeling temporal variations in the speed of sound during photoacoustic scans, as opposed to spatial variations as focused on by previous studies. Since air bubbles pose a common problem in ultrasonic and photoacoustic imaging systems, our results will be useful to future small animal imaging studies that use scanners with similarly limited heating units.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0045337

    View details for Web of Science ID 000309807700008

    View details for PubMedID 23071512

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3469660

  • Designed hydrophilic and charge mutations of the fibronectin domain: towards tailored protein biodistribution PROTEIN ENGINEERING DESIGN & SELECTION Hackel, B. J., Sathirachinda, A., Gambhir, S. S. 2012; 25 (10): 639-647

    Abstract

    Engineered proteins are attractive affinity scaffolds for molecular imaging and drug delivery. Although exquisite binding specificity and affinity can be engineered, many proteins exhibit off-target uptake, particularly in the kidneys and liver, from physiologic effects. We quantified the ability to alter renal and hepatic uptake via hydrophilic and charge mutations. As a model protein, we used the 10th type III domain of human fibronectin, which has been engineered to bind many targets and has been validated for molecular imaging. We screened rational mutants, identified by structural and phylogenetic analyses, to yield eight mutations that collectively substantially increase protein hydrophilicity. Mutation of two parental clones yielded four domains with a range of hydrophilicity. These proteins were labeled with (64)Cu, injected intravenously into nu/nu mice (n = 3-5 each) and evaluated by positron emission tomography. Renal uptake strongly correlated with hydrophilicity (Pearson's correlation coefficient = 0.97), ranging from 29 ± 11 to 100 ± 22% ID/g at 1 h. Hepatic uptake inversely correlated with hydrophilicity (Pearson's correlation coefficient = -0.92), ranging from 30 ± 7 to 3 ± 1% ID/g. Thus, renal and hepatic uptake are directly tunable through hydrophilic mutation, identifiable by structural and phylogenetic analyses. To investigate charge, we mutated acidic and basic residues in both parental clones and evaluated (64)Cu-labeled mutants in nu/nu mice (n = 5-7). Selected charge removal reduced kidney signal: 78 ± 13 to 51 ± 8%ID/g (P < 0.0001) for the hydrophilic clone and 32 ± 10 to 21 ± 3 (P = 0.0005) for the hydrophobic clone. Elucidation of hydrophilicity and charge enabled modulation of background signal thereby enhancing the utility of protein scaffolds as translatable targeting agents for molecular imaging and therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/protein/gzs036

    View details for Web of Science ID 000309468100016

    View details for PubMedID 22691700

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3449399

  • Feasibility of Limited Thoracic FDG PET/CT for the Evaluation of Solitary Pulmonary Nodules in Patients With Intermediate and High Risk of Lung Cancer Keu, K., Mittra, E., Gambhir, S. S., Iagaru, A. SPRINGER. 2012: S455
  • FEASIBILITY OF AN INTRAMOLECULAR COMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY FOR SPLIT-REPORTER GENE IMAGING OF DRUGGABLE PROTEIN MISFOLDING IN BRAIN CANCER 17th Annual Scientific Meeting and Education Day of the Society-for-Neuro-Oncology (SNO) Massoud, T. F., Paulmurugan, R., Gambhir, S. S. OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC. 2012: 11–11
  • Intraoperative Imaging of Tumors Using Cerenkov Luminescence Endoscopy: A Feasibility Experimental Study JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE Liu, H., Carpenter, C. M., Jiang, H., Pratx, G., Sun, C., Buchin, M. P., Gambhir, S. S., Xing, L., Cheng, Z. 2012; 53 (10): 1579-1584

    Abstract

    Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI) is an emerging new molecular imaging modality that is relatively inexpensive, easy to use, and has high throughput. CLI can image clinically available PET and SPECT probes using optical instrumentation. Cerenkov luminescence endoscopy (CLE) is one of the most intriguing applications that promise potential clinical translation. We developed a prototype customized fiberscopic Cerenkov imaging system to investigate the potential in guiding minimally invasive surgical resection.All experiments were performed in a dark chamber. Cerenkov luminescence from (18)F-FDG samples containing decaying radioactivity was transmitted through an optical fiber bundle and imaged by an intensified charge-coupled device camera. Phantoms filled with (18)F-FDG were used to assess the imaging spatial resolution. Finally, mice bearing subcutaneous C6 glioma cells were injected intravenously with (18)F-FDG to determine the feasibility of in vivo imaging. The tumor tissues were exposed, and CLI was performed on the mouse before and after surgical removal of the tumor using the fiber-based imaging system and compared with a commercial optical imaging system.The sensitivity of this particular setup was approximately 45 kBq (1.21 μCi)/300 μL. The 3 smallest sets of cylindric holes in a commercial SPECT phantom were identifiable via this system, demonstrating that the system has a resolution better than 1.2 mm. Finally, the in vivo tumor imaging study demonstrated the feasibility of using CLI to guide the resection of tumor tissues.This proof-of-concept study explored the feasibility of using fiber-based CLE for the detection of tumor tissue in vivo for guided surgery. With further improvements of the imaging sensitivity and spatial resolution of the current system, CLE may have a significant application in the clinical setting in the near future.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.111.098541

    View details for Web of Science ID 000309432400017

    View details for PubMedID 22904353

  • Exploratory Clinical Trial of (4S)-4-(3-[F-18]fluoropropyl)-L-glutamate for Imaging x(C) Transporter Using Positron Emission Tomography in Patients with Non-Small Cell Lung or Breast Cancer CLINICAL CANCER RESEARCH Baek, S., Choi, C., Ahn, S. H., Lee, J. W., Gong, G., Ryu, J., Oh, S. J., Bacher-Stier, C., Fels, L., Koglin, N., Hultsch, C., Schatz, C. A., Dinkelborg, L. M., Mittra, E. S., Gambhir, S. S., Moon, D. H. 2012; 18 (19): 5427-5437

    Abstract

    (4S)-4-(3-[(18)F]fluoropropyl)-l-glutamate (BAY 94-9392, alias [(18)F]FSPG) is a new tracer to image x(C)(-) transporter activity with positron emission tomography (PET). We aimed to explore the tumor detection rate of [(18)F]FSPG in patients relative to 2-[(18)F]fluoro-2-deoxyglucose ([(18)F]FDG). The correlation of [(18)F]FSPG uptake with immunohistochemical expression of x(C)(-) transporter and CD44, which stabilizes the xCT subunit of system x(C)(-), was also analyzed.Patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC, n = 10) or breast cancer (n = 5) who had a positive [(18)F]FDG uptake were included in this exploratory study. PET images were acquired following injection of approximately 300 MBq [(18)F]FSPG. Immunohistochemistry was done using xCT- and CD44-specific antibody.[(18)F]FSPG PET showed high uptake in the kidney and pancreas with rapid blood clearance. [(18)F]FSPG identified all 10 NSCLC and three of the five breast cancer lesions that were confirmed by pathology. [(18)F]FSPG detected 59 of 67 (88%) [(18)F]FDG lesions in NSCLC, and 30 of 73 (41%) in breast cancer. Seven lesions were additionally detected only on [(18)F]FSPG in NSCLC. The tumor-to-blood pool standardized uptake value (SUV) ratio was not significantly different from that of [(18)F]FDG in NSCLC; however, in breast cancer, it was significantly lower (P < 0.05). The maximum SUV of [(18)F]FSPG correlated significantly with the intensity of immunohistochemical staining of x(C)(-) transporter and CD44 (P < 0.01).[(18)F]FSPG seems to be a promising tracer with a relatively high cancer detection rate in patients with NSCLC. [(18)F]FSPG PET may assess x(C)(-) transporter activity in patients with cancer.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-12-0214

    View details for Web of Science ID 000311906600027

    View details for PubMedID 22893629

  • Positron Emission Tomography of Cu-64-DOTA-Rituximab in a Transgenic Mouse Model Expressing Human CD20 for Clinical Translation to Image NHL MOLECULAR IMAGING AND BIOLOGY Natarajan, A., Gowrishankar, G., Nielsen, C. H., Wang, S., Iagaru, A., Goris, M. L., Gambhir, S. S. 2012; 14 (5): 608-616

    Abstract

    This study aims to evaluate (64)Cu-DOTA-rituximab (PETRIT) in a preclinical transgenic mouse model expressing human CD20 for potential clinical translation.(64)Cu was chelated to DOTA-rituximab. Multiple radiolabeling, quality assurance, and imaging experiments were performed. The human CD20 antigen was expressed in B cells of transgenic mice (CD20TM). The mice groups studied were: (a) control (nude mice, n = 3) that received 7.4 MBq/dose, (b) with pre-dose (CD20TM, n = 6) received 2 mg/kg pre-dose of cold rituximab prior to PETRIT of 7.4 MBq/dose, and (c) without pre-dose (CD20TM, n = 6) PETRIT alone received 7.4 MBq/dose. Small animal PET was used to image mice at various time points (0, 1, 2, 4, 24, 48, and 72 h). The OLINDA/EXM software was used to determine the human equivalent dose for individual organs.PETRIT was obtained with a specific activity of 545 ± 38.91 MBq/nmole, radiochemical purity >95%, and immunoreactivity >75%. At 24 h, spleenic uptake of PETRIT%ID/g (mean ± STD) with and without pre-dose was 1.76 ± 0.43% and 16.5 ± 0.45%, respectively (P value = 0.01). Liver uptake with and without pre-dose was 0.41 ± 0.51% and 0.52 ± 0.17% (P value = 0.86), respectively. The human equivalents of highest dose organs with and without pre-dose are osteogenic cells at 30.8 ± 0.4 μSv/MBq and the spleen at 99 ± 4 μSv/MBq, respectively.PET imaging with PETRIT in huCD20 transgenic mice provided human dosimetry data for eventual applications in non-Hodgkins lymphoma patients.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11307-011-0537-8

    View details for Web of Science ID 000308819300011

    View details for PubMedID 22231277

  • alpha v beta 3 Integrins as a Biomarker of Disease Recurrence in Glioblastoma Multiforme: Initial Clinical Results Using 18F FPPRGD2 PET/CT 4th International Symposium on Targeted Radiotherapy and Dosimetry (ISTARD) in Conjunction with the 25th Annual Congress of the European-Association-of-Nuclear-Medicine (EANM) Iagaru, A., Mosci, C., Mittra, E. S., Shin, B., Chin, F., Gambhir, S. S. SPRINGER. 2012: S244–S245
  • Remodeling of Endogenous Mammary Epithelium by Breast Cancer Stem Cells STEM CELLS Parashurama, N., Lobo, N. A., Ito, K., Mosley, A. R., Habte, F. G., Zabala, M., Smith, B. R., Lam, J., Weissman, I. L., Clarke, M. F., Gambhir, S. S. 2012; 30 (10): 2114-2127

    Abstract

    Poorly regulated tissue remodeling results in increased breast cancer risk, yet how breast cancer stem cells (CSC) participate in remodeling is unknown. We performed in vivo imaging of changes in fluorescent, endogenous duct architecture as a metric for remodeling. First, we quantitatively imaged physiologic remodeling of primary branches of the developing and regenerating mammary tree. To assess CSC-specific remodeling events, we isolated CSC from MMTV-Wnt1 (mouse mammary tumor virus long-term repeat enhancer driving Wnt1 oncogene) breast tumors, a well studied model in which tissue remodeling affects tumorigenesis. We confirm that CSC drive tumorigenesis, suggesting a link between CSC and remodeling. We find that normal, regenerating, and developing gland maintain a specific branching pattern. In contrast, transplantation of CSC results in changes in the branching patterns of endogenous ducts while non-CSC do not. Specifically, in the presence of CSC, we identified an increased number of branches, branch points, ducts which have greater than 40 branches (5/33 for CSC and 0/39 for non-CSC), and histological evidence of increased branching. Moreover, we demonstrate that only CSC implants invade into surrounding stroma with structures similar to developing mammary ducts (nine for CSC and one for non-CSC). Overall, we demonstrate a novel approach for imaging physiologic and pathological remodeling. Furthermore, we identify unique, CSC-specific, remodeling events. Our data suggest that CSC interact with the microenvironment differently than non-CSC, and that this could eventually be a therapeutic approach for targeting CSC.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/stem.1205

    View details for Web of Science ID 000308928300005

    View details for PubMedID 22899386

  • The Impact of Partial Volume Correction in the Evaluation of Solitary Pulmonary Nodules by FDG PET/CT in a Population at Intermediate Risk of Lung Cancer 4th International Symposium on Targeted Radiotherapy and Dosimetry (ISTARD) in Conjunction with the 25th Annual Congress of the European-Association-of-Nuclear-Medicine (EANM) Keu, K., Nair, V. S., Mittra, E., Gambhir, S. S., Iagaru, A. SPRINGER. 2012: S455–S455
  • Microfluidic Single-Cell Analysis Shows That Porcine Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Endothelial Cells Improve Myocardial Function by Paracrine Activation CIRCULATION RESEARCH Gu, M., Nguyen, P. K., Lee, A. S., Xu, D., Hu, S., Plews, J. R., Han, L., Huber, B. C., Lee, W. H., Gong, Y., de Almeida, P. E., Lyons, J., Ikeno, F., Pacharinsak, C., Connolly, A. J., Gambhir, S. S., Robbins, R. C., Longaker, M. T., Wu, J. C. 2012; 111 (7): 882-893

    Abstract

    Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) hold great promise for the development of patient-specific therapies for cardiovascular disease. However, clinical translation will require preclinical optimization and validation of large-animal iPSC models.To successfully derive endothelial cells from porcine iPSCs and demonstrate their potential utility for the treatment of myocardial ischemia.Porcine adipose stromal cells were reprogrammed to generate porcine iPSCs (piPSCs). Immunohistochemistry, quantitative PCR, microarray hybridization, and angiogenic assays confirmed that piPSC-derived endothelial cells (piPSC-ECs) shared similar morphological and functional properties as endothelial cells isolated from the autologous pig aorta. To demonstrate their therapeutic potential, piPSC-ECs were transplanted into mice with myocardial infarction. Compared with control, animals transplanted with piPSC-ECs showed significant functional improvement measured by echocardiography (fractional shortening at week 4: 27.2±1.3% versus 22.3±1.1%; P<0.001) and MRI (ejection fraction at week 4: 45.8±1.3% versus 42.3±0.9%; P<0.05). Quantitative protein assays and microfluidic single-cell PCR profiling showed that piPSC-ECs released proangiogenic and antiapoptotic factors in the ischemic microenvironment, which promoted neovascularization and cardiomyocyte survival, respectively. Release of paracrine factors varied significantly among subpopulations of transplanted cells, suggesting that transplantation of specific cell populations may result in greater functional recovery.In summary, this is the first study to successfully differentiate piPSCs-ECs from piPSCs and demonstrate that transplantation of piPSC-ECs improved cardiac function after myocardial infarction via paracrine activation. Further development of these large animal iPSC models will yield significant insights into their therapeutic potential and accelerate the clinical translation of autologous iPSC-based therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.112.269001

    View details for Web of Science ID 000308868800015

    View details for PubMedID 22821929

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3473073

  • Discovery and validation of small-molecule heat-shock protein 90 inhibitors through multimodality molecular imaging in living subjects PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Chan, C. T., Reeves, R. E., Geller, R., Yaghoubi, S. S., Hoehne, A., Solow-Cordero, D. E., Chiosis, G., Massoud, T. F., Paulmurugan, R., Gambhir, S. S. 2012; 109 (37): E2476-E2485

    Abstract

    Up-regulation of the folding machinery of the heat-shock protein 90 (Hsp90) chaperone protein is crucial for cancer progression. The two Hsp90 isoforms (α and β) play different roles in response to chemotherapy. To identify isoform-selective inhibitors of Hsp90(α/β)/cochaperone p23 interactions, we developed a dual-luciferase (Renilla and Firefly) reporter system for high-throughput screening (HTS) and monitoring the efficacy of Hsp90 inhibitors in cell culture and live mice. HTS of a 30,176 small-molecule chemical library in cell culture identified a compound, N-(5-methylisoxazol-3-yl)-2-[4-(thiophen-2-yl)-6-(trifluoromethyl)pyrimidin-2-ylthio]acetamide (CP9), that binds to Hsp90(α/β) and displays characteristics of Hsp90 inhibitors, i.e., degradation of Hsp90 client proteins and inhibition of cell proliferation, glucose metabolism, and thymidine kinase activity, in multiple cancer cell lines. The efficacy of CP9 in disrupting Hsp90(α/β)/p23 interactions and cell proliferation in tumor xenografts was evaluated by non-invasive, repetitive Renilla luciferase and Firefly luciferase imaging, respectively. At 38 h posttreatment (80 mg/kg × 3, i.p.), CP9 led to selective disruption of Hsp90α/p23 as compared with Hsp90β/p23 interactions. Small-animal PET/CT in the same cohort of mice showed that CP9 treatment (43 h) led to a 40% decrease in (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose uptake in tumors relative to carrier control-treated mice. However, CP9 did not lead to significant degradation of Hsp90 client proteins in tumors. We performed a structural activity relationship study with 62 analogs of CP9 and identified A17 as the lead compound that outperformed CP9 in inhibiting Hsp90(α/β)/p23 interactions in cell culture. Our efforts demonstrated the power of coupling of HTS with multimodality molecular imaging and led to identification of Hsp90 inhibitors.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1205459109

    View details for Web of Science ID 000309208000012

    View details for PubMedID 22895790

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3443147

  • Circulating tumour cells in early breast cancer LANCET ONCOLOGY Nair, V. S., Keu, K. V., Kuhn, P., Gambhir, S. S. 2012; 13 (9): E370-E371

    View details for Web of Science ID 000308425600024

    View details for PubMedID 22935234

  • Cationic versus Neutral Microbubbles for Ultrasound-mediated Gene Delivery in Cancer RADIOLOGY Wang, D. S., Panje, C., Pysz, M. A., Paulmurugan, R., Rosenberg, J., Gambhir, S. S., Schneider, M., Willmann, J. K. 2012; 264 (3): 721-732

    Abstract

    To test whether plasmid-binding cationic microbubbles (MBs) enhance ultrasound-mediated gene delivery efficiency relative to control neutral MBs in cell culture and in vivo tumors in mice.Animal studies were approved by the institutional animal care committee. Cationic and neutral MBs were characterized in terms of size, charge, circulation time, and DNA binding. Click beetle luciferase (CBLuc) reporter plasmids were mixed with cationic or neutral MBs. The ability of cationic MBs to protect bound plasmids from nuclease degradation was tested by means of a deoxyribonuclease (DNase) protection assay. Relative efficiencies of ultrasound-mediated transfection (ultrasound parameters: 1 MHz, 1 W/cm(2), 20% duty cycle, 1 minute) of CBLuc to endothelial cells by using cationic, neutral, or no MBs were compared in cell culture. Ultrasound-mediated gene delivery to mouse hind limb tumors was performed in vivo (n = 24) with insonation (1 MHz, 2 W/cm(2), 50% duty cycle, 5 minutes) after intravenous administration of CBLuc with cationic, neutral, or no MBs. Tumor luciferase activity was assessed by means of serial in vivo bioluminescence imaging and ex vivo analysis. Results were compared by using analysis of variance.Cationic MBs (+15.8 mV; DNA binding capacity, 0.03 pg per MB) partially protected bound DNA from DNase degradation. Mean CBLuc expression of treated endothelial cells in culture was 20-fold higher with cationic than with neutral MBs (219.0 relative light units [RLUs]/µg protein ± 92.5 [standard deviation] vs 10.9 RLUs/µg protein ± 2.7, P = .001) and was significantly higher (P < .001) than that in the no MB and no ultrasound control groups. Serial in vivo bioluminescence of mouse tumors was significantly higher with cationic than with neutral MBs ([5.9 ± 2.2] to [9.3 ± 5.2] vs [2.4 ± 0.8] to [2.9 ± 1.1] × 10(4) photons/sec/cm(2)/steradian, P < .0001) and versus no MB and no ultrasound controls (P < .0001). Results of ex vivo analysis confirmed these results (ρ = 0.88, P < .0001).Plasmid-binding cationic MBs enhance ultrasound-mediated gene delivery efficiency relative to neutral MBs in both cell culture and mouse hind limb tumors.

    View details for DOI 10.1148/radiol.12112368

    View details for Web of Science ID 000308645500013

    View details for PubMedID 22723497

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3426857

  • Tissue-engineered collateral ligament composite allografts for scapholunate ligament reconstruction: an experimental study. journal of hand surgery Endress, R., Woon, C. Y., Farnebo, S. J., Behn, A., Bronstein, J., Pham, H., Yan, X., Gambhir, S. S., Chang, J. 2012; 37 (8): 1529-1537

    Abstract

    In patients with chronic scapholunate (SL) dissociation or dynamic instability, ligament repair is often not possible, and surgical reconstruction is indicated. The ideal graft ligament would recreate both anatomical and biomechanical properties of the dorsal scapholunate ligament (dorsal SLIL). The finger proximal interphalangeal joint (PIP joint) collateral ligament could possibly be a substitute ligament.We harvested human PIP joint collateral ligaments and SL ligaments from 15 cadaveric limbs. We recorded ligament length, width, and thickness, and measured the biomechanical properties (ultimate load, stiffness, and displacement to failure) of native dorsal SLIL, untreated collateral ligaments, decellularized collateral ligaments, and SL repairs with bone-collateral ligament-bone composite collateral ligament grafts. As proof of concept, we then reseeded decellularized bone-collateral ligament-bone composite grafts with green fluorescent protein-labeled adipo-derived mesenchymal stem cells and evaluated them histologically.There was no difference in ultimate load, stiffness, and displacement to failure among native dorsal SLIL, untreated and decellularized collateral ligaments, and SL repairs with tissue-engineered collateral ligament grafts. With pair-matched untreated and decellularized scaffolds, there was no difference in ultimate load or stiffness. However, decellularized ligaments revealed lower displacement to failure compared with untreated ligaments. There was no difference in displacement between decellularized ligaments and native dorsal SLIL. We successfully decellularized grafts with recently described techniques, and they could be similarly reseeded.Proximal interphalangeal joint collateral ligament-based bone-collateral ligament-bone composite allografts had biomechanical properties similar to those of native dorsal SLIL. Decellularization did not adversely affect material properties.These tissue-engineered grafts may offer surgeons another option for reconstruction of chronic SL instability.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jhsa.2012.05.020

    View details for PubMedID 22835583

  • Tissue-engineered Collateral Ligament Composite Allografts for Scapholunate Ligament Reconstruction: An Experimental Study JOURNAL OF HAND SURGERY-AMERICAN VOLUME Endress, R., Woon, C. Y., Farnebo, S. J., Behn, A., Bronstein, J., Pham, H., Yan, X., Gambhir, S. S., Chang, J. 2012; 37A (8): 1529-1537

    Abstract

    In patients with chronic scapholunate (SL) dissociation or dynamic instability, ligament repair is often not possible, and surgical reconstruction is indicated. The ideal graft ligament would recreate both anatomical and biomechanical properties of the dorsal scapholunate ligament (dorsal SLIL). The finger proximal interphalangeal joint (PIP joint) collateral ligament could possibly be a substitute ligament.We harvested human PIP joint collateral ligaments and SL ligaments from 15 cadaveric limbs. We recorded ligament length, width, and thickness, and measured the biomechanical properties (ultimate load, stiffness, and displacement to failure) of native dorsal SLIL, untreated collateral ligaments, decellularized collateral ligaments, and SL repairs with bone-collateral ligament-bone composite collateral ligament grafts. As proof of concept, we then reseeded decellularized bone-collateral ligament-bone composite grafts with green fluorescent protein-labeled adipo-derived mesenchymal stem cells and evaluated them histologically.There was no difference in ultimate load, stiffness, and displacement to failure among native dorsal SLIL, untreated and decellularized collateral ligaments, and SL repairs with tissue-engineered collateral ligament grafts. With pair-matched untreated and decellularized scaffolds, there was no difference in ultimate load or stiffness. However, decellularized ligaments revealed lower displacement to failure compared with untreated ligaments. There was no difference in displacement between decellularized ligaments and native dorsal SLIL. We successfully decellularized grafts with recently described techniques, and they could be similarly reseeded.Proximal interphalangeal joint collateral ligament-based bone-collateral ligament-bone composite allografts had biomechanical properties similar to those of native dorsal SLIL. Decellularization did not adversely affect material properties.These tissue-engineered grafts may offer surgeons another option for reconstruction of chronic SL instability.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jhsa.2012.05.020

    View details for Web of Science ID 000307260200001

  • Impact of Screening Test Performance and Cost on Mortality Reduction and Cost-effectiveness of Multimodal Ovarian Cancer Screening CANCER PREVENTION RESEARCH Drescher, C. W., Hawley, S., Thorpe, J. D., Marticke, S., McIntosh, M., Gambhir, S. S., Urban, N. 2012; 5 (8): 1015-1024

    Abstract

    Ongoing ovarian cancer screening trials are investigating the efficacy of a two-step screening strategy using currently available blood and imaging tests [CA125 and transvaginal sonography (TVS)]. Concurrently, efforts to develop new biomarkers and imaging tests seek to improve screening performance beyond its current limits. This study estimates the mortality reduction, years of life saved, and cost-effectiveness achievable by annual multimodal screening using increasing CA125 to select women for TVS, and predicts improvements achievable by replacing currently available screening tests with hypothetical counterparts with better performance characteristics. An existing stochastic microsimulation model is refined and used to screen a virtual cohort of 1 million women from ages 45 to 85 years. Each woman is assigned a detailed disease course and screening results timeline. The preclinical behavior of CA125 and TVS is simulated using empirical data derived from clinical trials. Simulations in which the disease incidence and performance characteristics of the screening tests are independently varied are conducted to evaluate the impact of these factors on overall screening performance and costs. Our results show that when applied to women at average risk, annual screening using increasing CA125 to select women for TVS achieves modest mortality reduction (~13%) and meets currently accepted cost-effectiveness guidelines. Screening outcomes are relatively insensitive to second-line test performance and costs. Identification of a first-line test that does substantially better than CA125 and has similar costs is required for screening to reduce ovarian mortality by at least 25% and be reasonably cost-effective.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-11-0468

    View details for Web of Science ID 000308223500004

    View details for PubMedID 22750949

  • Fluorescent Magnetic Nanoparticles for Magnetically Enhanced Cancer Imaging and Targeting in Living Subjects ACS NANO Fu, A., Wilson, R. J., Smith, B. R., Mullenix, J., Earhart, C., Akin, D., Guccione, S., Wang, S. X., Gambhir, S. S. 2012; 6 (8): 6862-6869

    Abstract

    Early detection and targeted therapy are two major challenges in the battle against cancer. Novel imaging contrast agents and targeting approaches are greatly needed to improve the sensitivity and specificity of cancer theranostic agents. Here, we implemented a novel approach using a magnetic micromesh and biocompatible fluorescent magnetic nanoparticles (FMN) to magnetically enhance cancer targeting in living subjects. This approach enables magnetic targeting of systemically administered individual FMN, containing a single 8 nm superparamagnetic iron oxide core. Using a human glioblastoma mouse model, we show that nanoparticles can be magnetically retained in both the tumor neovasculature and surrounding tumor tissues. Magnetic accumulation of nanoparticles within the neovasculature was observable by fluorescence intravital microscopy in real time. Finally, we demonstrate that such magnetically enhanced cancer targeting augments the biological functions of molecules linked to the nanoparticle surface.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/nn301670a

    View details for Web of Science ID 000307988900039

    View details for PubMedID 22857784

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3601027

  • Shape Matters: Intravital Microscopy Reveals Surprising Geometrical Dependence for Nanoparticles in Tumor Models of Extravasation NANO LETTERS Smith, B. R., Kempen, P., Bouley, D., Xu, A., Liu, Z., Melosh, N., Dai, H., Sinclair, R., Gambhir, S. S. 2012; 12 (7): 3369-3377

    Abstract

    Delivery is one of the most critical obstacles confronting nanoparticle use in cancer diagnosis and therapy. For most oncological applications, nanoparticles must extravasate in order to reach tumor cells and perform their designated task. However, little understanding exists regarding the effect of nanoparticle shape on extravasation. Herein we use real-time intravital microscopic imaging to meticulously examine how two different nanoparticles behave across three different murine tumor models. The study quantitatively demonstrates that high-aspect ratio single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) display extravasational behavior surprisingly different from, and counterintuitive to, spherical nanoparticles although the nanoparticles have similar surface coatings, area, and charge. This work quantitatively indicates that nanoscale extravasational competence is highly dependent on nanoparticle geometry and is heterogeneous.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/nl204175t

    View details for Web of Science ID 000306296200004

    View details for PubMedID 22650417

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3495189

  • In vivo targeting of HER2-positive tumor using 2-helix affibody molecules AMINO ACIDS Ren, G., Webster, J. M., Liu, Z., Zhang, R., Miao, Z., Liu, H., Gambhir, S. S., Syud, F. A., Cheng, Z. 2012; 43 (1): 405-413

    Abstract

    Molecular imaging of human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2 (HER2) expression has drawn significant attention because of the unique role of the HER2 gene in diagnosis, therapy and prognosis of human breast cancer. In our previous research, a novel cyclic 2-helix small protein, MUT-DS, was discovered as an anti-HER2 Affibody analog with high affinity through rational protein design and engineering. MUT-DS was then evaluated for positron emission tomography (PET) of HER2-positive tumor by labeling with two radionuclides, 68Ga and 18F, with relatively short half-life (t1/2<2 h). In order to fully study the in vivo behavior of 2-helix small protein and demonstrate that it could be a robust platform for labeling with a variety of radionuclides for different applications, in this study, MUT-DS was further radiolabeled with 64Cu or 111In and evaluated for in vivo targeting of HER2-positive tumor in mice. Design 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetraacetic acid (DOTA) conjugated MUT-DS (DOTA-MUT-DS) was chemically synthesized using solid phase peptide synthesizer and I2 oxidation. DOTA-MUT-DS was then radiolabeled with 64Cu or 111In to prepare the HER2 imaging probe (64Cu/111In-DOTA-MUT-DS). Both biodistribution and microPET imaging of the probe were evaluated in nude mice bearing subcutaneous HER2-positive SKOV3 tumors. DOTA-MUT-DS could be successfully synthesized and radiolabeled with 64Cu or 111In. Biodistribution study showed that tumor uptake value of 64Cu or 111In-labeled DOTA-MUT-DS was 4.66±0.38 or 2.17±0.15%ID/g, respectively, in nude mice bearing SKOV3 xenografts (n=3) at 1 h post-injection (p.i.). Tumor-to-blood and tumor-to-muscle ratios for 64Cu-DOTA-MUT-DS were attained to be 3.05 and 3.48 at 1 h p.i., respectively, while for 111In-DOTA-MUT-DS, they were 2.04 and 3.19, respectively. Co-injection of the cold Affibody molecule ZHER2:342 with 64Cu-DOTA-MUT-DS specifically reduced the SKOV3 tumor uptake of the probe by 48%. 111In-DOTA-MUT-DS displayed lower liver uptake at all the time points investigated and higher tumor to blood ratios at 4 and 20 h p.i., when compared with 64Cu-DOTA-MUT-DS. This study demonstrates that the 2-helix protein based probes, 64Cu/111In DOTA-MUT-DS, are promising molecular probes for imaging HER2-positive tumor. Two-helix small protein scaffold holds great promise as a novel and robust platform for imaging and therapy applications.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s00726-011-1096-7

    View details for Web of Science ID 000305210800041

    View details for PubMedID 21984380

  • Photoacoustic Imaging of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Living Mice via Silica-Coated Gold Nanorods ACS NANO Jokerst, J. V., Thangaraj, M., Kempen, P. J., Sinclair, R., Gambhir, S. S. 2012; 6 (7): 5920-5930

    Abstract

    Improved imaging modalities are critically needed for optimizing stem cell therapy. Techniques with real-time content to guide and quantitate cell implantation are especially important in applications such as musculoskeletal regenerative medicine. Here, we report the use of silica-coated gold nanorods as a contrast agent for photoacoustic imaging and quantitation of mesenchymal stem cells in rodent muscle tissue. The silica coating increased the uptake of gold into the cell more than 5-fold, yet no toxicity or proliferation changes were observed in cells loaded with this contrast agent. Pluripotency of the cells was retained, and secretome analysis indicated that only IL-6 was disregulated more than 2-fold from a pool of 26 cytokines. The low background of the technique allowed imaging of down to 100,000 cells in vivo. The spatial resolution is 340 μm, and the temporal resolution is 0.2 s, which is at least an order of magnitude below existing cell imaging approaches. This approach has significant advantages over traditional cell imaging techniques like positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance imaging including real time monitoring of stem cell therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/nn302042y

    View details for Web of Science ID 000306673800020

    View details for PubMedID 22681633

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3582222

  • A Hybrid Least Squares and Principal Component Analysis Algorithm for Raman Spectroscopy PLOS ONE Van de Sompel, D., Garai, E., Zavaleta, C., Gambhir, S. S. 2012; 7 (6)

    Abstract

    Raman spectroscopy is a powerful technique for detecting and quantifying analytes in chemical mixtures. A critical part of Raman spectroscopy is the use of a computer algorithm to analyze the measured Raman spectra. The most commonly used algorithm is the classical least squares method, which is popular due to its speed and ease of implementation. However, it is sensitive to inaccuracies or variations in the reference spectra of the analytes (compounds of interest) and the background. Many algorithms, primarily multivariate calibration methods, have been proposed that increase robustness to such variations. In this study, we propose a novel method that improves robustness even further by explicitly modeling variations in both the background and analyte signals. More specifically, it extends the classical least squares model by allowing the declared reference spectra to vary in accordance with the principal components obtained from training sets of spectra measured in prior characterization experiments. The amount of variation allowed is constrained by the eigenvalues of this principal component analysis. We compare the novel algorithm to the least squares method with a low-order polynomial residual model, as well as a state-of-the-art hybrid linear analysis method. The latter is a multivariate calibration method designed specifically to improve robustness to background variability in cases where training spectra of the background, as well as the mean spectrum of the analyte, are available. We demonstrate the novel algorithm's superior performance by comparing quantitative error metrics generated by each method. The experiments consider both simulated data and experimental data acquired from in vitro solutions of Raman-enhanced gold-silica nanoparticles.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0038850

    View details for Web of Science ID 000305583300060

    View details for PubMedID 22723895

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3377733

  • Endoscopic imaging of Cerenkov luminescence BIOMEDICAL OPTICS EXPRESS Kothapalli, S., Liu, H., Liao, J. C., Cheng, Z., Gambhir, S. S. 2012; 3 (6): 1215-1225

    Abstract

    We demonstrate feasibility of endoscopic imaging of Cerenkov light originated when charged nuclear particles, emitted from radionuclides, travel through a biological tissue of living subjects at superluminal velocity. The endoscopy imaging system consists of conventional optical fiber bundle/ clinical endoscopes, an optical imaging lens system, and a sensitive low-noise charge coupled device (CCD) camera. Our systematic studies using phantom samples show that Cerenkov light from as low as 1 µCi of radioactivity emitted from (18)F-Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) can be coupled and transmitted through conventional optical fibers and endoscopes. In vivo imaging experiments with tumor bearing mice, intravenously administered with (18)F-FDG, further demonstrated that Cerenkov luminescence endoscopy is a promising new tool in the field of endoscopic molecular imaging.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000304965700007

    View details for PubMedID 22741069

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3370963

  • Transatlantic Consensus Group on active surveillance and focal therapy for prostate cancer BJU INTERNATIONAL Ahmed, H. U., Akin, O., Coleman, J. A., Crane, S., Emberton, M., Goldenberg, L., Hricak, H., Kattan, M. W., Kurhanewicz, J., Moore, C. M., Parker, C., Polascik, T. J., Scardino, P., Van As, N., Villers, A. 2012; 109 (11): 1636-1647

    Abstract

    What's known on the subject? and What does the study add? Active surveillance for prostate cancer is gaining increasing acceptance for low risk prostate cancer. Focal therapy is an emerging tissue preservation strategy that aims for treat only areas of cancer. Early phase trials have shown that side-effects can be significantly reduced using focal therapy. There is significant uncertainty in both active surveillance and focal therapy. This consensus group paper provides a road-map for clinical practice and research for both tissue-preserving strategies in the areas of patient population, tools for risk stratification and cancer localisation, treatment interventions as well as comparators and outcome measures in future comparative trials.To reach consensus on key issues for clinical practice and future research in active surveillance and focal therapy in managing localized prostate cancer.A group of expert urologists, oncologists, radiologists, pathologists and computer scientists from North America and Europe met to discuss issues in patient population, interventions, comparators and outcome measures to use in both tissue-preserving strategies of active surveillance and focal therapy. Break-out sessions were formed to provide agreement or highlight areas of disagreement on individual topics which were then collated by a writing group into statements that formed the basis of this report and agreed upon by the whole Transatlantic Consensus Group.The Transatlantic group propose that emerging diagnostic tools such as precision imaging and transperineal prostate mapping biopsy can improve prostate cancer care. These tools should be integrated into prostate cancer management and research so that better risk stratification and more effective treatment allocation can be applied. The group envisaged a process of care in which active surveillance, focal therapy, and radical treatments lie on a continuum of complementary therapies for men with a range of disease grades and burdens, rather than being applied in the mutually exclusive and competitive way they are now.The changing landscape of prostate cancer epidemiology requires the medical community to re-evaluate the entire prostate cancer diagnostic and treatment pathway in order to minimize harms resulting from over-diagnosis and over-treatment. Precise risk stratification at every point in this pathway is required alongside paradigm shifts in our thinking about what constitutes cancer in the prostate.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2011.10633.x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000303598400015

    View details for PubMedID 22077593

  • Family of Enhanced Photoacoustic Imaging Agents for High-Sensitivity and Multiplexing Studies in Living Mice ACS NANO de la Zerda, A., Bodapati, S., Teed, R., May, S. Y., Tabakman, S. M., Liu, Z., Khuri-Yakub, B. T., Chen, X., Dai, H., Gambhir, S. S. 2012; 6 (6): 4694-4701

    Abstract

    Photoacoustic imaging is a unique modality that overcomes to a great extent the resolution and depth limitations of optical imaging while maintaining relatively high contrast. However, since many diseases will not manifest an endogenous photoacoustic contrast, it is essential to develop exogenous photoacoustic contrast agents that can target diseased tissue(s). Here we present a family of novel photoacoustic contrast agents that are based on the binding of small optical dyes to single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT-dye). We synthesized five different SWNT-dye contrast agents using different optical dyes, creating five "flavors" of SWNT-dye nanoparticles. In particular, SWNTs that were coated with either QSY(21) (SWNT-QSY) or indocyanine green (SWNT-ICG) exhibited over 100-times higher photoacoustic contrast in living animals compared to plain SWNTs, leading to subnanomolar sensitivities. We then conjugated the SWNT-dye conjugates with cyclic Arg-Gly-Asp peptides to molecularly target the α(v)β(3) integrin, which is associated with tumor angiogenesis. Intravenous administration of these tumor-targeted imaging agents to tumor-bearing mice showed significantly higher photoacoustic signal in the tumor than in mice injected with the untargeted contrast agent. Finally, we were able to spectrally separate the photoacoustic signals of SWNT-QSY and SWNT-ICG in living animals injected subcutaneously with both particles in the same location, opening the possibility for multiplexing in vivo studies.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/nn204352r

    View details for Web of Science ID 000305661300017

    View details for PubMedID 22607191

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3397693

  • A photonic crystal cavity-optical fiber tip nanoparticle sensor for biomedical applications APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS Shambat, G., Kothapalli, S. R., Khurana, A., Provine, J., Sarmiento, T., Cheng, K., Cheng, Z., Harris, J., Daldrup-Link, H., Gambhir, S. S., Vuckovic, J. 2012; 100 (21)

    View details for DOI 10.1063/1.4719520

    View details for Web of Science ID 000304489900085

  • Effect of a CCR1 receptor antagonist on systemic trafficking of MSCs and polyethylene particle-associated bone loss BIOMATERIALS Gibon, E., Yao, Z., Rao, A. J., Zwingenberger, S., Batke, B., Valladares, R., Smith, R. L., Biswal, S., Gambhir, S. S., Goodman, S. B. 2012; 33 (14): 3632-3638

    Abstract

    Particle-associated periprosthetic osteolysis remains a major issue in joint replacement. Ongoing bone loss resulting from wear particle-induced inflammation is accompanied by continued attempts at bone repair. Previously we showed that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are recruited systemically to bone exposed to continuous infusion of ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) particles. The chemokine-receptor axis that mediates this process is unknown. We tested two hypotheses: (1) the CCR1 receptor mediates the systemic recruitment of MSCs to UHMWPE particles and (2) recruited MSCs are able to differentiate into functional mature osteoblasts and decrease particle-associated bone loss. Nude mice were allocated randomly to four groups. UHMWPE particles were continuously infused into the femoral shaft using a micro-pump. Genetically modified murine wild type reporter MSCs were injected systemically via the left ventricle. Non-invasive imaging was used to assay MSC migration and bone mineral density. Bioluminescence and immunohistochemistry confirmed the chemotaxis of reporter cells and their differentiation into mature osteoblasts in the presence of infused particles. Injection of a CCR1 antagonist decreased reporter cell recruitment to the UHMWPE particle infusion site and increased osteolysis. CCR1 appears to be a critical receptor for chemotaxis of MSCs in the presence of UHMWPE particles. Interference with CCR1 exacerbates particle-induced bone loss.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2012.02.003

    View details for Web of Science ID 000302425400003

    View details for PubMedID 22364730

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3309459

  • 18F FPPRGD2 in GBM: Imaging alpha v beta 3 integrin levels as a biomarker of disease recurrence Iagaru, A., Mosci, C., Mittra, E., Shen, B., Chin, F., Fischbein, N., Gambhir, S. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2012
  • Evaluation of NaF PET/CT, FDG PET/CT, combined NaF/FDG PET/CT and CT alone for detection of bone metastases Sampath, S., Sampath, S., Lutz, A., Willmann, J., Mittra, E., Gambhir, S., Iagaru, A. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2012
  • Evaluation of the 18F-labeled L-glutamate derivative 18F-FSPG (BAY 94-9392) in brain and head and neck cancer patients Kumar, M., Mosci, C., Keu, K., Iagaru, A., Koglin, N., Fels, L., Bacher-Stier, C., Chin, F., Gambhir, S., Mittra, E. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2012
  • [18F]FPRGD2 PET/CT imaging of integrin alpha v beta 3 in renal carcinomas: Correlation with histopathology Withofs, N., Signolle, N., Nzaramba, E., Thonon, D., Leonard, M., Aerts, J., Waltregny, D., Cataldo, D., Gambhir, S., Hustinx, R. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2012
  • 18F FDG PET/CT in the management of patients with post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder Takehana, C., Mittra, E., Quon, A., Gambhir, S., Iagaru, A. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2012
  • Evaluation of the 18F L-glutamate derivative 18F-FSPG (BAY 94-9392) in lymphoma and colon cancer patients Kumar, M., Mosci, C., Keu, K., Iagaru, A., Koglin, N., Fels, L., Bacher-Stier, C., Chin, F., Gambhir, S., Mittra, E. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2012
  • Preliminary results of [18F]FPRGD2 PET/CT imaging of integrin alpha v beta 3 levels in patients with locally advanced rectal carcinoma Withofs, N., Martinive, P., Scagnol, I., Thonon, D., Giacomelli, F., Mievis, F., Coucke, P., Cataldo, D., Gambhir, S., Hustinx, R. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2012
  • Characterization of physiological 18F-FSPG uptake in healthy volunteers: Kinetics and biodistribution Mosei, C., Kumar, M., Koglin, N., Fels, L., Bacher-Stier, C., Smolarz, K., Schwaiger, M., Gambhir, S., Mittra, E. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2012
  • Intratumoral versus Intravenous Gene Therapy Using a Transcriptionally Targeted Viral Vector in an Orthotopic Hepatocellular Carcinoma Rat Model JOURNAL OF VASCULAR AND INTERVENTIONAL RADIOLOGY Kim, Y. I., Ahn, B., Ronald, J. A., Katzenberg, R., Singh, A., Paulmurugan, R., Ray, S., Gambhir, S. S., Hofmann, L. V. 2012; 23 (5): 704-711

    Abstract

    To evaluate the feasibility of intratumoral delivery of adenoviral vector carrying a bidirectional two-step transcriptional amplification (TSTA) system to amplify transcriptional strength of cancer-specific Survivin promoter in a hepatocellular carcinoma model.MCA-RH7777 cells were implanted in rat liver, and tumor formation was confirmed with [(18)F]fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) positron emission tomography (PET). The adenoviral vector studied had Survivin promoter driving a therapeutic gene (tumor necrosis factor-α-related apoptosis-inducing ligand [TRAIL]) and a reporter gene (firefly luciferase [FL]; Ad-pSurvivin-TSTA-TRAIL-FL). Tumor-bearing rats were administered Ad-pSurvivin-TSTA-TRAIL-FL intravenously (n = 7) or intratumorally (n = 8). For control groups, adenovirus FL under cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter (Ad-pCMV-FL) was administered intravenously (n = 3) or intratumorally (n = 3). One day after delivery, bioluminescence imaging was performed to evaluate transduction. At 4 and 7 days after delivery, 18F-FDG-PET was performed to evaluate therapeutic efficacy.With intravenous delivery, Ad-pSurvivin-TSTA-TRAIL-FL showed no measurable liver tumor FL signal on day 1 after delivery, but showed better therapeutic efficacy than Ad-pCMV-FL on day 7 (PET tumor/liver ratio, 3.5 ± 0.58 vs 6.0 ± 0.71; P = .02). With intratumoral delivery, Ad-pSurvivin-TSTA-TRAIL-FL showed positive FL signal from all tumors and better therapeutic efficacy than Ad-pCMV-FL on day 7 (2.4 ± 0.50 vs 5.4 ± 0.78; P = .01). In addition, intratumoral delivery of Ad-pSurvivin-TSTA-TRAIL-FL demonstrated significant decrease in tumoral viability compared with intravenous delivery (2.4 ± 0.50 vs 3.5 ± 0.58; P = .03).Intratumoral delivery of a transcriptionally targeted therapeutic vector for amplifying tumor-specific effect demonstrated better transduction efficiency and therapeutic efficacy for liver cancer than systemic delivery, and may lead to improved therapeutic outcome for future clinical practice.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jvir.2012.01.053

    View details for Web of Science ID 000303557000020

    View details for PubMedID 22387029

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4132166

  • A brain tumor molecular imaging strategy using a new triple-modality MRI-photoacoustic-Raman nanoparticle NATURE MEDICINE Kircher, M. F., de la Zerda, A., Jokerst, J. V., Zavaleta, C. L., Kempen, P. J., Mittra, E., Pitter, K., Huang, R., Campos, C., Habte, F., Sinclair, R., Brennan, C. W., Mellinghoff, I. K., Holland, E. C., Gambhir, S. S. 2012; 18 (5): 829-U235

    Abstract

    The difficulty in delineating brain tumor margins is a major obstacle in the path toward better outcomes for patients with brain tumors. Current imaging methods are often limited by inadequate sensitivity, specificity and spatial resolution. Here we show that a unique triple-modality magnetic resonance imaging-photoacoustic imaging-Raman imaging nanoparticle (termed here MPR nanoparticle) can accurately help delineate the margins of brain tumors in living mice both preoperatively and intraoperatively. The MPRs were detected by all three modalities with at least a picomolar sensitivity both in vitro and in living mice. Intravenous injection of MPRs into glioblastoma-bearing mice led to MPR accumulation and retention by the tumors, with no MPR accumulation in the surrounding healthy tissue, allowing for a noninvasive tumor delineation using all three modalities through the intact skull. Raman imaging allowed for guidance of intraoperative tumor resection, and a histological correlation validated that Raman imaging was accurately delineating the brain tumor margins. This new triple-modality-nanoparticle approach has promise for enabling more accurate brain tumor imaging and resection.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nm.2721

    View details for Web of Science ID 000303763500053

    View details for PubMedID 22504484

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3422133

  • Deep Tissue Photoacoustic Imaging Using a Miniaturized 2-D Capacitive Micromachined Ultrasonic Transducer Array IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING Kothapalli, S., Ma, T., Vaithilingam, S., Oralkan, O., Khuri-Yakub, B. T., Gambhir, S. S. 2012; 59 (5): 1199-1204

    Abstract

    In this paper, we demonstrate 3-D photoacoustic imaging (PAI) of light absorbing objects embedded as deep as 5 cm inside strong optically scattering phantoms using a miniaturized (4 mm × 4 mm × 500 μm), 2-D capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducer (CMUT) array of 16 × 16 elements with a center frequency of 5.5 MHz. Two-dimensional tomographic images and 3-D volumetric images of the objects placed at different depths are presented. In addition, we studied the sensitivity of CMUT-based PAI to the concentration of indocyanine green dye at 5 cm depth inside the phantom. Under optimized experimental conditions, the objects at 5 cm depth can be imaged with SNR of about 35 dB and a spatial resolution of approximately 500 μm. Results demonstrate that CMUTs with integrated front-end amplifier circuits are an attractive choice for achieving relatively high depth sensitivity for PAI.

    View details for DOI 10.1109/TBME.2012.2183593

    View details for Web of Science ID 000303201000001

    View details for PubMedID 22249594

  • Twist1 Suppresses Senescence Programs and Thereby Accelerates and Maintains Mutant Kras-Induced Lung Tumorigenesis PLOS GENETICS Tran, P. T., Shroff, E. H., Burns, T. F., Thiyagarajan, S., Das, S. T., Zabuawala, T., Chen, J., Cho, Y., Luong, R., Tamayo, P., Salih, T., Aziz, K., Adam, S. J., Vicent, S., Nielsen, C. H., Withofs, N., Sweet-Cordero, A., Gambhir, S. S., Rudin, C. M., Felsher, D. W. 2012; 8 (5)

    Abstract

    KRAS mutant lung cancers are generally refractory to chemotherapy as well targeted agents. To date, the identification of drugs to therapeutically inhibit K-RAS have been unsuccessful, suggesting that other approaches are required. We demonstrate in both a novel transgenic mutant Kras lung cancer mouse model and in human lung tumors that the inhibition of Twist1 restores a senescence program inducing the loss of a neoplastic phenotype. The Twist1 gene encodes for a transcription factor that is essential during embryogenesis. Twist1 has been suggested to play an important role during tumor progression. However, there is no in vivo evidence that Twist1 plays a role in autochthonous tumorigenesis. Through two novel transgenic mouse models, we show that Twist1 cooperates with Kras(G12D) to markedly accelerate lung tumorigenesis by abrogating cellular senescence programs and promoting the progression from benign adenomas to adenocarcinomas. Moreover, the suppression of Twist1 to physiological levels is sufficient to cause Kras mutant lung tumors to undergo senescence and lose their neoplastic features. Finally, we analyzed more than 500 human tumors to demonstrate that TWIST1 is frequently overexpressed in primary human lung tumors. The suppression of TWIST1 in human lung cancer cells also induced cellular senescence. Hence, TWIST1 is a critical regulator of cellular senescence programs, and the suppression of TWIST1 in human tumors may be an effective example of pro-senescence therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002650

    View details for Web of Science ID 000304864000004

    View details for PubMedID 22654667

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3360067

  • MC3T3-E1 Osteoprogenitor Cells Systemically Migrate to a Bone Defect and Enhance Bone Healing TISSUE ENGINEERING PART A Gibon, E., Batke, B., Jawad, M. U., Fritton, K., Rao, A., Yao, Z., Biswal, S., Gambhir, S. S., Goodman, S. B. 2012; 18 (9-10): 968-973

    Abstract

    Although iliac crest autologous bone graft remains the gold standard for treatment of bone defects, delayed- and nonunions, and arthrodeses, several alternative strategies have been attempted, including the use of mesenchymal stem cells. Whether cells from the osteoblast lineage demonstrate systemic recruitment to an acute bone defect or fracture, and whether these cells directly participate in bone healing is controversial. This study tests two hypotheses: (1) that exogenous murine MC3T3-E1 osteoprogenitor cells with a high propensity for osteoblast differentiation are able to systemically migrate to a bone defect and (2) that the migrated MC3T3-E1 cells enhance bone healing. Two groups of nude mice were used; a bone defect was drilled in the left femoral shaft in both groups. MC3T3-E1 were used as reporter cells and injected in the left ventricle of the heart, to avoid sequestration in the lungs. Injection of saline served as a control. We used bioluminescence and microCT to assay cell recruitment and bone mineral density (BMD). Immunohistochemical staining was used to confirm the migration of reporter cells. MC3T3-E1 cells were found to systemically migrate to the bone defect. Further, BMD at the defect was significantly increased when cells were injected. Systemic cell therapy using osteoprogenitor cells may be a potential strategy to enhance bone healing.

    View details for DOI 10.1089/ten.tea.2011.0545

    View details for Web of Science ID 000303540400008

    View details for PubMedID 22129134

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3338109

  • Glioblastoma Therapy with Cytotoxic Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Optimized by Bioluminescence Imaging of Tumor and Therapeutic Cell Response PLOS ONE Alieva, M., Bago, J. R., Aguilar, E., Soler-Botija, C., Vila, O. F., Molet, J., Gambhir, S. S., Rubio, N., Blanco, J. 2012; 7 (4)

    Abstract

    Genetically modified adipose tissue derived mesenchymal stromal cells (hAMSCs) with tumor homing capacity have been proposed for localized therapy of chemo- and radiotherapy resistant glioblastomas. We demonstrate an effective procedure to optimize glioblastoma therapy based on the use of genetically modified hAMSCs and in vivo non invasive monitoring of tumor and therapeutic cells. Glioblastoma U87 cells expressing Photinus pyralis luciferase (Pluc) were implanted in combination with hAMSCs expressing a trifunctional Renilla reniformis luciferase-red fluorescent protein-thymidine kinase reporter in the brains of SCID mice that were subsequently treated with ganciclovir (GCV). The resulting optimized therapy was effective and monitoring of tumor cells by bioluminescence imaging (BLI) showed that after 49 days GCV treatment reduced significantly the hAMSC treated tumors; by a factor of 10(4) relative to controls. Using a Pluc reporter regulated by an endothelial specific promoter and in vivo BLI to image hAMSC differentiation we gained insight on the therapeutic mechanism. Implanted hAMSCs homed to tumor vessels, where they differentiated to endothelial cells. We propose that the tumor killing efficiency of genetically modified hAMSCs results from their association with the tumor vascular system and should be useful vehicles to deliver localized therapy to glioblastoma surgical borders following tumor resection.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0035148

    View details for Web of Science ID 000305347400033

    View details for PubMedID 22529983

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3328467

  • Pilot clinical trials of FSPG (BAY 94-9392): An 18F-labeled glutamate derivative for PET imaging of system xCactivity in tumors Baek, S., Mittra, E., Cho, C., Gong, G., Oh, S., Mosci, C., Kumar, M., Chin, F. T., Fels, L. M., Stephens, A. W., Koglin, N., Mueller, A., Dinkelborg, L. M., Moon, D., Gambhir, S. S. AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH. 2012
  • Correlating circulating tumor cells with F-18-FDG positron emission tomography (PET) uptake in patients with treatment naive non-small cell lung cancer: A pilot study Kuhn, P., Keu, K., Nair, V. S., Luttgen, M., Maestas, S., Bethel, K., Souder, K., Vasanawala, M., Kuschner, W., Iagaru, A. H., Hoh, C., Nieva, J., Bazhenova, L., Gambhir, S. S. AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH. 2012
  • Pilot clinical trials of FSPG (BAY 94-9392): An 18F-labeled glutamate derivative for PET imaging of system xC-activity in tumors Baek, S., Mittra, E., Choi, C., Gong, G., Oh, S., Mosci, C., Kumar, M., Chin, F. T., Fels, L. M., Stephens, A. W., Koglin, N., Mueller, A., Dinkelborg, L. M., Moon, D., Gambhir, S. S. AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH. 2012
  • A novel rotational Raman imaging device for early cancer detection Garai, E., Zavaleta, C., Sensarn, S., Mandella, M., Gambhir, S. S., Contag, C. H. AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH. 2012
  • Early detection of pancreatic cancer in transgenic mice with ultrasonic molecular imaging and VEGFR2-targeted microbubbles Pysz, M. A., Seeley, E. S., Foygel, K., Gambhir, S. S., Tian, L., Brentnall, T. A., Willmann, J. K. AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH. 2012
  • A MOLECULAR IMAGING PRIMER: MODALITIES, IMAGING AGENTS, AND APPLICATIONS PHYSIOLOGICAL REVIEWS James, M. L., Gambhir, S. S. 2012; 92 (2): 897-965

    Abstract

    Molecular imaging is revolutionizing the way we study the inner workings of the human body, diagnose diseases, approach drug design, and assess therapies. The field as a whole is making possible the visualization of complex biochemical processes involved in normal physiology and disease states, in real time, in living cells, tissues, and intact subjects. In this review, we focus specifically on molecular imaging of intact living subjects. We provide a basic primer for those who are new to molecular imaging, and a resource for those involved in the field. We begin by describing classical molecular imaging techniques together with their key strengths and limitations, after which we introduce some of the latest emerging imaging modalities. We provide an overview of the main classes of molecular imaging agents (i.e., small molecules, peptides, aptamers, engineered proteins, and nanoparticles) and cite examples of how molecular imaging is being applied in oncology, neuroscience, cardiology, gene therapy, cell tracking, and theranostics (therapy combined with diagnostics). A step-by-step guide to answering biological and/or clinical questions using the tools of molecular imaging is also provided. We conclude by discussing the grand challenges of the field, its future directions, and enormous potential for further impacting how we approach research and medicine.

    View details for DOI 10.1152/physrev.00049.2010

    View details for Web of Science ID 000306562500009

    View details for PubMedID 22535898

  • Prospective Evaluation of Tc-99m MDP Scintigraphy, F-18 NaF PET/CT, and F-18 FDG PET/CT for Detection of Skeletal Metastases MOLECULAR IMAGING AND BIOLOGY Iagaru, A., Mittra, E., Dick, D. W., Gambhir, S. S. 2012; 14 (2): 252-259

    Abstract

    Technetium (Tc) methylene diphosphonate (MDP) has been the standard method for bone scintigraphy for three decades. (18)F sodium fluoride ((18)F NaF) positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) has better resolution and is considered superior. The role of 2-deoxy-2-[(18)F]fluoro-D-glucose ((18)F FDG) PET/CT is proven in a variety of cancers, for which it has changed the practice of oncology. There are few prospective studies comparing these three methods of detection of skeletal metastases. Thus, we were prompted to initiate this prospective pilot trial.This is a prospective study (Sep 2007-Dec 2010) of 52 patients with proven malignancy referred for evaluation of skeletal metastases. There were 37 men and 15 women, 19-84 years old (average, 55.6 ± 15.9). Technetium-99m ((99m)Tc) MDP bone scintigraphy, (18)F NaF PET/CT, and (18)F FDG PET/CT were subsequently performed within 1 month.Skeletal lesions were detected by (99m)Tc MDP bone scintigraphy in 22 of 52 patients, by (18)F NaF PET/CT in 24 of 52 patients, and by (18)F FDG PET/CT in 16 of 52 patients. The image quality and evaluation of extent of disease were superior by (18)F NaF PET/CT over (99m)Tc MDP scintigraphy in all 22 patients with skeletal lesions on both scans and over (18)F FDG PET/CT in 11 of 16 patients with skeletal metastases on (18)F FDG PET/CT. In two patients, (18)F NaF PET/CT showed skeletal metastases not seen on either of the other two scans. Extraskeletal lesions were identified by (18)F FDG PET/CT in 28 of 52 subjects.Our prospective pilot-phase trial demonstrates superior image quality and evaluation of skeletal disease extent with (18)F NaF PET/CT over (99m)Tc MDP scintigraphy and (18)F FDG PET/CT. At the same time, (18)F FDG PET detects extraskeletal disease that can significantly change disease management. As such, a combination of (18)F FDG PET/CT and (18)F NaF PET/CT may be necessary for cancer detection. Additional evaluation with larger cohorts is required to confirm these preliminary findings.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11307-011-0486-2

    View details for Web of Science ID 000301584100013

    View details for PubMedID 21479710

  • Use of Cu-64-labeled Fibronectin Domain with EGFR-Overexpressing Tumor Xenograft: Molecular Imaging RADIOLOGY Hackel, B. J., Kimura, R. H., Gambhir, S. S. 2012; 263 (1): 179-188

    Abstract

    To assess the ability of an engineered epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-binding fibronectin domain to serve as a positron emission tomographic (PET) probe for molecular imaging of EGFR in a xenograft mouse model.An EGFR-binding fibronectin domain (fibronectin abbreviated to Fn when bound) was site-specifically labeled with copper 64 ((64)Cu) (8 MBq/nmol). Copper 64-Fn binding was tested in cell cultures with varying EGFR expression. Stability in human and mouse serum was measured in vitro. Animal experiments were approved by the Stanford University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. Copper 64-Fn (approximately 2 MBq) was used for PET in mice (n = 5) bearing EGFR-overexpressing xenografted tumors (approximately 5-10 mm in diameter). Results of tomography were compared with those of ex vivo gamma counting of dissected tissues. Statistical analysis was performed with t tests and adjustment for multiple comparisons.Copper 64-Fn exhibited EGFR-dependent binding to multiple cell lines in culture. The tracer was stable for 24 hours in human and mouse serum at 37°C. The tracer exhibited good tumor localization (3.4% injected dose [ID]/g ± 1.0 [standard deviation] at 1 hour), retention (2.7% ID/g ± 0.6 at 24 hours), and specificity (8.6 ± 3.0 tumor-to-muscle ratio, 8.9 ± 4.7 tumor-to-blood ratio at 1 hour). Specific targeting was verified with low localization to low-expressing MDA-MB-435 tumors (0.7% ID/g ± 0.8 at 1 hour, P = .018); specificity was further demonstrated, as a nonbinding control fibronectin had low localization to EGFR-overexpressing xenografts (0.8% ID/g ± 0.2 at 1 hour, P = .013).The stability, low background, and target-specific tumor uptake and retention of the engineered fibronectin domain make it a promising EGFR molecular imaging agent. More broadly, it validates the fibronectin domain as a potential scaffold for a generation of various molecular imaging agents.

    View details for DOI 10.1148/radiol.12111504

    View details for Web of Science ID 000302642700018

    View details for PubMedID 22344401

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3309798

  • Fiber-based system for imaging tumor margins with Cerenkov Luminescence Liu, H., Carpenter, C. M., Jiang, H., Pratx, G., Sun, C., Buchin, M. P., Gambhir, S. S., Xing, L., Cheng, Z. AMER CHEMICAL SOC. 2012
  • Immunomodulation of Curcumin on Adoptive Therapy with T Cell Functional Imaging in Mice CANCER PREVENTION RESEARCH Chang, Y., Chuang, H., Hsu, C., Liu, R., Gambhir, S. S., Hwang, J. 2012; 5 (3): 444-452

    Abstract

    Adoptive T-cell therapy involves the ex vivo expansion and subsequent transfusion of tumor-specific T lymphocytes to eliminate tumors. Using immune modulators to block immunosuppressive factors in the tumor microenvironment has emerged as a promising strategy to enhance T-cell-mediated tumor regression. Curcumin, a major component of turmeric, has been shown to possess antitumor and immunomodulatory effects by regulating a diverse range of molecular targets. Thus, we hypothesize that these beneficial effects of curcumin may improve the therapeutic efficacy of adoptive therapy. Here, we have shown that curcumin enhances cytotoxicity of CD8(+) T cells toward tumors via alteration of the tumor microenvironment when combined with adoptive therapy. We found that T-cell accumulation and function were increased in combined treatment due to the blockade of different immunosuppressors, including TGF-β, indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase, and regulatory T cells. Furthermore, bioluminescent imaging with a granzyme B promoter-conjugated optical reporter also reflected improved cytotoxicity of antigen-specific CD8(+) T cells in tumor-bearing mice during treatment. These findings suggest that combination of multitargeting drugs, such as curcumin, with adoptive therapy may have potential for clinical application. In addition, using a granzyme B-specific imaging reporter to assess T-cell function may also be applied for the development and therapeutic evaluation of new immunotherapy in preclinical studies.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-11-0308

    View details for Web of Science ID 000300987800011

    View details for PubMedID 22135043

  • Placental sFlt-1 Production Is Essential for Normal Pregnancy: Relevance to the Mechanisms of Preeclampsia. Nayak, N. R., Ambati, B. K., Dhal, S., Druzin, M. L., Gambhir, S. S., Fan, X. SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC. 2012: 86A
  • Optical Imaging with Her2-Targeted Affibody Molecules Can Monitor Hsp90 Treatment Response in a Breast Cancer Xenograft Mouse Model CLINICAL CANCER RESEARCH van de Ven, S. M., Elias, S. G., Chan, C. T., Miao, Z., Cheng, Z., De, A., Gambhir, S. S. 2012; 18 (4): 1073-1081

    Abstract

    To determine whether optical imaging can be used for in vivo therapy response monitoring as an alternative to radionuclide techniques. For this, we evaluated the known Her2 response to 17-dimethylaminoethylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin hydrochloride (17-DMAG) treatment, an Hsp90 inhibitor.After in vitro 17-DMAG treatment response evaluation of MCF7 parental cells and 2 HER2-transfected clones (clone A medium, B high Her2 expression), we established human breast cancer xenografts in nude mice (only parental and clone B) for in vivo evaluation. Mice received 120 mg/kg of 17-DMAG in 4 doses at 12-hour intervals intraperitonially (n = 14) or PBS as carrier control (n = 9). Optical images were obtained both pretreatment (day 0) and posttreatment (day 3, 6, and 9), always 5 hours postinjection of 500 pmol of anti-Her2 Affibody-AlexaFluor680 via tail vein (with preinjection background subtraction). Days 3 and 9 in vivo optical imaging signal was further correlated with ex vivo Her2 levels by Western blot after sacrifice.Her2 expression decreased with 17-DMAG dose in vitro. In vivo optical imaging signal was reduced by 22.5% in clone B (P = 0.003) and by 9% in MCF7 parental tumors (P = 0.23) 3 days after 17-DMAG treatment; optical imaging signal recovered in both tumor types at days 6 to 9. In the carrier group, no signal reduction was observed. Pearson correlation of in vivo optical imaging signal with ex vivo Her2 levels ranged from 0.73 to 0.89.Optical imaging with an affibody can be used to noninvasively monitor changes in Her2 expression in vivo as a response to treatment with an Hsp90 inhibitor, with results similar to response measurements in positron emission tomography imaging studies.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-10-3213

    View details for Web of Science ID 000300628100017

    View details for PubMedID 22235098

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3288571

  • First Experience with Clinical-Grade [F-18]FPP(RGD)(2): An Automated Multi-step Radiosynthesis for Clinical PET Studies MOLECULAR IMAGING AND BIOLOGY Chin, F. T., Shen, B., Liu, S., Berganos, R. A., Chang, E., Mittra, E., Chen, X., Gambhir, S. S. 2012; 14 (1): 88-95

    Abstract

    A reliable and routine process to introduce a new ¹⁸F-labeled dimeric RGD-peptide tracer ([¹⁸F]FPP(RGD₂) for noninvasive imaging of α(v)β₃ expression in tumors needed to be developed so the tracer could be evaluated for the first time in man. Clinical-grade [¹⁸F]FPP(RGD)₂ was screened in mouse prior to our first pilot study in human.[¹⁸F]FPP(RGD)₂ was synthesized by coupling 4-nitrophenyl-2-[¹⁸F]fluoropropionate ([¹⁸F]NPE) with the dimeric RGD-peptide (PEG₃-c(RGDyK)₂). Imaging studies with [¹⁸F]FPP(RGD)₂ in normal mice and a healthy human volunteer were carried out using small animal and clinical PET scanners, respectively.Through optimization of each radiosynthetic step, [¹⁸F]FPP(RGD)₂ was obtained with RCYs of 16.9 ± 2.7% (n = 8, EOB) and specific radioactivity of 114 ± 72 GBq/μmol (3.08 ± 1.95 Ci/μmol; n = 8, EOB) after 170 min of radiosynthesis. In our mouse studies, high radioactivity uptake was only observed in the kidneys and bladder with the clinical-grade tracer. Favorable [¹⁸F]FPP(RGD)₂ biodistribution in human studies, with low background signal in the head, neck, and thorax, showed the potential applications of this RGD-peptide tracer for detecting and monitoring tumor growth and metastasis.A reliable, routine, and automated radiosynthesis of clinical-grade [¹⁸F]FPP(RGD)₂ was established. PET imaging in a healthy human volunteer illustrates that [¹⁸F]FPP(RGD)₂ possesses desirable pharmacokinetic properties for clinical noninvasive imaging of α(v)β₃ expression. Further imaging studies using [¹⁸F]FPP(RGD)₂ in patient volunteers are now under active investigation.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11307-011-0477-3

    View details for Web of Science ID 000301583900012

    View details for PubMedID 21400112

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3617483

  • Prospective comparison of combined F-18-FDG and F-18-NaF PET/CT vs. F-18-FDG PET/CT imaging for detection of malignancy EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE AND MOLECULAR IMAGING Lin, F. I., Rao, J. E., Mittra, E. S., Nallapareddy, K., Chengapa, A., Dick, D. W., Gambhir, S. S., Iagaru, A. 2012; 39 (2): 262-270

    Abstract

    Typically, (18)F-FDG PET/CT and (18)F-NaF PET/CT scans are done as two separate studies on different days to allow sufficient time for the radiopharmaceutical from the first study to decay. This is inconvenient for the patients and exposes them to two doses of radiation from the CT component of the examinations. In the current study, we compared the clinical usefulness of a combined (18)F-FDG/(18)F-NaF PET/CT scan with that of a separate (18)F-FDG-only PET/CT scan.There were 62 patients enrolled in this prospective trial. All had both an (18)F-FDG-alone PET/CT scan and a combined (18)F-FDG/(18)F-NaF PET/CT scan. Of the 62 patients, 53 (85%) received simultaneous tracer injections, while 9 (15%) received (18)F-NaF subsequent to the initial (18)F-FDG dose (average delay 2.2 h). Images were independently reviewed for PET findings by two Board-Certified nuclear medicine physicians, with discrepancies resolved by a third reader. Interpreters were instructed to only report findings that were concerning for malignancy. Reading the (18)F-FDG-only scan first for half of the patients controlled for order bias.In 15 of the 62 patients (24%) neither the (18)F-FDG-only PET/CT scan nor the combined (18)F-FDG/(18)F-NaF PET/CT scan identified malignancy. In the remaining 47 patients who had PET findings of malignancy, a greater number of lesions were detected in 16 of 47 patients (34%) using the combined (18)F-FDG/(18)F-NaF PET/CT scan compared to the (18)F-FDG-only PET/CT scan. In 2 of these 47 patients (4%), the (18)F-FDG-only scan demonstrated soft tissue lesions that were not prospectively identified on the combined study. In 29 of these 47 patients (62%), the combined scan detected an equal number of lesions compared to the (18)F-FDG-only scan. Overall, 60 of all the 62 patients (97%) showed an equal or greater number of lesions on the combined scan than on the (18)F-FDG-only scan.The current study demonstrated that (18)F-FDG and (18)F-NaF can be combined in a single PET/CT scan by administering the two radiopharmaceuticals simultaneously or in sequence on the same day. In addition to patient convenience and reduced radiation exposure from the CT component, the combined (18)F-FDG/(18)F-NaF PET/CT scan appeared to increase the sensitivity for detection of osseous lesions compared to the (18)F-FDG-only PET/CT scan in the studied population.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s00259-011-1971-1

    View details for Web of Science ID 000302286600009

    View details for PubMedID 22065013

  • Proof-of-Concept Study of Monitoring Cancer Drug Therapy with Cerenkov Luminescence Imaging JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE Xu, Y., Chang, E., Liu, H., Jiang, H., Gambhir, S. S., Cheng, Z. 2012; 53 (2): 312-317

    Abstract

    Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI) has emerged as a less expensive, easier-to-use, and higher-throughput alternative to other nuclear imaging modalities such as PET. It is expected that CLI will find many applications in biomedical research such as cancer detection, probe development, drug screening, and therapy monitoring. In this study, we explored the possibility of using CLI to monitor drug efficacy by comparisons against PET. To assess the performance of both modalities in therapy monitoring, 2 murine tumor models (large cell lung cancer cell line H460 and prostate cancer cell line PC3) were given bevacizumab versus vehicle treatments. Two common radiotracers, 3'-deoxy-3'-(18)F-fluorothymidine ((18)F-FLT) and (18)F-FDG, were used to monitor bevacizumab treatment efficacy.One group of mice (n = 6) was implanted with H460 xenografts bilaterally in the shoulder region, divided into treatment and control groups (n = 3 each), injected with (18)F-FLT, and imaged with PET immediately followed by CLI. The other group of mice (n = 6) was implanted with PC3 xenografts in the same locations, divided into treatment and control groups (n = 3 each), injected with (18)F-FDG, and imaged by the same modalities. Bevacizumab treatment was performed by 2 injections of 20 mg/kg at days 0 and 2.On (18)F-FLT scans, both CLI and PET revealed significantly decreased signals from H460 xenografts in treated mice from pretreatment to day 3. Moderately increased to unchanged signals were observed in untreated mice. On (18)F-FDG scans, both CLI and PET showed relatively unchanged signals from PC3 tumors in both treated and control groups. Quantifications of tumor signals of Cerenkov luminescence and PET images showed that the 2 modalities had excellent correlations (R(2) > 0.88 across all study groups).CLI and PET exhibit excellent correlations across different tumor xenografts and radiotracers. This is the first study, to our knowledge, demonstrating the use of CLI for monitoring cancer treatment. The findings warrant further exploration and optimization of CLI as an alternative to PET in preclinical therapeutic monitoring and drug screening.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.111.094623

    View details for Web of Science ID 000300032800024

    View details for PubMedID 22241909

  • Pharmacokinetically Stabilized Cystine Knot Peptides That Bind Alpha-v-Beta-6 Integrin with Single-Digit Nanomolar Affinities for Detection of Pancreatic Cancer CLINICAL CANCER RESEARCH Kimura, R. H., Teed, R., Hackel, B. J., Pysz, M. A., Chuang, C. Z., Sathirachinda, A., Willmann, J. K., Gambhir, S. S. 2012; 18 (3): 839-849

    Abstract

    Detection of pancreatic cancer remains a high priority and effective diagnostic tools are needed for clinical applications. Many cancer cells overexpress integrin α(v)β(6), a cell surface receptor being evaluated as a novel clinical biomarker.To validate this molecular target, several highly stable cystine knot peptides were engineered by directed evolution to bind specifically and with high affinity (3-6 nmol/L) to integrin α(v)β(6). The binders do not cross-react with related integrin α(v)β(5), integrin α(5)β(1), or tumor-angiogenesis-associated integrin, α(v)β(3).Positron emission tomography showed that these disulfide-stabilized peptides rapidly accumulate at tumors expressing integrin α(v)β(6). Clinically relevant tumor-to-muscle ratios of 7.7 ± 2.4 to 11.3 ± 3.0 were achieved within 1 hour after radiotracer injection. Minimization of off-target dosing was achieved by reformatting α(v)β(6)-binding activities across various natural and pharmacokinetically stabilized cystine knot scaffolds with different amino acid content. We show that the primary sequence of a peptide scaffold directs its pharmacokinetics. Scaffolds with high arginine or glutamic acid content suffered high renal retention of more than 75% injected dose per gram (%ID/g). Substitution of these amino acids with renally cleared amino acids, notably serine, led to significant decreases in renal accumulation of less than 20%ID/g 1 hour postinjection (P < 0.05, n = 3).We have engineered highly stable cystine knot peptides with potent and specific integrin α(v)β(6)-binding activities for cancer detection. Pharmacokinetic engineering of scaffold primary sequence led to significant decreases in off-target radiotracer accumulation. Optimization of binding affinity, specificity, stability, and pharmacokinetics will facilitate translation of cystine knots for cancer molecular imaging.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-11-1116

    View details for Web of Science ID 000300115000027

    View details for PubMedID 22173551

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3271184

  • Development of a Novel Long-Lived ImmunoPET Tracer for Monitoring Lymphoma Therapy in a Humanized Transgenic Mouse Model. Bioconjugate chemistry Natarajan, A., Habte, F., Gambhir, S. S. 2012

    Abstract

    Positron emission tomography (PET) is an attractive imaging tool to localize and quantify tracer biodistribution. ImmunoPET with an intact mAb typically requires two to four days to achieve optimized tumor-to-normal ratios. Thus, a positron emitter with a half-life of two to four days such as zirconium-89 [(89)Zr] (t(1/2): 78.4 h) is ideal. We have developed an antibody-based, long-lived immunoPET tracer (89)Zr-Desferrioxamine-p-SCN (Df-Bz-NCS)-rituximab (Zr-iPET) to image tumor for longer durations in a humanized CD20-expressing transgenic mouse model. To optimize the radiolabeling efficiency of (89)Zr with Df-Bz-rituximab, multiple radiolabelings were performed. Radiochemical yield, purity, immunoreactivity, and stability assays were carried out to characterize the Zr-iPET for chemical and biological integrity. This tracer was used to image transgenic mice that express the human CD20 on their B cells (huCD20TM). Each huCD20TM mouse received a 7.4 MBq/dose. One group (n = 3) received a 2 mg/kg predose (blocking) of cold rituximab 2 h prior to (89)Zr-iPET; the other group (n = 3) had no predose (nonblocking). Small animal PET/CT was used to image mice at 1, 4, 24, 48, 72, and 120 h. Quality assurance of the (89)Zr-iPET demonstrated NCS-Bz-Df: antibody ratio (c/a: 1.5 ± 0.31), specific activity (0.44-1.64 TBq/mol), radiochemical yield (>70%), and purity (>98%). The Zr-iPET immunoreactivity was >80%. At 120 h, Zr-iPET uptake (% ID/g) as mean ± STD for blocking and nonblocking groups in spleen was 3.2 ± 0.1% and 83.3 ± 2.0% (p value <0.0013.). Liver uptake was 1.32 ± 0.05% and 0.61 ± 0.001% (p value <0.0128) for blocking and nonblocking, respectively. The small animal PET/CT image shows the spleen specific uptake of Zr-iPET in mice at 120 h after tracer injection. Compared to the liver, the spleen specific uptake of Zr-iPET is very high due to the expression of huCD20. We optimized the radiolabeling efficiency of (89)Zr with Df-Bz-rituximab. These radioimmunoconjugate lots were stable up to 5 days in serum in vitro. The present study showed that (89)Zr is well-suited for mAbs to image cancer over an extended period of time (up to 5 days).

    View details for DOI 10.1021/bc300039r

    View details for PubMedID 22621257

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3459285

  • Imaging Techniques in Drug Development and Clinical Practice DRUG DELIVERY IN ONCOLOGY: FROM BASIC RESEARCH TO CANCER THERAPY, VOLS 1-3 Chang, J. C., Gambhir, S. S., Willmann, J. K., Kratz, F., Senter, P., Steinhagen, H. 2012: 189–224
  • Photoacoustic Imaging Using a 9F MicroLinear CMUT ICE Catheter IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS) Nikoozadeh, A., Choe, J. W., Kothapalli, S., Moini, A., Sanjani, S. S., Kamaya, A., Oralkan, O., Gambhir, S. S., Khuri-Yakub, P. T. IEEE. 2012: 24–27
  • Response to Intra-Arterial Oncolytic Virotherapy with the Herpes Virus NV1020 Evaluated by [F-18]Fluorodeoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography and Computed Tomography HUMAN GENE THERAPY Sze, D. Y., Iagaru, A. H., Gambhir, S. S., de Haan, H. A., Reid, T. R. 2012; 23 (1): 91-97

    Abstract

    Oncolytic virotherapy poses unique challenges to the evaluation of tumor response. We hypothesized that the addition of [(18)F]fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) to standard computed tomography (CT) evaluation would improve diagnostic and prognostic power of the measurement of tumor response to oncolytic virotherapy. A phase I/II trial was conducted to investigate treatment of hepatic metastases from colorectal carcinoma using intra-arterial administration of the oncolytic herpes virus NV1020. Both contrast-enhanced CT and FDG PET were obtained on each patient at each time point. Quantitative FDG PET and CT responses were correlated with each other and with clinical outcome metrics. A majority of patients showed initial post-viral infusion increases in tumor size (69%) or in standardized uptake value (SUV) (80%) large enough to qualify as progressive disease. Most showed subsequent decreases in tumor size (64%) or SUV (83%) enough to be reclassified as partial response or stable disease. Late PET and CT imaging results correlated well with each other and with clinical outcomes, but results from early in the treatment scheme did not correlate with each other, with later results, or with clinical outcomes. The addition of FDG PET to the evaluation of tumor response to the oncolytic virus NV1020 did not provide useful diagnostic or prognostic data. More sophisticated molecular imaging will need to be developed to monitor the effects of this novel class of antineoplastic agents.

    View details for DOI 10.1089/hum.2011.141

    View details for Web of Science ID 000299604000011

    View details for PubMedID 21895536

  • A Novel Clinically Translatable Fluorescent Nanoparticle for Targeted Molecular Imaging of Tumors in Living Subjects NANO LETTERS Gao, J., Chen, K., Luong, R., Bouley, D. M., Mao, H., Qiao, T., Gambhir, S. S., Cheng, Z. 2012; 12 (1): 281-286

    Abstract

    The use of quantum dots (QDs) in biomedical research has grown tremendously, yet successful examples of clinical applications are absent due to many clinical concerns. Here, we report on a new type of stable and biocompatible dendron-coated InP/ZnS core/shell QD as a clinically translatable nanoprobe for molecular imaging applications. The QDs (QD710-Dendron) were demonstrated to hold several significant features: near-infrared (NIR) emission, high stability in biological media, suitable size with possible renal clearance, and ability of extravasation. More importantly, a pilot mouse toxicity study confirmed that QD710-Dendron lacks significant toxicity at the doses tested. The acute tumor uptake of QD710-Dendron resulted in good contrast from the surrounding nontumorous tissues, indicating the possibility of passive targeting of the QDs. The highly specific targeting of QD710-Dendron-RGD(2) to integrin α(v)β(3)-positive tumor cells resulted in high tumor uptake and long retention of the nanoprobe at tumor sites. In summary, QD710-Dendron and RGD-modified nanoparticles demonstrate small size, high stability, biocompatibility, favorable in vivo pharmacokinetics, and successful tumor imaging properties. These features satisfy the requirements for clinical translation and should promote efforts to further investigate the possibility of using QD710-Dendron-based nanoprobes in the clinical setting in the near future.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/nl203526f

    View details for Web of Science ID 000298943100049

    View details for PubMedID 22172022

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3256290

  • Raman's "Effect" on Molecular Imaging JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE Zavaleta, C. L., Kircher, M. F., Gambhir, S. S. 2011; 52 (12): 1839-1844

    Abstract

    Raman spectroscopy is an optical technique that offers unsurpassed sensitivity and multiplexing capabilities to the field of molecular imaging. In the past, Raman spectroscopy had predominantly been used as an analytic tool for routine chemical analysis, but more recently, researchers have been able to harness its unique properties for imaging and spectral analysis of molecular interactions in cell populations and preclinical animal models. Additionally, researchers have already begun to translate this optical technique into a novel clinical diagnostic tool using various endoscopic strategies.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.111.087775

    View details for Web of Science ID 000298162500016

    View details for PubMedID 21868625

  • In Vitro and in Vivo Molecular Imaging of Estrogen Receptor alpha and beta Homo- and Heterodimerization: Exploration of New Modes of Receptor Regulation MOLECULAR ENDOCRINOLOGY Paulmurugan, R., Tamrazi, A., Massoud, T. F., Katzenellenbogen, J. A., Gambhir, S. S. 2011; 25 (12): 2029-2040

    Abstract

    Estrogen receptor (ER) biology reflects the actions of estrogens through the two receptors, ERα and ERβ, although little is known regarding the preference for formation of ER homo- vs. heterodimers, and how this is affected by the level of ligand occupancy and preferential ligand affinity for one of the ER subtypes. In this report, we use a split optical reporter-protein complementation system to demonstrate the physical interaction between ERα and ERβ in response to different ER ligands in cells and, for the first time, by in vivo imaging in living animals. The genetically encoded reporter vectors constructed with the ligand-binding domains of ERα and ERβ, fused to split firefly or Renilla luciferase (Fluc or hRluc) fragments, were used for this study. This molecular proteomic technique was used to detect ERα/ERα or ERβ/ERβ homodimerization, or ERα/ERβ heterodimerization induced by ER subtype-selective and nonselective ligands, and selective ER modulators (SERM), as well as in dimers in which one mutant monomer was unable to bind estradiol. The SERM-bound ERα and ERβ form the strongest dimers, and subtype-preferential homodimerization was seen with ERα-selective ligands (methyl piperidino pyrazole/propyl pyrazole triol) and the ERβ-selective ligands (diarylpropionitrile/tetrahydrochrysene/genistein). We also demonstrated that a single ligand-bound monomer can form homo- or heterodimers with an apo-monomer. Xenografts of human embryonic kidney 293T cells imaged in living mice by bioluminescence showed real-time ligand induction of ERα/ERβ heterodimerization and reversal of dimerization upon ligand withdrawal. The results from this study demonstrate the value of the split luciferase-based complementation system for studying ER-subtype interactions in cells and for evaluating them in living animals by noninvasive imaging. They also probe what combinations of ERα and ERβ dimers might be the mediators of the effects of different types of ER ligands given at different doses.

    View details for DOI 10.1210/me.2011-1145

    View details for Web of Science ID 000298055800005

    View details for PubMedID 22052998

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3231840

  • Non-invasive Bioluminescence Imaging of Myoblast-Mediated Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1 Alpha Gene Transfer MOLECULAR IMAGING AND BIOLOGY Gheysens, O., Chen, I. Y., Rodriguez-Porcel, M., Chan, C., Rasooly, J., Vaerenberg, C., Paulmurugan, R., Willmann, J. K., Deroose, C., Wu, J., Gambhir, S. S. 2011; 13 (6): 1124-1132

    Abstract

    We tested a novel imaging strategy, in which both the survival of transplanted myoblasts and their therapeutic transgene expression, a recombinant hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α-VP2), can be monitored using firefly luciferase (fluc) and Renilla luciferase (hrl) bioluminescence reporter genes, respectively.The plasmid pUbi-hrl-pUbi-HIF-1α-VP2, which expresses both hrl and HIF-1α-VP2 using two ubiquitin promoters, was characterized in vitro. C2c12 myoblasts stably expressing fluc and transiently transfected with pUbi-hrl-pUbi-HIF-1α-VP2 were injected into the mouse hindlimb. Both hrl and fluc expression were monitored using bioluminescence imaging (BLI).Strong correlations existed between the expression of hRL and each of HIF-1α-VP2, VEGF, and PlGF (r(2) > 0.83, r(2) > 0.82, and r(2) > 0.97, respectively). In vivo, both transplanted cells and HIF-1α-VP2 transgene expression were successfully imaged using BLI.An objective evaluation of myoblast-mediated gene transfer in living mice can be performed by monitoring both the survival and the transgene expression of transplanted myoblasts using the techniques developed herein.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11307-011-0471-9

    View details for Web of Science ID 000296794400009

    View details for PubMedID 21267661

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4657136

  • Non-Invasive Imaging of Cysteine Cathepsin Activity in Solid Tumors Using a Cu-64-Labeled Activity-Based Probe PLOS ONE Ren, G., Blum, G., Verdoes, M., Liu, H., Syed, S., Edgington, L. E., Gheysens, O., Miao, Z., Jiang, H., Gambhir, S. S., Bogyo, M., Cheng, Z. 2011; 6 (11)

    Abstract

    The papain family of cysteine cathepsins are actively involved in multiple stages of tumorigenesis. Because elevated cathepsin activity can be found in many types of human cancers, they are promising biomarkers that can be used to target radiological contrast agents for tumor detection. However, currently there are no radiological imaging agents available for these important molecular targets. We report here the development of positron emission tomography (PET) radionuclide-labeled probes that target the cysteine cathepsins by formation of an enzyme activity-dependent bond with the active site cysteine. These probes contain an acyloxymethyl ketone (AOMK) functional group that irreversibly labels the active site cysteine of papain family proteases attached to a 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetraacetic acid (DOTA) tag for labeling with (64)Cu for PET imaging studies. We performed biodistribution and microPET imaging studies in nude mice bearing subcutaneous tumors expressing various levels of cysteine cathepsin activity and found that the extent of probe uptake by tumors correlated with overall protease activity as measured by biochemical methods. Furthermore, probe signals could be reduced by pre-treatment with a general cathepsin inhibitor. We also found that inclusion of a Cy5 tag on the probe increased tumor uptake relative to probes lacking this fluorogenic dye. Overall, these results demonstrate that small molecule activity-based probes carrying radio-tracers can be used to image protease activity in living subjects.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0028029

    View details for Web of Science ID 000297789900039

    View details for PubMedID 22132198

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3221694

  • Mathematical Model Identifies Blood Biomarker-Based Early Cancer Detection Strategies and Limitations SCIENCE TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE Hori, S. S., Gambhir, S. S. 2011; 3 (109)

    Abstract

    Most clinical blood biomarkers lack the necessary sensitivity and specificity to reliably detect cancer at an early stage, when it is best treatable. It is not yet clear how early a clinical blood assay can be used to detect cancer or how biomarker-based strategies can be improved to enable earlier detection of smaller tumors. To address these issues, we developed a mathematical model describing dynamic plasma biomarker kinetics in relation to the growth of a tumor, beginning with a single cancer cell. To exemplify a realistic scenario in which biomarker is shed by both cancerous and noncancerous cells, we primed the model on ovarian tumor growth and CA125 shedding data, for which tumor growth parameters and shedding rates are readily available in published literature. We found that a tumor could grow unnoticed for more than 10.1 years and reach a volume of about π/6(25.36 mm)(3), corresponding to a spherical diameter of about 25.36 mm, before becoming detectable by current clinical blood assays. Model parameters were perturbed over log orders of magnitude to quantify ideal shedding rates and identify other blood-based strategies required for early submillimeter tumor detectability. The detection times we estimated are consistent with recently published tumor progression time lines based on clinical genomic sequencing data for several cancers. Here, we rigorously showed that shedding rates of current clinical blood biomarkers are likely 10(4)-fold too low to enable detection of a developing tumor within the first decade of tumor growth. The model presented here can be extended to virtually any solid cancer and associated biomarkers.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/scitranslmed.3003110

    View details for Web of Science ID 000297218300004

    View details for PubMedID 22089452

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3423335

  • GLUT 5 Is Not Over-Expressed in Breast Cancer Cells and Patient Breast Cancer Tissues PLOS ONE Gowrishankar, G., Zitzmann-Kolbe, S., Junutula, A., Reeves, R., Levi, J., Srinivasan, A., Bruus-Jensen, K., Cyr, J., Dinkelborg, L., Gambhir, S. S. 2011; 6 (11)

    Abstract

    F18 2-Fluoro 2-deoxyglucose (FDG) has been the gold standard in positron emission tomography (PET) oncologic imaging since its introduction into the clinics several years ago. Seeking to complement FDG in the diagnosis of breast cancer using radio labeled fructose based analogs, we investigated the expression of the chief fructose transporter-GLUT 5 in breast cancer cells and human tissues. Our results indicate that GLUT 5 is not over-expressed in breast cancer tissues as assessed by an extensive immunohistochemistry study. RT-PCR studies showed that the GLUT 5 mRNA was present at minimal amounts in breast cancer cell lines. Further knocking down the expression of GLUT 5 in breast cancer cells using RNA interference did not affect the fructose uptake in these cell lines. Taken together these results are consistent with GLUT 5 not being essential for fructose uptake in breast cancer cells and tissues.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0026902

    View details for Web of Science ID 000297154900052

    View details for PubMedID 22073218

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3206880

  • A novel F-18-labeled two-helix scaffold protein for PET imaging of HER2-positive tumor EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE AND MOLECULAR IMAGING Miao, Z., Ren, G., Jiang, L., Liu, H., Webster, J. M., Zhang, R., Namavari, M., Gambhir, S. S., Syud, F., Cheng, Z. 2011; 38 (11): 1977-1984

    Abstract

    Two-helix scaffold proteins (~ 5 kDa) against human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2 (HER2) have been discovered in our previous work. In this research we aimed to develop an (18)F-labeled two-helix scaffold protein for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of HER2-positive tumors.An aminooxy-functionalized two-helix peptide (AO-MUT-DS) with high HER2 binding affinity was synthesized through conventional solid phase peptide synthesis. The purified linear peptide was cyclized by I(2) oxidation to form a disulfide bridge. The cyclic peptide was then conjugated with a radiofluorination synthon, 4-(18)F-fluorobenzyl aldehyde ((18)F-FBA), through the aminooxy functional group at the peptide N terminus (30% yield, non-decay corrected). The binding affinities of the peptides were analyzed by Biacore analysis. Cell uptake assay of the resulting PET probe, (18)F-FBO-MUT-DS, was performed at 37°C. (18)F-FBO-MUT-DS with high specific activity (20-32 MBq/nmol, 88-140 μCi/μg, end of synthesis) was injected into mice xenograft model bearing SKOV3 tumor. MicroPET and biodistribution and metabolic stability studies were then conducted.Cell uptake assays showed high and specific cell uptake (~12% applied activity at 1 h) by incubation of (18)F-FBO-MUT-DS with HER2 high-expressing SKOV3 ovarian cancer cells. The affinities (K(D)) of AO-MUT-DS and FBO-MUT-DS as tested by Biacore analysis were 2 and 1 nM, respectively. In vivo small animal PET demonstrated fast tumor targeting, high tumor accumulation, and good tumor to normal tissue contrast of (18)F-FBO-MUT-DS. Biodistribution studies further revealed that the probe had excellent tumor uptake (6.9%ID/g at 1 h post-injection) and was cleared through both liver and kidneys. Co-injection of the probe with 500 μg of HER2 Affibody protein reduced the tumor uptake (6.9 vs 1.8%ID/g, p < 0.05).F-FBO-MUT-DS displays excellent HER2 targeting ability and tumor PET imaging quality. The two-helix scaffold proteins are suitable for development of (18)F-based PET probes.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s00259-011-1879-9

    View details for Web of Science ID 000295680200004

    View details for PubMedID 21761266

  • Noninvasive cell-tracking methods NATURE REVIEWS CLINICAL ONCOLOGY Kircher, M. F., Gambhir, S. S., Grimm, J. 2011; 8 (11): 677-688

    Abstract

    Cell-based therapies, such as adoptive immunotherapy and stem-cell therapy, have received considerable attention as novel therapeutics in oncological research and clinical practice. The development of effective therapeutic strategies using tumor-targeted cells requires the ability to determine in vivo the location, distribution, and long-term viability of the therapeutic cell populations as well as their biological fate with respect to cell activation and differentiation. In conjunction with various noninvasive imaging modalities, cell-labeling methods, such as exogenous labeling or transfection with a reporter gene, allow visualization of labeled cells in vivo in real time, as well as monitoring and quantifying cell accumulation and function. Such cell-tracking methods also have an important role in basic cancer research, where they serve to elucidate novel biological mechanisms. In this Review, we describe the basic principles of cell-tracking methods, explain various approaches to cell tracking, and highlight recent examples for the application of such methods in animals and humans.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nrclinonc.2011.141

    View details for Web of Science ID 000296812500009

    View details for PubMedID 21946842

  • Endothelial Cells Derived From Human iPSCS Increase Capillary Density and Improve Perfusion in a Mouse Model of Peripheral Arterial Disease ARTERIOSCLEROSIS THROMBOSIS AND VASCULAR BIOLOGY Rufaihah, A. J., Huang, N. F., Jame, S., Lee, J. C., Nguyen, H. N., Byers, B., De, A., Okogbaa, J., Rollins, M., Reijo-Pera, R., Gambhir, S. S., Cooke, J. P. 2011; 31 (11): E72-U44

    Abstract

    Stem cell therapy for angiogenesis and vascular regeneration has been investigated using adult or embryonic stem cells. In the present study, we investigated the potential of endothelial cells (ECs) derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) to promote the perfusion of ischemic tissue in a murine model of peripheral arterial disease.Endothelial differentiation was initiated by culturing hiPSCs for 14 days in differentiation media supplemented with BMP-4 and vascular endothelial growth factor. The hiPSC-ECs exhibited endothelial characteristics by forming capillary-like structures in matrigel and incorporating acetylated-LDL. They stained positively for EC markers such as KDR, CD31, CD144, and eNOS. In vitro exposure of hiPSC-ECs to hypoxia resulted in increased expression of various angiogenic related cytokines and growth factors. hiPSC-ECs were stably transduced with a double fusion construct encoded by the ubiquitin promoter, firefly luciferase for bioluminescence imaging and green fluorescence protein for fluorescent detection. The hiPSC-ECs (5×10(5)) were delivered by intramuscular injection into the ischemic hindlimb of SCID mice at day 0 and again on day 7 after femoral artery ligation (n=8). Bioluminescence imaging showed that hiPSC-ECs survived in the ischemic limb for at least 2 weeks. In addition, laser Doppler imaging showed that the ratio of blood perfusion was increased by hiPSC-EC treatment by comparison to the saline-treated group (0.58±0.12 versus 0.44±0.04; P=0.005). The total number of capillaries in the ischemic limb of mice receiving hiPSC-EC injections was greater than those in the saline-treated group (1284±155 versus 797±206 capillaries/mm(2)) (P<0.002).This study is a first step toward development of a regenerative strategy for peripheral arterial disease based on the use of ECs derived from hiPSCs.

    View details for DOI 10.1161/ATVBAHA.111.230938

    View details for Web of Science ID 000296605400001

    View details for PubMedID 21836062

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3210551

  • Theranostic nanomedicine. Accounts of chemical research Chen, X., Gambhir, S. S., Cheon, J. 2011; 44 (10): 841-?

    View details for DOI 10.1021/ar200231d

    View details for PubMedID 22004477

  • Immobilizing Reporters for Molecular Imaging of the Extracellular Microenvironment in Living Animals ACS CHEMICAL BIOLOGY Xia, Z., Xing, Y., Jeon, J., Kim, Y., Gall, J., Dragulescu-Andrasi, A., Gambhir, S. S., Rao, J. 2011; 6 (10): 1117-1126

    Abstract

    We report here an immobilization strategy using a collagen binding protein to deliver and confine synthetic reporters to the extracellular microenvironment in vivo for noninvasively imaging the activity of targets in the microenvironment. We show that the immobilization of reporters on collagens in the local microenvironment is highly efficient and physiologically stable for repetitive, long-term imaging. By using this strategy we successfully developed an immobilized bioluminescent activatable reporter and a dual-modality reporter to map and quantitatively image the activity of extracellular matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) in tumor-bearing mice. The inhibition of MMP activity by chemical inhibitor was also demonstrated in living subjects. We further demonstrated the general applicability of this immobilization strategy by imaging MMP activity at the inflammation site in a mouse model. Our results show that the in vivo immobilization of reporters can be used as a general strategy for probing the local extracellular microenvironment.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/cb200135e

    View details for Web of Science ID 000296208100018

    View details for PubMedID 21830814

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3199358

  • Molecular Imaging with Theranostic Nanoparticles ACCOUNTS OF CHEMICAL RESEARCH Jokerst, J. V., Gambhir, S. S. 2011; 44 (10): 1050-1060

    Abstract

    Nanoparticles (NPs) offer diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities not available with small molecules or microscale tools. As the field of molecular imaging has emerged from the blending of molecular biology with medical imaging, NP imaging is increasingly common for both therapeutic and diagnostic applications. The term theranostic describes technology with concurrent and complementary diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities. Although NPs have been FDA-approved for clinical use as transport vehicles for nearly 15 years, full translation of their theranostic potential is incomplete. However, NPs have shown remarkable success in the areas of drug delivery and magnetic resonance imaging. Emerging applications include image-guided resection, optical/photoacoustic imaging in vivo, contrast-enhanced ultrasound, and thermoablative therapy. Diagnosis with NPs in molecular imaging involves the correlation of the signal with a phenotype. The location and intensity of NP signals emanating from a living subject indicate the disease area's size, stage, and biochemical signature. Therapy with NPs uses the image for resection or delivery of a small molecule or RNA therapeutic. Ablation of the affected area is also possible via heat or radioactivity. The ideal theranostic NP includes several features: (1) it selectively and rapidly accumulates in diseased tissue; (2) it reports biochemical and morphological characteristics of the area; (3) it delivers an effective therapeutic; and (4) it is safe and biodegrades with nontoxic byproducts. Such a system contains a central imaging core surrounded by small molecule therapeutics. The system targets via ligands such as IgG and is protected from immune scavengers by a cloak of protective polymer. Although no NP has achieved all of the above criteria, many NPs possess one or more of these features. While the most clinically translatable NPs have been used in the field of magnetic resonance imaging, other types in development are quickly becoming more biocompatible through methods that modify their toxicity and biodistribution profiles. In this Account, we describe diagnostic imaging and therapeutic uses of NPs. We propose and offer examples of five primary types of nanoparticles with concurrent diagnostic and therapeutic uses.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/ar200106e

    View details for Web of Science ID 000296682400022

    View details for PubMedID 21919457

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3196845

  • Synthesis of 2 '-Deoxy-2 '-[F-18]Fluoro-9-beta-D-Arabinofuranosylguanine: a Novel Agent for Imaging T-Cell Activation with PET MOLECULAR IMAGING AND BIOLOGY Namavari, M., Chang, Y., Kusler, B., Yaghoubi, S., Mitchell, B. S., Gambhir, S. S. 2011; 13 (5): 812-818

    Abstract

    9-(β-D-Arabinofuranosyl)guanine (AraG) is a guanosine analog that has a proven efficacy in the treatment of T-cell lymphoblastic disease. To test the possibility of using a radiofluorinated AraG as an imaging agent, we have synthesized 2'-deoxy-2'-[(18)F]fluoro-9-β-D-arabinofuranosylguanine ([(18)F]F-AraG) and investigated its uptake in T cells.We have synthesized [(18)F]F-AraG via a direct fluorination of 2-N-acetyl-6-O-((4-nitrophenyl)ethyl)-9-(3',5'-di-O-trityl-2'-O-trifyl-β-D-ribofuranosyl)guanine with [(18)F]KF/K.2.2.2 in DMSO at 85°C for 45 min. [(18)F]F-AraG uptake in both a CCRF-CEM leukemia cell line (unactivated) and activated primary thymocytes was evaluated.We have successfully prepared [(18)F]F-AraG in 7-10% radiochemical yield (decay corrected) with a specific activity of 0.8-1.3 Ci/μmol. Preliminary cell uptake experiments showed that both a CCRF-CEM leukemia cell line and activated primary thymocytes take up the [(18)F]F-AraG.For the first time to the best of our knowledge, [(18)F]F-AraG has been successfully synthesized by direct fluorination of an appropriate precursor of a guanosine nucleoside. This approach maybe also useful for the synthesis of other important positron emission tomography (PET) probes such as [(18)F]FEAU, [(18)F]FMAU, and [(18)F]FBAU which are currently synthesized by multiple steps and involve lengthy purification. The cell uptake studies support future studies to investigate the use of [(18)F]F-AraG as a PET imaging agent of T cells.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11307-010-0414-x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000295176200002

    View details for PubMedID 20838911

  • Gold Nanoparticles: A Revival in Precious Metal Administration to Patients NANO LETTERS Thakor, A. S., Jokerst, J., Zavaleta, C., Massoud, T. F., Gambhir, S. S. 2011; 11 (10): 4029-4036

    Abstract

    Gold has been used as a therapeutic agent to treat a wide variety of rheumatic diseases including psoriatic arthritis, juvenile arthritis, and discoid lupus erythematosus. Although the use of gold has been largely superseded by newer drugs, gold nanoparticles are being used effectively in laboratory based clinical diagnostic methods while concurrently showing great promise in vivo either as a diagnostic imaging agent or a therapeutic agent. For these reasons, gold nanoparticles are therefore well placed to enter mainstream clinical practice in the near future. Hence, the present review summarizes the chemistry, pharmacokinetics, biodistribution, metabolism, and toxicity of bulk gold in humans based on decades of clinical observation and experiments in which gold was used to treat patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The beneficial attributes of gold nanoparticles, such as their ease of synthesis, functionalization, and shape control are also highlighted demonstrating why gold nanoparticles are an attractive target for further development and optimization. The importance of controlling the size and shape of gold nanoparticles to minimize any potential toxic side effects is also discussed.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/nl202559p

    View details for Web of Science ID 000295667000001

    View details for PubMedID 21846107

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3195547

  • Preclinical Derivation and Imaging of Autologously Transplanted Canine Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY Lee, A. S., Xu, D., Plews, J. R., Nguyen, P. K., Nag, D., Lyons, J. K., Han, L., Hu, S., Lan, F., Liu, J., Huang, M., Narsinh, K. H., Long, C. T., de Almeida, P. E., Levi, B., Kooreman, N., Bangs, C., Pacharinsak, C., Ikeno, F., Yeung, A. C., Gambhir, S. S., Robbins, R. C., Longaker, M. T., Wu, J. C. 2011; 286 (37): 32697-32704

    Abstract

    Derivation of patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) opens a new avenue for future applications of regenerative medicine. However, before iPSCs can be used in a clinical setting, it is critical to validate their in vivo fate following autologous transplantation. Thus far, preclinical studies have been limited to small animals and have yet to be conducted in large animals that are physiologically more similar to humans. In this study, we report the first autologous transplantation of iPSCs in a large animal model through the generation of canine iPSCs (ciPSCs) from the canine adipose stromal cells and canine fibroblasts of adult mongrel dogs. We confirmed pluripotency of ciPSCs using the following techniques: (i) immunostaining and quantitative PCR for the presence of pluripotent and germ layer-specific markers in differentiated ciPSCs; (ii) microarray analysis that demonstrates similar gene expression profiles between ciPSCs and canine embryonic stem cells; (iii) teratoma formation assays; and (iv) karyotyping for genomic stability. Fate of ciPSCs autologously transplanted to the canine heart was tracked in vivo using clinical positron emission tomography, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging. To demonstrate clinical potential of ciPSCs to treat models of injury, we generated endothelial cells (ciPSC-ECs) and used these cells to treat immunodeficient murine models of myocardial infarction and hindlimb ischemia.

    View details for DOI 10.1074/jbc.M111.235739

    View details for Web of Science ID 000294726800078

    View details for PubMedID 21719696

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3173214

  • Adipose tissue-derived stem cells display a proangiogenic phenotype on 3D scaffolds. Journal of biomedical materials research. Part A Neofytou, E. A., Chang, E., Patlola, B., Joubert, L., Rajadas, J., Gambhir, S. S., Cheng, Z., Robbins, R. C., Beygui, R. E. 2011; 98 (3): 383-393

    Abstract

    Ischemic heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Recent studies suggest that adipose tissue-derived stem cells (ASCs) can be used as a potential source for cardiovascular tissue engineering due to their ability to differentiate along the cardiovascular lineage and to adopt a proangiogenic phenotype. To understand better ASCs' biology, we used a novel 3D culture device. ASCs' and b.END-3 endothelial cell proliferation, migration, and vessel morphogenesis were significantly enhanced compared to 2D culturing techniques. ASCs were isolated from inguinal fat pads of 6-week-old GFP+/BLI+ mice. Early passage ASCs cells (P3-P4), PKH26-labeled murine b.END-3 cells or a co-culture of ASCs and b.END-3 cells were seeded at a density of 1 × 10(5) on three different surface configurations: (a) a 2D surface of tissue culture plastic, (b) Matrigel, and (c) a highly porous 3D scaffold fabricated from inert polystyrene. VEGF expression, cell proliferation, and tubulization, were assessed using optical microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, 3D confocal microscopy, and SEM imaging (n = 6). Increased VEGF levels were seen in conditioned media harvested from co-cultures of ASCs and b.END-3 on either Matrigel or a 3D matrix. Fluorescence, confocal, SEM, bioluminescence revealed improved cell, proliferation, and tubule formation for cells seeded on the 3D polystyrene matrix. Collectively, these data demonstrate that co-culturing ASCs with endothelial cells in a 3D matrix environment enable us to generate prevascularized tissue-engineered constructs. This can potentially help us to surpass the tissue thickness limitations faced by the tissue engineering community today.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/jbm.a.33113

    View details for PubMedID 21630430

  • Adipose tissue-derived stem cells display a proangiogenic phenotype on 3D scaffolds JOURNAL OF BIOMEDICAL MATERIALS RESEARCH PART A Neofytou, E. A., Chang, E., Patloia, B., Joubert, L., Rajadas, J., Gambhir, S. S., Cheng, Z., Robbins, R. C., Beygui, R. E. 2011; 98A (3): 383-393

    Abstract

    Ischemic heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Recent studies suggest that adipose tissue-derived stem cells (ASCs) can be used as a potential source for cardiovascular tissue engineering due to their ability to differentiate along the cardiovascular lineage and to adopt a proangiogenic phenotype. To understand better ASCs' biology, we used a novel 3D culture device. ASCs' and b.END-3 endothelial cell proliferation, migration, and vessel morphogenesis were significantly enhanced compared to 2D culturing techniques. ASCs were isolated from inguinal fat pads of 6-week-old GFP+/BLI+ mice. Early passage ASCs cells (P3-P4), PKH26-labeled murine b.END-3 cells or a co-culture of ASCs and b.END-3 cells were seeded at a density of 1 × 10(5) on three different surface configurations: (a) a 2D surface of tissue culture plastic, (b) Matrigel, and (c) a highly porous 3D scaffold fabricated from inert polystyrene. VEGF expression, cell proliferation, and tubulization, were assessed using optical microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, 3D confocal microscopy, and SEM imaging (n = 6). Increased VEGF levels were seen in conditioned media harvested from co-cultures of ASCs and b.END-3 on either Matrigel or a 3D matrix. Fluorescence, confocal, SEM, bioluminescence revealed improved cell, proliferation, and tubule formation for cells seeded on the 3D polystyrene matrix. Collectively, these data demonstrate that co-culturing ASCs with endothelial cells in a 3D matrix environment enable us to generate prevascularized tissue-engineered constructs. This can potentially help us to surpass the tissue thickness limitations faced by the tissue engineering community today.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/jbm.a.33113

    View details for Web of Science ID 000293699800007

  • Advanced contrast nanoagents for photoacoustic molecular imaging, cytometry, blood test and photothermal theranostics CONTRAST MEDIA & MOLECULAR IMAGING de la Zerda, A., Kim, J., Galanzha, E. I., Gambhir, S. S., Zharov, V. P. 2011; 6 (5): 346-369

    Abstract

    Various nanoparticles have raised significant interest over the past decades for their unique physical and optical properties and biological utilities. Here we summarize the vast applications of advanced nanoparticles with a focus on carbon nanotube (CNT)-based or CNT-catalyzed contrast agents for photoacoustic (PA) imaging, cytometry and theranostics applications based on the photothermal (PT) effect. We briefly review the safety and potential toxicity of the PA/PT contrast nanoagents, while showing how the physical properties as well as multiple biological coatings change their toxicity profiles and contrasts. We provide general guidelines needed for the validation of a new molecular imaging agent in living subjects, and exemplify these guidelines with single-walled CNTs targeted to α(v) β(3) , an integrin associated with tumor angiogenesis, and golden carbon nanotubes targeted to LYVE-1, endothelial lymphatic receptors. An extensive review of the potential applications of advanced contrast agents is provided, including imaging of static targets such as tumor angiogenesis receptors, in vivo cytometry of dynamic targets such as circulating tumor cells and nanoparticles in blood, lymph, bones and plants, methods to enhance the PA and PT effects with transient and stationary bubble conjugates, PT/PA Raman imaging and multispectral histology. Finally, theranostic applications are reviewed, including the nanophotothermolysis of individual tumor cells and bacteria with clustered nanoparticles, nanothrombolysis of blood clots, detection and purging metastasis in sentinel lymph nodes, spectral hole burning and multiplex therapy with ultrasharp rainbow nanoparticles.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/cmmi.455

    View details for Web of Science ID 000300110400003

    View details for PubMedID 22025336

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4282188

  • Preclinical Evaluation of Raman Nanoparticle Biodistribution for their Potential Use in Clinical Endoscopy Imaging SMALL Zavaleta, C. L., Hartman, K. B., Miao, Z., James, M. L., Kempen, P., Thakor, A. S., Nielsen, C. H., Sinclair, R., Cheng, Z., Gambhir, S. S. 2011; 7 (15): 2232-2240

    Abstract

    Raman imaging offers unsurpassed sensitivity and multiplexing capabilities. However, its limited depth of light penetration makes direct clinical translation challenging. Therefore, a more suitable way to harness its attributes in a clinical setting would be to couple Raman spectroscopy with endoscopy. The use of an accessory Raman endoscope in conjunction with topically administered tumor-targeting Raman nanoparticles during a routine colonoscopy could offer a new way to sensitively detect dysplastic lesions while circumventing Raman's limited depth of penetration and avoiding systemic toxicity. In this study, the natural biodistribution of gold surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) nanoparticles is evaluated by radiolabeling them with (64) Cu and imaging their localization over time using micropositron emission tomography (PET). Mice are injected either intravenously (IV) or intrarectally (IR) with approximately 100 microcuries (μCi) (3.7 megabecquerel (MBq)) of (64) Cu-SERS nanoparticles and imaged with microPET at various time points post injection. Quantitative biodistribution data are obtained as % injected dose per gram (%ID g(-1)) from each organ, and the results correlate well with the corresponding microPET images, revealing that IV-injected mice have significantly higher uptake (p < 0.05) in the liver (5 h = 8.96% ID g(-1); 24 h = 8.27% ID g(-1)) than IR-injected mice (5 h = 0.09% ID g(-1); 24 h = 0.08% ID g(-1)). IR-injected mice show localized uptake in the large intestine (5 h = 10.37% ID g(-1); 24 h = 0.42% ID g(-1)) with minimal uptake in other organs. Raman imaging of excised tissues correlate well with biodistribution data. These results suggest that the topical application of SERS nanoparticles in the mouse colon appears to minimize their systemic distribution, thus avoiding potential toxicity and supporting the clinical translation of Raman spectroscopy as an endoscopic imaging tool.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/smll.201002317

    View details for Web of Science ID 000294361200015

    View details for PubMedID 21608124

  • Bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET) imaging of protein-protein interactions within deep tissues of living subjects PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Dragulescu-Andrasi, A., Chan, C. T., De, A., Massoud, T. F., Gambhir, S. S. 2011; 108 (29): 12060-12065

    Abstract

    Identifying protein-protein interactions (PPIs) is essential for understanding various disease mechanisms and developing new therapeutic approaches. Current methods for assaying cellular intermolecular interactions are mainly used for cells in culture and have limited use for the noninvasive assessment of small animal disease models. Here, we describe red light-emitting reporter systems based on bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET) that allow for assaying PPIs both in cell culture and deep tissues of small animals. These BRET systems consist of the recently developed Renilla reniformis luciferase (RLuc) variants RLuc8 and RLuc8.6, used as BRET donors, combined with two red fluorescent proteins, TagRFP and TurboFP635, as BRET acceptors. In addition to the native coelenterazine luciferase substrate, we used the synthetic derivative coelenterazine-v, which further red-shifts the emission maxima of Renilla luciferases by 35 nm. We show the use of these BRET systems for ratiometric imaging of both cells in culture and deep-tissue small animal tumor models and validate their applicability for studying PPIs in mice in the context of rapamycin-induced FK506 binding protein 12 (FKBP12)-FKBP12 rapamycin binding domain (FRB) association. These red light-emitting BRET systems have great potential for investigating PPIs in the context of drug screening and target validation applications.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1100923108

    View details for Web of Science ID 000292876900069

    View details for PubMedID 21730157

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3141927

  • Pilot Pharmacokinetic and Dosimetric Studies of F-18-FPPRGD2: A PET Radiopharmaceutical Agent for Imaging alpha(v)beta(3) Integrin Levels RADIOLOGY Mittra, E. S., Goris, M. L., Iagaru, A. H., Kardan, A., Burton, L., Berganos, R., Chang, E., Liu, S., Shen, B., Chin, F. T., Chen, X., Gambhir, S. S. 2011; 260 (1): 182-191

    Abstract

    To assess the safety, biodistribution, and dosimetric properties of the positron emission tomography (PET) radiopharmaceutical agent fluorine 18 ((18)F) FPPRGD2 (2-fluoropropionyl labeled PEGylated dimeric RGD peptide [PEG3-E{c(RGDyk)}2]), which is based on the dimeric arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD) peptide sequence and targets α(v)β(3) integrin, in the first volunteers imaged with this tracer.The protocol was approved by the institutional review board, and written informed consent was obtained from all participants. Five healthy volunteers underwent whole-body combined PET-computed tomography 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 hours after tracer injection (mean dose, 9.5 mCi ± 3.4 [standard deviation] [351.5 MBq ± 125.8]; mean specific radioactivity, 1200 mCi/mmol ± 714 [44.4 GBq/mmol ± 26.4]). During this time, standard vital signs, electrocardiographic (ECG) readings, and blood sample values (for chemistry, hematologic, and liver function tests) were checked at regular intervals and 1 and 7 days after the injection. These data were used to evaluate tracer biodistribution and dosimetric properties, time-activity curves, and the stability of laboratory values. Significant changes in vital signs and laboratory values were evaluated by using a combination of population-averaged generalized estimating equation regression and exact paired Wilcoxon tests.The administration of (18)F-FPPRGD2 was well tolerated, with no marked effects on vital signs, ECG readings, or laboratory values. The tracer showed the same pattern of biodistribution in all volunteers: primary clearance through the kidneys (0.360 rem/mCi ± 0.185 [0.098 mSv/MBq ± 0.050]) and bladder (0.862 rem/mCi ± 0.436 [0.233 mSv/MBq ± 0.118], voiding model) and uptake in the spleen (0.250 rem/mCi ± 0.168 [0.068 mSv/MBq ± 0.046]) and large intestine (0.529 rem/mCi ± 0.236 [0.143 mSv/MBq ± 0.064]). The mean effective dose of (18)F-FPPRGD2 was 0.1462 rem/mCi ± 0.0669 (0.0396 mSv/MBq ± 0.0181). With an injected dose of 10 mCi (370 MBq) and a 1-hour voiding interval, a patient would be exposed to an effective radiation dose of 1.5 rem (15 mSv). Above the diaphragm, there was minimal uptake in the brain ventricles, salivary glands, and thyroid gland. Time-activity curves showed rapid clearance from the vasculature, with a mean 26% ± 17 of the tracer remaining in the circulation at 30 minutes and most of the activity occurring in the plasma relative to cells (mean whole blood-plasma ratio, 0.799 ± 0.096).(18)F-FPPRGD2 has desirable pharmacokinetic and biodistribution properties. The primary application is likely to be PET evaluation of oncologic patients-especially those with brain, breast, or lung cancer. Specific indications may include tumor staging, identifying patients who would benefit from antiangiogenesis therapy, and separating treatment responders from nonresponders early.

    View details for DOI 10.1148/radiol.11101139

    View details for Web of Science ID 000291932300021

    View details for PubMedID 21502381

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3121013

  • Synthesis and Radioluminescence of PEGylated Eu3+-doped Nanophosphors as Bioimaging Probes ADVANCED MATERIALS Sun, C., Pratx, G., Carpenter, C. M., Liu, H., Cheng, Z., Gambhir, S. S., Xing, L. 2011; 23 (24): H195-H199

    View details for DOI 10.1002/adma.201100919

    View details for Web of Science ID 000293046600018

    View details for PubMedID 21557339

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4145869

  • Nanoparticle PEGylation for imaging and therapy NANOMEDICINE Jokerst, J. V., Lobovkina, T., Zare, R. N., Gambhir, S. S. 2011; 6 (4): 715-728

    Abstract

    Nanoparticles are an essential component in the emerging field of nanomedical imaging and therapy. When deployed in vivo, these materials are typically protected from the immune system by polyethylene glycol (PEG). A wide variety of strategies to coat and characterize nanoparticles with PEG has established important trends on PEG size, shape, density, loading level, molecular weight, charge and purification. Strategies to incorporate targeting ligands are also prevalent. This article presents a background to investigators new to stealth nanoparticles, and suggests some key considerations needed prior to designing a nanoparticle PEGylation protocol and characterizing the performance features of the product.

    View details for DOI 10.2217/NNM.11.19

    View details for Web of Science ID 000292994300019

    View details for PubMedID 21718180

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3217316

  • Potent, tumor-specific gene expression in an orthotopic hepatoma rat model using a Survivin-targeted, amplifiable adenoviral vector GENE THERAPY Ahn, B., Ronald, J. A., Kim, Y. I., Katzenberg, R., Singh, A., Paulmurugan, R., Ray, S., Hofmann, L. V., Gambhir, S. S. 2011; 18 (6): 606-612

    Abstract

    Ideal cancer gene therapies should have high tumor specificity and efficacy, and allow systemic administration to target metastases. We recently developed a bi-directional, two-step transcriptional amplification (TSTA) system driven by the tumor-specific Survivin promoter (pSurv) to amplify the correlated expression of both the reporter gene firefly luciferase (FL) and therapeutic gene tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL). Here, we compare the specificity and potency of an adenovirus carrying this system (Ad-pSurv-TSTA-TRAIL-FL) to a nonspecific vector (Ad-pCMV-FL) in an orthotopic hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) rat model after systemic administration. At 24 h after injection of Ad-pCMV-FL, bioluminescence imaging revealed a trend (P=0.30) towards greater FL expression in liver versus tumor. In striking contrast, Ad-pSurv-TSTA-TRAIL-FL showed increased FL activity within the tumor compared with the liver (P<0.01), a strong trend towards reduced liver expression compared with Ad-pCMV-FL (P=0.07), and importantly, similar FL levels within tumor compared with Ad-pCMV-FL (P=0.32). Hence, this vector shows potent, tumor-specific transgene expression even after extensive liver transduction and may be of significant value in avoiding hepatotoxicity in HCC patients. Future studies will explore the benefits of tumor-specific TRAIL expression in this model, the potential to target metastases and the extension of this vector for the treatment of other Survivin-positive tumors is warranted.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/gt.2011.5

    View details for Web of Science ID 000291438900010

    View details for PubMedID 21307888

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4154811

  • Therapeutic treatment of critical limb ischemia using human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived endothelial cells Huang, N. F., Jalil, R. A., Lee, J., Jame, S., Nguyen, H. N., De, A., Gambhir, S., Reijo-Pera, R., Cooke, J. P. SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD. 2011: 221–21
  • Engineering and Visualization of Bacteria for Targeting Infarcted Myocardium MOLECULAR THERAPY Le, U. N., Kim, H., Kwon, J., Kim, M. Y., Nguyen, V. H., Jiang, S. N., Lee, B., Hong, Y., Shin, M. G., Rhee, J. H., Bom, H., Ahn, Y., Gambhir, S. S., Choy, H. E., Min, J. 2011; 19 (5): 951-959

    Abstract

    Optimization of the specific affinity of cardiac delivery vector could significantly improve the efficiency of gene/protein delivery, yet no cardiac vectors to date have sufficient target specificity for myocardial infarction (MI). In this study, we explored bacterial tropism for infarcted myocardium based on our previous observations that certain bacteria are capable of targeting the hypoxic regions in solid tumors. Out of several Escherichia coli or Salmonella typhimurium strains, the S. typhimurium defective in the synthesis of ppGpp (ΔppGpp S. typhimurium) revealed accumulation and selective proliferation in the infarcted myocardium without spillover to noncardiac tissue. The Salmonellae that were engineered to express a variant of Renilla luciferase gene (RLuc8), under the control of the E. coli arabinose operon promoter (P(BAD)), selectively targeted and delivered RLuc8 in the infarcted myocardium only upon injection of L-arabinose. An examination of the infarct size before and after infection, and estimations of C-reactive protein (CRP) and procalcitonin indicated that intravenous injection of ΔppGpp S. typhimurium did not induce serious local or systemic immune reactions. This current proof-of-principle study demonstrates for the first time the capacity of Salmonellae to target infarcted myocardium and to serve as a vehicle for the selective delivery of therapeutic agents in MI.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/mt.2011.25

    View details for Web of Science ID 000290146200021

    View details for PubMedID 21364539

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3098638

  • Combined 18F NaF and 18F FDG PET/CT: Initial results of a multi-center trial Iagaru, A., Mittra, E., Sathekge, M., Prakash, V., Iyer, V., Dick, D., Lapa, P., Isidoro, J., de Lima, J., Gambhir, S. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2011
  • 18F FPPRGD2 in breast cancer subjects: A novel PET radiopharmaceutical for imaging alpha v beta 3 integrin levels Iagaru, A., Mosci, C., Mittra, E., Shen, B., Chin, F., Chen, X., Telli, M., Gambhir, S. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2011
  • Studies of the 18F L-glutamate derivative BAY 94-9392 in cancer patients: A novel radiopharmaceutical for PET imaging Mittra, E., Mosci, C., Iagaru, A., Fels, L., Bacher-Stier, C., Chin, F., Gambhir, S. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2011
  • Prediction of human PET imaging dose to monitor NHL therapy using < 64 > Cu-DOTA-rituximab and a transgenic mouse model Natarajan, A., Gowrishankar, G., Nielsen, C., Wang, S., Iagaru, A., Goris, M., Gambhir, S., Gambhir, S. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2011
  • Exploring Gaussia luciferase as a novel secretion system for eukaryotic protein delivery for bacteria-mediated cancer treatment Vu Nguyen, Thuy Phan, Paulmurugan, R., Gambhir, S., Min, J. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2011
  • Multimodality Imaging of beta-Cells in Mouse Models of Type 1 and 2 Diabetes DIABETES Yong, J., Rasooly, J., Dang, H., Lu, Y., Middleton, B., Zhang, Z., Hon, L., Namavari, M., Stout, D. B., Atkinson, M. A., Tian, J., Gambhir, S. S., Kaufman, D. L. 2011; 60 (5): 1383-1392

    Abstract

    β-Cells that express an imaging reporter have provided powerful tools for studying β-cell development, islet transplantation, and β-cell autoimmunity. To further expedite diabetes research, we generated transgenic C57BL/6 "MIP-TF" mice that have a mouse insulin promoter (MIP) driving the expression of a trifusion (TF) protein of three imaging reporters (luciferase/enhanced green fluorescent protein/HSV1-sr39 thymidine kinase) in their β-cells. This should enable the noninvasive imaging of β-cells by charge-coupled device (CCD) and micro-positron emission tomography (PET), as well as the identification of β-cells at the cellular level by fluorescent microscopy.MIP-TF mouse β-cells were multimodality imaged in models of type 1 and type 2 diabetes.MIP-TF mouse β-cells were readily identified in pancreatic tissue sections using fluorescent microscopy. We show that MIP-TF β-cells can be noninvasively imaged using microPET. There was a correlation between CCD and microPET signals from the pancreas region of individual mice. After low-dose streptozotocin administration to induce type 1 diabetes, we observed a progressive reduction in bioluminescence from the pancreas region before the appearance of hyperglycemia. Although there have been reports of hyperglycemia inducing proinsulin expression in extrapancreatic tissues, we did not observe bioluminescent signals from extrapancreatic tissues of diabetic MIP-TF mice. Because MIP-TF mouse β-cells express a viral thymidine kinase, ganciclovir treatment induced hyperglycemia, providing a new experimental model of type 1 diabetes. Mice fed a high-fat diet to model early type 2 diabetes displayed a progressive increase in their pancreatic bioluminescent signals, which were positively correlated with area under the curve-intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test (AUC-IPGTT).MIP-TF mice provide a new tool for monitoring β-cells from the single cell level to noninvasive assessments of β-cells in models of type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.

    View details for DOI 10.2337/db10-0907

    View details for Web of Science ID 000290349700004

    View details for PubMedID 21441442

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3292311

  • Early Diagnosis of Ovarian Carcinoma: Is a Solution in Sight? RADIOLOGY Lutz, A. M., Willmann, J. K., Drescher, C. W., Ray, P., Cochran, F. V., Urban, N., Gambhir, S. S. 2011; 259 (2): 329-345

    Abstract

    Ovarian cancer is the most lethal of the gynecologic malignancies. Because ovarian cancer symptoms are subtle and nonspecific, the diagnosis is often delayed until the disease is well advanced. Overall 5-year survival is a rather dismal 50% but can be improved to greater than 90% if the disease is confined to the ovary at the time of diagnosis (generally in fewer than 25% of patients). Effective screening tools are currently not available. Owing to the rather low incidence of the disease in the general population, potential screening tests must provide very high specificity to avoid unnecessary interventions in false-positive cases. This article reviews currently available serum biomarkers and imaging tests for the early detection of ovarian cancer and provides an outlook on the potential improvements in these noninvasive diagnostic tools that may lead to successful implementation in a screening program. Supplemental material: http://radiology.rsna.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1148/radiol.11090563/-/DC1.

    View details for DOI 10.1148/radiol.11090563

    View details for Web of Science ID 000289667300006

    View details for PubMedID 21502390

  • "Same Day" Ex-vivo Regional Gene Therapy: A Novel Strategy to Enhance Bone Repair MOLECULAR THERAPY Virk, M. S., Sugiyama, O., Park, S. H., Gambhir, S. S., Adams, D. J., Drissi, H., Lieberman, J. R. 2011; 19 (5): 960-968

    Abstract

    Ex-vivo regional gene therapy with bone marrow cells (BMCs) overexpressing bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) has demonstrated efficacy in healing critical sized bone defects in preclinical studies. The purpose of this preclinical study was to compare the osteoinductive potential of a novel "same day" ex-vivo regional gene therapy versus a traditional two-step approach, which involves culture expansion of the donor cells before implantation. In the "same day" strategy buffy coat cells were harvested from the rat bone marrow, transduced with a lentiviral vector-expressing BMP-2 for 1 hour and implanted into a rat femoral defect in the same sitting. There was no significant difference (P = 0.22) with respect to the radiographic healing rates between the femoral defects treated with the "same day" strategy (13/13; 100%) versus the traditional two-step approach (11/14; 78%). However, the femoral defects treated with the "same day" strategy induced earlier radiographic bone healing (P = 0.004) and higher bone volume (BV) [micro-computed tomography (micro-CT); P < 0.001]. The "same day" strategy represents a significant advance in the field of ex-vivo regional gene therapy because it offers a solution to limitations associated with the culture expansion process required in the traditional ex vivo approach. This strategy should be cost-effective when adapted for human use.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/mt.2011.2

    View details for Web of Science ID 000290146200022

    View details for PubMedID 21343916

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3098640

  • The Fate and Toxicity of Raman-Active Silica-Gold Nanoparticles in Mice SCIENCE TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE Thakor, A. S., Luong, R., Paulmurugan, R., Lin, F. I., Kempen, P., Zavaleta, C., Chu, P., Massoud, T. F., Sinclair, R., Gambhir, S. S. 2011; 3 (79)

    Abstract

    Raman spectroscopy is an optical imaging method that is based on the Raman effect, the inelastic scattering of a photon when energy is absorbed from light by a surface. Although Raman spectroscopy is widely used for chemical and molecular analysis, its clinical application has been hindered by the inherently weak nature of the Raman effect. Raman-silica-gold-nanoparticles (R-Si-Au-NPs) overcome this limitation by producing larger Raman signals through surface-enhanced Raman scattering. Because we are developing these particles for use as targeted molecular imaging agents, we examined the acute toxicity and biodistribution of core polyethylene glycol (PEG)-ylated R-Si-Au-NPs after different routes of administration in mice. After intravenous administration, PEG-R-Si-Au-NPs were removed from the circulation by macrophages in the liver and spleen (that is, the reticuloendothelial system). At 24 hours, PEG-R-Si-Au-NPs elicited a mild inflammatory response and an increase in oxidative stress in the liver, which subsided by 2 weeks after administration. No evidence of significant toxicity was observed by measuring clinical, histological, biochemical, or cardiovascular parameters for 2 weeks. Because we are designing targeted PEG-R-Si-Au-NPs (for example, PEG-R-Si-Au-NPs labeled with an affibody that binds specifically to the epidermal growth factor receptor) to detect colorectal cancer after administration into the bowel lumen, we tested the toxicity of the core nanoparticle after administration per rectum. We observed no significant bowel or systemic toxicity, and no PEG-R-Si-Au-NPs were detected systemically. Although additional studies are required to investigate the long-term effects of PEG-R-Si-Au-NPs and their toxicity when carrying the targeting moiety, the results presented here support the idea that PEG-R-Si-Au-NPs can be safely used in living subjects, especially when administered rectally.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/scitranslmed.3001963

    View details for Web of Science ID 000292976700004

    View details for PubMedID 21508310

  • F-18-FAZA-PET as a pharmacodynamic biomarker of anti-tumor activity for the novel HIF-1 alpha pathway inhibitor BAY 87-2243 in preclinical tumor models Chan, E., Liu, S., Berhoerster, K., Ellinghaus, P., Liu, S., Gekeler, V., Cheng, Z., Berndorff, D., Gambhir, S. S. AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH. 2011
  • A novel method of tumor characterization by protein and microRNA biomarker release using ultrasound D'Souza, A. L., Chevillet, J. R., Kroh, E. M., Tewari, M., Gambhir, S. S., Glazer, G. M. AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH. 2011
  • A mathematical approach to earlier cancer detection: Using blood biomarker assays to monitor growth of a tumor from a single cell Hori, S. S., Gambhir, S. S. AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH. 2011
  • FDG-PET/CT in Cancers of the Head and Neck: What is the Definition of Whole Body Scanning? MOLECULAR IMAGING AND BIOLOGY Iagaru, A., Mittra, E. S., Gambhir, S. S. 2011; 13 (2): 362-367

    Abstract

    The role of 2-deoxy-2-[F-18]fluoro-D-glucose-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) was studied in a variety of cancers, including head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) and nasopharyngeal carcinomas (NPC), with several presentations indicating that for these clinical entities a "whole-body" (i.e., eyes to thighs) may yield little additional information. Therefore, we were prompted to review our experience with PET/computed tomography (CT) in the management of patients with HNSCC and NPC.This is a retrospective study of 133 patients with HNSCC, 23-90 years old (average: 58.2 ± 12.7) and 26 patients with NPC, ages 16-75 (average: 47.3 ± 17.1), who had whole body PET/CT at our institution from Jan 2003 to Nov 2006. Reinterpretation of the imaging studies for accuracy and data analysis from medical records was performed. Lesions identified on PET/CT below the level of the adrenal glands were recorded and tabulated.Lesions were identified below the adrenal glands in seven patients (5.2%) with HNSCC. These included hepatic and osseous metastases from HNSCC in two patients (1.5%), a new renal cancer (0.75%), a new pancreatic cancer (0.75%), a new colon cancer (0.75%) and findings proven benign on follow-up (focal colon uptake in one patient and an inflammatory inguinal lymph node in another patient; 1.5%). Lesions were identified below the adrenal glands in three patients (11.5%) with NPC. These included osseous metastases from NPC in two patients (7.7%) and findings proven benign on follow-up (focal colon uptake in one patient; 3.84%).This study suggests that whole body PET/CT imaging in HNSCC has a relatively low yield (3%, 95% CI: 1.33-8.42) of significant findings below the level of the adrenal glands. Therefore, implementing a more limited protocol (through the level of adrenal glands), especially in low-risk cases of HNSCC, may be considered. However, whole body PET/CT imaging in NPC may have a significant yield (7.7%, 95% CI: 1.02-25.26) of medically relevant findings below the level of the adrenal glands. Thus, the whole body (i.e., vertex to thighs) PET/CT scan of NPC patients appears to be the appropriate imaging protocol for this population. This recommendation requires further evaluation and validation in larger prospective studies.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11307-010-0343-8

    View details for Web of Science ID 000288177700021

    View details for PubMedID 20495879

  • Reproducibility study of [F-18]FPP(RGD)(2) uptake in murine models of human tumor xenografts EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE AND MOLECULAR IMAGING Chang, E., Liu, S., Gowrishankar, G., Yaghoubi, S., Wedgeworth, J. P., Chin, F., Berndorff, D., Gekeler, V., Gambhir, S. S., Cheng, Z. 2011; 38 (4): 722-730

    Abstract

    An (18)F-labeled PEGylated arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD) dimer {[(18)F]FPP(RGD)(2)} has been used to image tumor α(v)β(3) integrin levels in preclinical and clinical studies. Serial positron emission tomography (PET) studies may be useful for monitoring antiangiogenic therapy response or for drug screening; however, the reproducibility of serial scans has not been determined for this PET probe. The purpose of this study was to determine the reproducibility of the integrin α(v)β(3)-targeted PET probe, [(18)F]FPP(RGD)(2,) using small animal PET.Human HCT116 colon cancer xenografts were implanted into nude mice (n = 12) in the breast and scapular region and grown to mean diameters of 5-15 mm for approximately 2.5 weeks. A 3-min acquisition was performed on a small animal PET scanner approximately 1 h after administration of [(18)F]FPP(RGD)(2) (1.9-3.8 MBq, 50-100 μCi) via the tail vein. A second small animal PET scan was performed approximately 6 h later after reinjection of the probe to assess for reproducibility. Images were analyzed by drawing an ellipsoidal region of interest (ROI) around the tumor xenograft activity. Percentage injected dose per gram (%ID/g) values were calculated from the mean or maximum activity in the ROIs. Coefficients of variation and differences in %ID/g values between studies from the same day were calculated to determine the reproducibility.The coefficient of variation (mean±SD) for %ID(mean)/g and %ID(max)/g values between [(18)F]FPP(RGD)(2) small animal PET scans performed 6 h apart on the same day were 11.1 ± 7.6% and 10.4 ± 9.3%, respectively. The corresponding differences in %ID(mean)/g and %ID(max)/g values between scans were -0.025 ± 0.067 and -0.039 ± 0.426. Immunofluorescence studies revealed a direct relationship between extent of α(ν)β(3) integrin expression in tumors and tumor vasculature with level of tracer uptake. Mouse body weight, injected dose, and fasting state did not contribute to the variability of the scans; however, consistent scanning parameters were necessary to ensure accurate studies, in particular, noting tumor volume, as well as making uniform: the time of imaging after injection and the ROI size. Reanalysis of ROI placement displayed variability for %ID(mean)/g of 6.6 ± 3.9% and 0.28 ± 0.12% for %ID(max)/g.[(18)F]FPP(RGD)(2) small animal PET mouse tumor xenograft studies are reproducible with relatively low variability.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s00259-010-1672-1

    View details for Web of Science ID 000288255500015

    View details for PubMedID 21125268

  • Molecular Imaging Using Light-Absorbing Imaging Agents and a Clinical Optical Breast Imaging System-a Phantom Study MOLECULAR IMAGING AND BIOLOGY van de Ven, S. M., Mincu, N., Brunette, J., Ma, G., Khayat, M., Ikeda, D. M., Gambhir, S. S. 2011; 13 (2): 232-238

    Abstract

    The aim of the study was to determine the feasibility of using a clinical optical breast scanner with molecular imaging strategies based on modulating light transmission.Different concentrations of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT; 0.8-20.0 nM) and black hole quencher-3 (BHQ-3; 2.0-32.0 µM) were studied in specifically designed phantoms (200-1,570 mm(3)) with a clinical optical breast scanner using four wavelengths. Each phantom was placed in the scanner tank filled with optical matching medium. Background scans were compared to absorption scans, and reproducibility was assessed.All SWNT phantoms were detected at four wavelengths, with best results at 684 nm. Higher concentrations (≥8.0 µM) were needed for BHQ-3 detection, with the largest contrast at 684 nm. The optical absorption signal was dependent on phantom size and concentration. Reproducibility was excellent (intraclass correlation 0.93-0.98).Nanomolar concentrations of SWNT and micromolar concentrations of BHQ-3 in phantoms were reproducibly detected, showing the potential of light absorbers, with appropriate targeting ligands, as molecular imaging agents for clinical optical breast imaging.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11307-010-0356-3

    View details for Web of Science ID 000288177700006

    View details for PubMedID 20532642

  • Multiparametric MRI reveals early response patterns to antiangiogenic therapy in primary breast cancer HUGHES, N. P., Mehta, S., Adams, R. F., Gambhir, S. S., Padhani, A. R., Harris, A. L. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2011: 668–69
  • Molecular imaging of the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor in rodent colon via Affibody-functionalized surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) nanoparticles 241st National Meeting and Exposition of the American-Chemical-Society (ACS) Jokerst, J. V., Miao, Z., Thakor, A. S., Cheng, Z., Gambhir, S. S. AMER CHEMICAL SOC. 2011
  • MYC Phosphorylation, Activation, and Tumorigenic Potential in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Are Regulated by HMG-CoA Reductase CANCER RESEARCH Cao, Z., Fan-Minogue, H., Bellovin, D. I., Yevtodiyenko, A., Arzeno, J., Yang, Q., Gambhir, S. S., Felsher, D. W. 2011; 71 (6): 2286-2297

    Abstract

    MYC is a potential target for many cancers but is not amenable to existing pharmacologic approaches. Inhibition of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase (HMG-CoA reductase) by statins has shown potential efficacy against a number of cancers. Here, we show that inhibition of HMG-CoA reductase by atorvastatin (AT) blocks both MYC phosphorylation and activation, suppressing tumor initiation and growth in vivo in a transgenic model of MYC-induced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) as well as in human HCC-derived cell lines. To confirm specificity, we show that the antitumor effects of AT are blocked by cotreatment with the HMG-CoA reductase product mevalonate. Moreover, by using a novel molecular imaging sensor, we confirm that inhibition of HMG-CoA reductase blocks MYC phosphorylation in vivo. Importantly, the introduction of phosphorylation mutants of MYC at Ser62 or Thr58 into tumors blocks their sensitivity to inhibition of HMG-CoA reductase. Finally, we show that inhibition of HMG-CoA reductase suppresses MYC phosphorylation through Rac GTPase. Therefore, HMG-CoA reductase is a critical regulator of MYC phosphorylation, activation, and tumorigenic properties. The inhibition of HMG-CoA reductase may be a useful target for the treatment of MYC-associated HCC as well as other tumors.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-3367

    View details for Web of Science ID 000288381300028

    View details for PubMedID 21262914

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3059327

  • Affibody-Functionalized Gold-Silica Nanoparticles for Raman Molecular Imaging of the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor SMALL Jokerst, J. V., Miao, Z., Zavaleta, C., Cheng, Z., Gambhir, S. S. 2011; 7 (5): 625-633

    Abstract

    The affibody functionalization of fluorescent surface-enhanced Raman scattering gold-silica nanoparticles as multimodal contrast agents for molecular imaging specific to epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is reported. This nanoparticle bioconjugate reports EGFR-positive A431 tumors with a signal nearly 35-fold higher than EGFR-negative MDA-435S tumors. The low-level EGFR expression in adjacent healthy tissue is 7-fold lower than in the positive tumors. Validation via competitive inhibition reduces the signal by a factor of six, and independent measurement of EGFR via flow cytometry correlates at R(2) = 0.92.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/smll.201002291

    View details for Web of Science ID 000288081900013

    View details for PubMedID 21302357

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3386295

  • Affibody-based nanoprobes for HER2-expressing cell and tumor imaging BIOMATERIALS Gao, J., Chen, K., Miao, Z., Ren, G., Chen, X., Gambhir, S. S., Cheng, Z. 2011; 32 (8): 2141-2148

    Abstract

    This article reports the affibody-based nanoprobes specifically target and image human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2 (HER2)-expressing cells and tumors. The affibody molecules are a promising class of targeting ligands with simple, robust, and precise structure and high affinity. Using near-infrared (NIR) quantum dots (QDs) and iron oxide (IO) nanoparticles as two representative nanomaterials, we designed anti-HER2 affibody molecules with a N-terminus cysteine residue (Cysteine-Z(HER2:342)) and precisely conjugated with maleimide-functionalized nanoparticles to make nanoparticle-affibody conjugates. The in vitro and in vivo study showed the conjugates are highly specific to target and image HER2-expressing cells and tumors. This work indicated the nanoparticle-affibody conjugates may be excellent candidates as targeting probes for molecular imaging and diagnosis.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2010.11.053

    View details for Web of Science ID 000287061400015

    View details for PubMedID 21147502

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3032351

  • Use of DNA Microarray and Small Animal Positron Emission Tomography in Preclinical Drug Evaluation of RAF265, a Novel B-Raf/VEGFR-2 lInhibitor NEOPLASIA Tseng, J. R., Stuart, D., Aardalen, K., Kaplan, A., Aziz, N., Hughes, N. P., Gambhir, S. S. 2011; 13 (3): 266-U108

    Abstract

    Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging has become a useful tool for assessing early biologic response to cancer therapy and may be particularly useful in the development of new cancer therapeutics. RAF265, a novel B-Raf/vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 inhibitor, was evaluated in the preclinical setting for its ability to inhibit the uptake of PET tracers in the A375M(B-Raf(V600E)) human melanoma cell line. RAF265 inhibited 2-deoxy-2-[(18)F]fluoro-d-glucose (FDG) accumulation in cell culture at 28 hours in a dose-dependent manner. RAF265 also inhibited FDG accumulation in tumor xenografts after 1 day of drug treatment. This decrease persisted for the remaining 2 weeks of treatment. DNA microarray analysis of treated tumor xenografts revealed significantly decreased expression of genes regulating glucose and thymidine metabolism and revealed changes in apoptotic genes, suggesting that the imaging tracers FDG, 3-deoxy-3-[(18)F]fluorothymidine, and annexin V could serve as potential imaging biomarkers for RAF265 therapy monitoring. We concluded that RAF265 is highly efficacious in this xenograft model of human melanoma and decreases glucose metabolism as measured by DNA microarray analysis, cell culture assays, and small animal FDG PET scans as early as 1 day after treatment. Our results support the use of FDG PET in clinical trials with RAF265 to assess early tumor response. DNA microarray analysis and small animal PET studies may be used as complementary technologies in drug development. DNA microarray analysis allows for analysis of drug effects on multiple pathways linked to cancer and can suggest corresponding imaging tracers for further analysis as biomarkers of tumor response.

    View details for DOI 10.1593/neo.101466

    View details for Web of Science ID 000288905900008

    View details for PubMedID 21390189

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3050869

  • Noninvasive Monitoring of Placenta-Specific Transgene Expression by Bioluminescence Imaging PLOS ONE Fan, X., Ren, P., Dhal, S., Bejerano, G., Goodman, S. B., Druzin, M. L., Gambhir, S. S., Nayak, N. R. 2011; 6 (1)

    Abstract

    Placental dysfunction underlies numerous complications of pregnancy. A major obstacle to understanding the roles of potential mediators of placental pathology has been the absence of suitable methods for tissue-specific gene manipulation and sensitive assays for studying gene functions in the placentas of intact animals. We describe a sensitive and noninvasive method of repetitively tracking placenta-specific gene expression throughout pregnancy using lentivirus-mediated transduction of optical reporter genes in mouse blastocysts.Zona-free blastocysts were incubated with lentivirus expressing firefly luciferase (Fluc) and Tomato fluorescent fusion protein for trophectoderm-specific infection and transplanted into day 3 pseudopregnant recipients (GD3). Animals were examined for Fluc expression by live bioluminescence imaging (BLI) at different points during pregnancy, and the placentas were examined for tomato expression in different cell types on GD18. In another set of experiments, blastocysts with maximum photon fluxes in the range of 2.0E+4 to 6.0E+4 p/s/cm(2)/sr were transferred. Fluc expression was detectable in all surrogate dams by day 5 of pregnancy by live imaging, and the signal increased dramatically thereafter each day until GD12, reaching a peak at GD16 and maintaining that level through GD18. All of the placentas, but none of the fetuses, analyzed on GD18 by BLI showed different degrees of Fluc expression. However, only placentas of dams transferred with selected blastocysts showed uniform photon distribution with no significant variability of photon intensity among placentas of the same litter. Tomato expression in the placentas was limited to only trophoblast cell lineages.These results, for the first time, demonstrate the feasibility of selecting lentivirally-transduced blastocysts for uniform gene expression in all placentas of the same litter and early detection and quantitative analysis of gene expression throughout pregnancy by live BLI. This method may be useful for a wide range of applications involving trophoblast-specific gene manipulations in utero.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0016348

    View details for Web of Science ID 000286522300037

    View details for PubMedID 21283713

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3025029

  • Oxidative Stress Mediates the Effects of Raman-Active Gold Nanoparticles in Human Cells SMALL Thakor, A. S., Paulmurugan, R., Kempen, P., Zavaleta, C., Sinclair, R., Massoud, T. F., Gambhir, S. S. 2011; 7 (1): 126-136

    Abstract

    Polyethylene glycol (PEG)ylated Raman-active gold nanoparticles (PEG-R-AuNPs) consist of an interchangeable Raman organic molecule layer held onto a gold nanocore by a silica shell. PEG-R-AuNPs have been shown preclinically to increase the sensitivity and specificity of Raman spectroscopy, with picomolar sensitivity and multiplexing capabilities. Although clinical trials are being designed to use functionalized PEG-R-AuNPs in various applications (e.g., to target dysplastic bowel lesions during colonoscopy), the effects of these nanoparticles on human cells remain unknown. The occurrence and mechanisms underlying any potential cytotoxicity induced by these nanoparticles (0-1000 PEG-R-AuNPs/cell) are investigated in immortalized human HeLa and HepG2 cell lines at several time points (0-48 h) after exposure. Using fluorometric assays, cell viability (MTT), reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation (dichlorofluorescein diacetate), protein oxidation (protein carbonyl content), and total cellular antioxidant concentrations the concentrations (metmyoblobin-induced oxidation of ABTS) are assessed. Analysis of lipid oxidation using an enzyme immunoassay (8-isoprostane concentrations), gene expression of antioxidant enzymes using quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reactions, and the intracellular location of PEG-R-AuNPs using transmission electron microscopy is also undertaken. PEG-R-AuNPs cause no cytotoxicity in either HeLa or HepG2 cells in the acute setting as ROS generation is balanced by antioxidant enzyme upregulation. Following prolonged exposures (48 h) at relatively high concentrations (1000 PEG-R-AuNPs/cell), nanoparticles are found within vesicles inside cells. Under these conditions, a minimal amount of cytotoxicity is seen in both cell lines owing to increases in cellular oxidative stress, most likely due to ROS overwhelming the antioxidant defenses. Evidence of oxidative stress-induced damage includes increased lipid and protein oxidation. Although further in vivo toxicity studies are necessary, these initial encouraging results show that PEG-R-AuNPs cause minimal toxicity in human cells in the acute setting, which bodes well for potential future applications of these nanoparticles in living subjects.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/smll.201001466

    View details for Web of Science ID 000285794100015

    View details for PubMedID 21104804

  • Radiolabeling of a Saxitoxin derivative for PET-MRI imaging of pain Hoehne, A., Parsons, W. H., Behera, D., Shen, B., Gambhir, S. S., Du Bois, J., Biswal, S., Chin, F. T. WILEY-BLACKWELL. 2011: S2–S2
  • [F-18]YF3 nanoprobes: a novel synthetic strategy for F-18-labeled imaging agents Xiong Liqin, L. Q., Shen Bin, B., Gambhir, S. S., Chin, F. T., Rao Jianghong, J. H. WILEY-BLACKWELL. 2011: S77–S77
  • [F-18]FTC-146 for imaging sigma-1 receptors in squirrel monkey brain using PET/MRI James, M. L., Shen, B., Nielsen, C. H., Buckmaster, C. L., Berganos, R. A., Zavaleta, C., Lyons, D., McCurdy, C. R., Gambhir, S. S., Chin, F. T. WILEY-BLACKWELL. 2011: S317–S317
  • F-18-Cyanobenzolthiol ([F-18]CBT): A novel F-18-prosthetic group for labeling peptide or protein Shen Bin, B., Jeon, J., Gambhir, S. S., Rao, J., Chin, F. T. WILEY-BLACKWELL. 2011: S503–S503
  • A Hybrid Least Squares and Principal Component Analysis Algorithm for Raman Spectroscopy 33rd Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering-in-Medicine-and-Biology-Society (EMBS) Van de Sompel, D., Garai, E., Zavaleta, C., Gambhir, S. S. IEEE. 2011: 6971–6974

    Abstract

    The least squares fitting algorithm is the most commonly used algorithm in Raman spectroscopy. In this paper, however, we show that it is sensitive to variations in the background signal when the signal of interest is weak. To address this problem, we propose a novel algorithm to analyze measured spectra in Raman spectroscopy. The method is a hybrid least squares and principal component analysis algorithm. It explicitly accounts for any variations expected in the reference spectra used in the signal decomposition. We compare the novel algorithm to the least squares method with a low-order polynomial residual model, and demonstrate the novel algorithm's superior performance by comparing quantitative error metrics. Our experiments use both simulated data and data acquired from an in vitro solution of Raman-enhanced gold nanoparticles.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000298810005123

    View details for PubMedID 22255942

  • Longitudinal, Noninvasive Imaging of T-Cell Effector Function and Proliferation in Living Subjects CANCER RESEARCH Patel, M. R., Chang, Y., Chen, I. Y., Bachmann, M. H., Yan, X., Contag, C. H., Gambhir, S. S. 2010; 70 (24): 10141-10149

    Abstract

    Adoptive immunotherapy is evolving to assume an increasing role in treating cancer. Most imaging studies in adoptive immunotherapy to date have focused primarily on locating tumor-specific T cells rather than understanding their effector functions. In this study, we report the development of a noninvasive imaging strategy to monitor T-cell activation in living subjects by linking a reporter gene to the Granzyme B promoter (pGB), whose transcriptional activity is known to increase during T-cell activation. Because pGB is relatively weak and does not lead to sufficient reporter gene expression for noninvasive imaging, we specifically employed 2 signal amplification strategies, namely the Two Step Transcription Amplification (TSTA) strategy and the cytomegalovirus enhancer (CMVe) strategy, to maximize firefly luciferase reporter gene expression. Although both amplification strategies were capable of increasing pGB activity in activated primary murine splenocytes, only the level of bioluminescence activity achieved with the CMVe strategy was adequate for noninvasive imaging in mice. Using T cells transduced with a reporter vector containing the hybrid pGB-CMVe promoter, we were able to optically image T-cell effector function longitudinally in response to tumor antigens in living mice. This methodology has the potential to accelerate the study of adoptive immunotherapy in preclinical cancer models.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-1843

    View details for Web of Science ID 000285334200016

    View details for PubMedID 21159636

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3057959

  • Near-infrared fluorescent nanoprobes for cancer molecular imaging: status and challenges TRENDS IN MOLECULAR MEDICINE He, X., Gao, J., Gambhir, S. S., Cheng, Z. 2010; 16 (12): 574-583

    Abstract

    Near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) imaging promises to improve cancer imaging and management; advances in nanomaterials allow scientists to combine new nanoparticles with NIRF imaging techniques, thereby fulfilling this promise. Here, we present a synopsis of current developments in NIRF nanoprobes, their use in imaging small living subjects, their pharmacokinetics and toxicity, and finally their integration into multimodal imaging strategies. We also discuss challenges impeding the clinical translation of NIRF nanoprobes for molecular imaging of cancer. Whereas utilization of most NIRF nanoprobes remains at a proof-of-principle stage, optimizing the impact of nanomedicine in cancer patient diagnosis and management will probably be realized through persistent interdisciplinary amalgamation of diverse research fields.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.molmed.2010.08.006

    View details for Web of Science ID 000285727200004

    View details for PubMedID 20870460

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2994979

  • PET Imaging of Tumor Neovascularization in a Transgenic Mouse Model with a Novel Cu-64-DOTA-Knottin Peptide CANCER RESEARCH Nielsen, C. H., Kimura, R. H., Withofs, N., Tran, P. T., Miao, Z., Cochran, J. R., Cheng, Z., Felsher, D., Kjaer, A., Willmann, J. K., Gambhir, S. S. 2010; 70 (22): 9022-9030

    Abstract

    Due to the high mortality of lung cancer, there is a critical need to develop diagnostic procedures enabling early detection of the disease while at a curable stage. Targeted molecular imaging builds on the positive attributes of positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) to allow for a noninvasive detection and characterization of smaller lung nodules, thus increasing the chances of positive treatment outcome. In this study, we investigate the ability to characterize lung tumors that spontaneously arise in a transgenic mouse model. The tumors are first identified with small animal CT followed by characterization with the use of small animal PET with a novel 64Cu-1,4,7,10-tetra-azacylododecane-N,N',N'',N'''-tetraacetic acid (DOTA)-knottin peptide that targets integrins upregulated during angiogenesis on the tumor associated neovasculature. The imaging results obtained with the knottin peptide are compared with standard 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET small animal imaging. Lung nodules as small as 3 mm in diameter were successfully identified in the transgenic mice by small animal CT, and both 64Cu-DOTA-knottin 2.5F and FDG were able to differentiate lung nodules from the surrounding tissues. Uptake and retention of the 64Cu-DOTA-knottin 2.5F tracer in the lung tumors combined with a low background in the thorax resulted in a statistically higher tumor to background (normal lung) ratio compared with FDG (6.01±0.61 versus 4.36±0.68; P<0.05). Ex vivo biodistribution showed 64Cu-DOTA-knottin 2.5F to have a fast renal clearance combined with low nonspecific accumulation in the thorax. Collectively, these results show 64Cu-DOTA-knottin 2.5F to be a promising candidate for clinical translation for earlier detection and improved characterization of lung cancer.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-1338

    View details for Web of Science ID 000284213300008

    View details for PubMedID 21062977

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3057960

  • Cancer stem cells from human breast tumors are involved in spontaneous metastases in orthotopic mouse models PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Liu, H., Patel, M. R., Prescher, J. A., Patsialou, A., Qian, D., Lin, J., Wen, S., Chang, Y., Bachmann, M. H., Shimono, Y., Dalerba, P., Adorno, M., Lobo, N., Bueno, J., Dirbas, F. M., Goswami, S., Somlo, G., Condeelis, J., Contag, C. H., Gambhir, S. S., Clarke, M. F. 2010; 107 (42): 18115-18120

    Abstract

    To examine the role of breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs) in metastasis, we generated human-in-mouse breast cancer orthotopic models using patient tumor specimens, labeled with optical reporter fusion genes. These models recapitulate human cancer features not captured with previous models, including spontaneous metastasis in particular, and provide a useful platform for studies of breast tumor initiation and progression. With noninvasive imaging approaches, as few as 10 cells of stably labeled BCSCs could be tracked in vivo, enabling studies of early tumor growth and spontaneous metastasis. These advances in BCSC imaging revealed that CD44(+) cells from both primary tumors and lung metastases are highly enriched for tumor-initiating cells. Our metastatic cancer models, combined with noninvasive imaging techniques, constitute an integrated approach that could be applied to dissect the molecular mechanisms underlying the dissemination of metastatic CSCs (MCSCs) and to explore therapeutic strategies targeting MCSCs in general or to evaluate individual patient tumor cells and predict response to therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1006732107

    View details for Web of Science ID 000283184800050

    View details for PubMedID 20921380

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2964232

  • Dynamic Visualization of RGD-Quantum Dot Binding to Tumor Neovasculature and Extravasation in Multiple Living Mouse Models Using Intravital Microscopy SMALL Smith, B. R., Cheng, Z., De, A., Rosenberg, J., Gambhir, S. S. 2010; 6 (20): 2222-2229

    View details for DOI 10.1002/smll.201001022

    View details for Web of Science ID 000283890500003

    View details for PubMedID 20862677

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3030963

  • 3-D Deep Penetration Photoacoustic Imaging with a 2-D CMUT Array. Proceedings. IEEE Ultrasonics Symposium Ma, T., Kothapalli, S. R., Vaithilingam, S., Oralkan, O., Kamaya, A., Wygant, I. O., Zhuang, X., Gambhir, S. S., Jeffrey, R. B., Khuri-Yakub, B. T. 2010; 2010: 375-377

    Abstract

    In this work, we demonstrate 3-D photoacoustic imaging of optically absorbing targets embedded as deep as 5 cm inside a highly scattering background medium using a 2-D capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducer (CMUT) array with a center frequency of 5.5 MHz. 3-D volumetric images and 2-D maximum intensity projection images are presented to show the objects imaged at different depths. Due to the close proximity of the CMUT to the integrated frontend circuits, the CMUT array imaging system has a low noise floor. This makes the CMUT a promising technology for deep tissue photoacoustic imaging.

    View details for PubMedID 22977296

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3438520

  • Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma in First Complete Remission: Is There a Role for F-18 FDG PET/CT Surveillance? 23rd Annual Congress of the European-Association-of-Nuclear-Medicine (EANM) Lagaru, A., Maeda, L. S., Lin, F. I., Hoppe, R. T., Rosenberg, S. A., Gambhir, S. S., Advani, R. H. SPRINGER. 2010: S212–S213
  • Combined F-18 Fluoride and F-18 FDG PET/CT Scan for Evaluation of Malignancy: Beyond the Pilot Phase Study 23rd Annual Congress of the European-Association-of-Nuclear-Medicine (EANM) Iagaru, A., Mittra, E., Dick, D. W., Gambhir, S. S. SPRINGER. 2010: S200–S200
  • Tumor Measurements by F-18-FDG PET: How Accurate are they? 23rd Annual Congress of the European-Association-of-Nuclear-Medicine (EANM) Mittra, E., Iagaru, A., Gambhir, S. S. SPRINGER. 2010: S330–S331
  • [F-18]FPPRGD2 PET/CT Imaging of Integrin Expression in Healthy Volunteers 23rd Annual Congress of the European-Association-of-Nuclear-Medicine (EANM) Mittra, E., Iagaru, A., Goris, M. L., Chin, F., Chen, X., Gambhir, S. S. SPRINGER. 2010: S287–S287
  • A Comparison Between Time Domain and Spectral Imaging Systems for Imaging Quantum Dots in Small Living Animals MOLECULAR IMAGING AND BIOLOGY de la Zerda, A., Bodapati, S., Teed, R., Schipper, M. L., Keren, S., Smith, B. R., Ng, J. S., Gambhir, S. S. 2010; 12 (5): 500-508

    Abstract

    We quantified the performance of time-domain imaging (TDI) and spectral imaging (SI) for fluorescence imaging of quantum dots (QDs) in three distinct imaging instruments: eXplore Optix (TDI, Advanced Research Technologies Inc.), Maestro (SI, CRi Inc.), and IVIS-Spectrum (SI, Caliper Life Sciences Inc.).The instruments were compared for their sensitivity in phantoms and living mice, multiplexing capabilities (ability to resolve the signal of one QD type in the presence of another), and the dependence of contrast and spatial resolution as a function of depth.In phantoms, eXplore Optix had an order of magnitude better sensitivity compared to the SI systems, detecting QD concentrations of ~40 pM in vitro. Maestro was the best instrument for multiplexing QDs. Reduction of contrast and resolution as a function of depth was smallest with eXplore Optix for depth of 2-6 mm, while other depths gave comparable results in all systems. Sensitivity experiments in living mice showed that the eXplore Optix and Maestro systems outperformed the IVIS-Spectrum.TDI was found to be an order of magnitude more sensitive than SI at the expense of speed and very limited multiplexing capabilities. For deep tissue QD imaging, TDI is most applicable for depths between 2 and 6 mm, as its contrast and resolution degrade the least at these depths.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11307-009-0290-4

    View details for Web of Science ID 000282273200006

    View details for PubMedID 20012220

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3089652

  • Noninvasive molecular imaging of c-Myc activation in living mice PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Fan-Minogue, H., Cao, Z., Paulmurugan, R., Chan, C. T., Massoud, T. F., Felsher, D. W., Gambhir, S. S. 2010; 107 (36): 15892-15897

    Abstract

    The cytoplasmic Myc protein (c-Myc) regulates various human genes and is dysregulated in many human cancers. Phosphorylation mediates the protein activation of c-Myc and is essential for the function of this transcription factor in normal cell behavior and tumor growth. To date, however, the targeting of Myc as a therapeutic approach for cancer treatment has been achieved primarily at the nonprotein level. We have developed a molecular imaging sensor for noninvasive imaging of c-Myc activity in living subjects using a split Firefly luciferase (FL) complementation strategy to detect and quantify the phosphorylation-mediated interaction between glycogen synthase kinase 3beta (GSK3beta) and c-Myc. This sensor system consists of two fusion proteins, GSK 35-433-CFL and NFL-c-Myc, in which specific fragments of GSK3beta and c-Myc are fused with C-terminal and N-terminal fragments of the split FL, respectively. The sensor detects phosphorylation-specific GSK3beta-c-Myc interaction, the imaging signal of which correlates with the steady-state and temporal regulation of c-Myc phosphorylation in cell culture. The sensor also detects inhibition of c-Myc activity via differential pathways, allowing noninvasive monitoring of c-Myc-targeted drug efficacy in intact cells and living mice. Notably, this drug inhibition is detected before changes in tumor size are apparent in mouse xenograft and liver tumor models. This reporter system not only provides an innovative way to investigate the role of functional c-Myc in normal and cancer-related biological processes, but also facilitates c-Myc-targeted drug development by providing a rapid quantitative approach to assessing cancer response to therapy in living subjects.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1007443107

    View details for Web of Science ID 000281637800049

    View details for PubMedID 20713710

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2936612

  • Biodistribution of Neural Stem Cells After Intravascular Therapy for Hypoxic-Ischemia STROKE Pendharkar, A. V., Chua, J. Y., Andres, R. H., Wang, N., Gaeta, X., Wang, H., De, A., Choi, R., Chen, S., Rutt, B. K., Gambhir, S. S., Guzman, R. 2010; 41 (9): 2064-2070

    Abstract

    Intravascular transplantation of neural stem cells represents a minimally invasive therapeutic approach for the treatment of central nervous system diseases. The cellular biodistribution after intravascular injection needs to be analyzed to determine the ideal delivery modality. We studied the biodistribution and efficiency of targeted central nervous system delivery comparing intravenous and intra-arterial (IA) administration of neural stem cells after brain ischemia.Mouse neural stem cells were transduced with a firefly luciferase reporter gene for bioluminescence imaging (BLI). Hypoxic-ischemia was induced in adult mice and reporter neural stem cells were transplanted IA or intravenous at 24 hours after brain ischemia. In vivo BLI was used to track transplanted cells up to 2 weeks after transplantation and ex vivo BLI was used to determine single organ biodistribution.Immediately after transplantation, BLI signal from the brain was 12 times higher in IA versus intravenous injected animals (P<0.0001). After IA injection, 69% of the total luciferase activity arose from the brain early after transplantation and 93% at 1 week. After intravenous injection, 94% of the BLI signal was detected in the lungs (P=0.004) followed by an overall 94% signal loss at 1 week, indicating lack of cell survival outside the brain. Ex vivo single organ analysis showed a significantly higher BLI signal in the brain than in the lungs, liver, and kidneys at 1 week (P<0.0001) and 2 weeks in IA (P=0.007).IA transplantation results in superior delivery and sustained presence of neural stem cells in the ischemic brain in comparison to intravenous infusion.

    View details for DOI 10.1161/STROKEAHA.109.575993

    View details for Web of Science ID 000281503000037

    View details for PubMedID 20616329

  • DYNAMIC CONTRAST-ENHANCED MRI REVEALS CORE SIGNALLING PATHWAYS IN BREAST CANCER 1st British Breast Cancer Research Conference Mehta, S., HUGHES, N. P., Buffa, F. M., Adams, R. F., Gambhir, S. S., Harris, A. L. PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD. 2010: 13–13
  • Facile synthesis, silanization and biodistribution of biocompatible quantum dots Ma, N., Marshall, A. F., Gambhir, S., Rao, J. AMER CHEMICAL SOC. 2010
  • Design, Synthesis, and Imaging of an Activatable Photoacoustic Probe JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY Levi, J., Kothapalli, S. R., Ma, T., Hartman, K., Khuri-Yakub, B. T., Gambhir, S. S. 2010; 132 (32): 11264-11269

    Abstract

    Photoacoustic tomography is a rapidly growing imaging modality that can provide images of high spatial resolution and high contrast at depths up to 5 cm. We report here the design, synthesis, and evaluation of an activatable probe that shows great promise for enabling detection of the cleaved probe in the presence of high levels of nonactivated, uncleaved probe, a difficult task to attain in absorbance-based modality. Before the cleavage by its target, proteolytic enzyme MMP-2, the probe, an activatable cell-penetrating peptide, Ceeee[Ahx]PLGLAGrrrrrK, labeled with two chromophores, BHQ3 and Alexa750, shows photoacoustic signals of similar intensity at the two wavelengths corresponding to the absorption maxima of the chromophores, 675 and 750 nm. Subtraction of the images taken at these two wavelengths makes the probe effectively photoacoustically silent, as the signals at these two wavelengths essentially cancel out. After the cleavage, the dye associated with the cell-penetrating part of the probe, BHQ3, accumulates in the cells, while the other dye diffuses away, resulting in photoacoustic signal seen at only one of the wavelengths, 675 nm. Subtraction of the photoacoustic images at two wavelengths reveals the location of the cleaved (activated) probe. In the search for the chromophores that are best suited for photoacoustic imaging, we have investigated the photoacoustic signals of five chromophores absorbing in the near-infrared region. We have found that the photoacoustic signal did not correlate with the absorbance and fluorescence of the molecules, as the highest photoacoustic signal arose from the least absorbing quenchers, BHQ3 and QXL 680.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/0104000a

    View details for Web of Science ID 000280861300058

    View details for PubMedID 20698693

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2922742

  • A molecularly engineered split reporter for imaging protein-protein interactions with positron emission tomography NATURE MEDICINE Massoud, T. F., Paulmurugan, R., Gambhir, S. S. 2010; 16 (8): 921-U123

    Abstract

    Improved techniques to noninvasively image protein-protein interactions (PPIs) are essential. We molecularly engineered a positron emission tomography (PET)-based split reporter (herpes simplex virus type 1 thymidine kinase), cleaved between Thr265 and Ala266, and used this in a protein-fragment complementation assay (PCA) to quantify PPIs in mammalian cells and to microPET image them in living mice. An introduced point mutation (V119C) markedly enhanced thymidine kinase complementation in PCAs, on the basis of rapamycin modulation of FKBP12-rapamycin-binding domain (FRB) and FKBP12 (FK506 binding protein), the interaction of hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha with the von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor, and in an estrogen receptor intramolecular protein folding assay. Applications of this unique split thymidine kinase are potentially far reaching, including, for example, considerably more accurate monitoring of immune and stem cell therapies, allowing for fully quantitative and tomographic PET localization of PPIs in preclinical small- and large-animal models of disease.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nm.2185

    View details for Web of Science ID 000280649200033

    View details for PubMedID 20639890

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2917476

  • Antiangiogenic Cancer Therapy: Monitoring with Molecular US and a Clinically Translatable Contrast Agent (BR55) RADIOLOGY Pysz, M. A., Foygel, K., Rosenberg, J., Gambhir, S. S., Schneider, M., Willmann, J. K. 2010; 256 (2): 519-527

    Abstract

    To develop and test human kinase insert domain receptor (KDR)-targeted microbubbles (MBs) (MB(KDR)) for imaging KDR at the molecular level and for monitoring antiangiogenic therapy in a human colon cancer xenograft tumor model in mice.Animal studies were approved by the Institutional Administrative Panel on Laboratory Animal Care. A heterodimeric peptide that binds to human KDR with low nanomolar affinity (K(D) = 0.5 nmol/L) was coupled onto the surface of perfluorobutane-containing lipid-shelled MBs (MB(KDR)). Binding specificity of MB(KDR) to human KDR and cross-reactivity with murine vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor 2 (VEGFR2) were tested in cell culture under flow shear stress conditions (at 100 sec(-1)). In vivo binding specificity of MB(KDR) to VEGFR2 was tested in human LS174T colon cancer xenografts in mice with a 40-MHz ultrasonographic (US) transducer. Targeted contrast material-enhanced US imaging signal by using MB(KDR) was longitudinally measured during 6 days in tumors with (n = 6) and without (n = 6) antiangiogenic treatment (anti-VEGF antibody). Ex vivo VEGFR2 staining and microvessel density analysis were performed. Significant differences were evaluated (t, Mann-Whitney, or Wilcoxon test).Cell culture experiments showed four times greater binding specificity of MB(KDR) to human KDR and cross-reactivity to murine VEGFR2 (P < or = .01). In vivo imaging signal was more than three times higher (P = .01) with MB(KDR) compared with control MBs and decreased significantly (approximately fourfold lower, P = .03) following in vivo receptor blocking with anti-VEGFR2 antibody. One day after initiation of antiangiogenic therapy, imaging signal was significantly decreased (approximately 46% lower, P = .02) in treated versus untreated tumors; it remained significantly lower (range, 46%-84% decreased; P = .038) during the following 5 days. Microvessel density was significantly reduced (P = .04) in treated (mean, 7.3 microvessels per square millimeter +/- 4.7 [standard deviation]) versus untreated tumors (mean, 22.0 microvessels per square millimeter +/- 9.4); VEGFR2 expression was significantly decreased (>50% lower, P = .03) in treated tumors.Human MB(KDR) allow in vivo imaging and longitudinal monitoring of VEGFR2 expression in human colon cancer xenografts.

    View details for DOI 10.1148/radiol.10091858

    View details for Web of Science ID 000280272100023

    View details for PubMedID 20515975

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2909432

  • [F-18]FTC-146: A novel and highly selective PET ligand for visualizing sigma-1 receptors in living subjects 8th International Symposium on Functional Neuroreceptor Mapping of the Living Brain James, M. L., Shen, B., Zavaleta, C., Berganos, R. A., Mesangeau, C., Shaikh, J., Gambhir, S. S., Matsumoto, R. R., McCurdy, C. R., Chin, F. T. ACADEMIC PRESS INC ELSEVIER SCIENCE. 2010: S123–S124
  • Facile Synthesis, Silanization, and Biodistribution of Biocompatible Quantum Dots SMALL Ma, N., Marshall, A. F., Gambhir, S. S., Rao, J. 2010; 6 (14): 1520-1528

    Abstract

    A facile strategy for the synthesis of silica-coated quantum dots (QDs) for in vivo imaging is reported. All the QD synthesis and silanization steps are conducted in water and methanol under mild conditions without involving any organometallic precursors or high-temperature, oxygen-free environments. The as-prepared silica-coated QDs possess high quantum yields and are extremely stable in mouse serum. In addition, the silanization method developed here produces nanoparticles with small sizes that are difficult to achieve via conventional silanization methods. The silica coating helps to prevent the exposure of the QD surface to the biological milieu and therefore increases the biocompatibility of QDs for in vivo applications. Interestingly, the silica-coated QDs exhibit a different biodistribution pattern from that of commercially available Invitrogen QD605 (carboxylate) with a similar size and emission wavelength. The Invitrogen QD605 exhibits predominant liver (57.2% injected dose (ID) g(-1)) and spleen (46.1% ID g(-1)) uptakes 30 min after intravenous injection, whereas the silica-coated QDs exhibit much lower liver (16.2% ID g(-1)) and spleen (3.67% ID g(-1)) uptakes but higher kidney uptake (8.82% ID g(-1)), blood retention (15.0% ID g(-1)), and partial renal clearance. Overall, this straightforward synthetic strategy paves the way for routine and customized synthesis of silica-coated QDs for biological use.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/smll.200902409

    View details for Web of Science ID 000280633900011

    View details for PubMedID 20564726

  • Indirect imaging of cardiac-specific transgene expression using a bidirectional two-step transcriptional amplification strategy GENE THERAPY Chen, I. Y., Gheysens, O., Ray, S., Wang, Q., Padmanabhan, P., Paulmurugan, R., Loening, A. M., Rodriguez-Porcel, M., Willmann, J. K., Sheikh, A. Y., Nielsen, C. H., Hoyt, G., Contag, C. H., Robbins, R. C., Biswal, S., Wu, J. C., Gambhir, S. S. 2010; 17 (7): 827-838

    Abstract

    Transcriptional targeting for cardiac gene therapy is limited by the relatively weak activity of most cardiac-specific promoters. We have developed a bidirectional plasmid vector, which uses a two-step transcriptional amplification (TSTA) strategy to enhance the expression of two optical reporter genes, firefly luciferase (fluc) and Renilla luciferase (hrluc), driven by the cardiac troponin T (cTnT) promoter. The vector was characterized in vitro and in living mice using luminometry and bioluminescence imaging to assess its ability to mediate strong, correlated reporter gene expression in a cardiac cell line and the myocardium, while minimizing expression in non-cardiac cell lines and the liver. In vitro, the TSTA system significantly enhanced cTnT-mediated reporter gene expression with moderate preservation of cardiac specificity. After intramyocardial and hydrodynamic tail vein delivery of an hrluc-enhanced variant of the vector, long-term fluc expression was observed in the heart, but not in the liver. In both the cardiac cell line and the myocardium, fluc expression correlated well with hrluc expression. These results show the vector's ability to effectively amplify and couple transgene expression in a cardiac-specific manner. Further replacement of either reporter gene with a therapeutic gene should allow non-invasive imaging of targeted gene therapy in living subjects.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/gt.2010.30

    View details for Web of Science ID 000279614600002

    View details for PubMedID 20237511

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2900530

  • Molecular imaging: current status and emerging strategies CLINICAL RADIOLOGY Pysz, M. A., Gambhir, S. S., Willmann, J. K. 2010; 65 (7): 500-516

    Abstract

    In vivo molecular imaging has a great potential to impact medicine by detecting diseases in early stages (screening), identifying extent of disease, selecting disease- and patient-specific treatment (personalized medicine), applying a directed or targeted therapy, and measuring molecular-specific effects of treatment. Current clinical molecular imaging approaches primarily use positron-emission tomography (PET) or single photon-emission computed tomography (SPECT)-based techniques. In ongoing preclinical research, novel molecular targets of different diseases are identified and, sophisticated and multifunctional contrast agents for imaging these molecular targets are developed along with new technologies and instrumentation for multi-modality molecular imaging. Contrast-enhanced molecular ultrasound (US) with molecularly-targeted contrast microbubbles is explored as a clinically translatable molecular imaging strategy for screening, diagnosing, and monitoring diseases at the molecular level. Optical imaging with fluorescent molecular probes and US imaging with molecularly-targeted microbubbles are attractive strategies as they provide real-time imaging, are relatively inexpensive, produce images with high spatial resolution, and do not involve exposure to ionizing irradiation. Raman spectroscopy/microscopy has emerged as a molecular optical imaging strategy for ultrasensitive detection of multiple biomolecules/biochemicals with both in vivo and ex vivo versatility. Photoacoustic imaging is a hybrid of optical and US techniques involving optically-excitable molecularly-targeted contrast agents and quantitative detection of resulting oscillatory contrast agent movement with US. Current preclinical findings and advances in instrumentation, such as endoscopes and microcatheters, suggest that these molecular imaging methods have numerous potential clinical applications and will be translated into clinical use in the near future.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.crad.2010.03.011

    View details for Web of Science ID 000280379900002

    View details for PubMedID 20541650

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3150531

  • Reply to: The diagnostic accuracy of F-18-FDG PET in cutaneous malignant melanoma EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE AND MOLECULAR IMAGING Delgado-Bolton, R. C., Jimenez-Requena, F., Fernandez-Perez, C., Gambhir, S. S., Schwimmer, J., Perez-Vazquez, J. M., Carreras-Delgado, J. L. 2010; 37 (7): 1436-1437
  • Implantable semiconductor biosensor for continuous in vivo sensing of far-red fluorescent molecules OPTICS EXPRESS O'Sullivan, T., Munro, E. A., Parashurama, N., Conca, C., Gambhir, S. S., Harris, J. S., Levi, O. 2010; 18 (12): 12513-12525

    Abstract

    We have fabricated miniature implantable fluorescence sensors for continuous fluorescence sensing applications in living subjects. These monolithically integrated GaAs-based sensors incorporate a 675 nm vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL), a GaAs PIN photodiode, and a fluorescence emission filter. We demonstrate high detection sensitivity for Cy5.5 far-red dye (50 nanoMolar) in living tissue, limited by the intrinsic background autofluorescence. These low cost, sensitive and scalable sensors are promising for long-term continuous monitoring of molecular dynamics for biomedical studies in freely moving animals.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000278527700052

    View details for PubMedID 20588377

  • Cu-64-Labeled Affibody Molecules for Imaging of HER2 Expressing Tumors MOLECULAR IMAGING AND BIOLOGY Cheng, Z., De Jesus, O. P., Kramer, D. J., De, A., Webster, J. M., Gheysens, O., Levi, J., Namavari, M., Wang, S., Park, J. M., Zhang, R., Liu, H., Lee, B., Syud, F. A., Gambhir, S. S. 2010; 12 (3): 316-324

    Abstract

    The development of molecular probes based on novel engineered protein constructs is under active investigation due to the great potential of this generalizable strategy for imaging a variety of tumor targets.In this report, human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2 (HER2)-binding Affibody molecules were radiolabeled with (64)Cu and their imaging ability was further evaluated in tumor mice models to understand the promise and limitations of such probes. The anti-HER2 Affibody molecules in monomeric (Z(HER2:477)) and dimeric [(Z(HER2:477))(2)] forms were site specifically modified with the maleimide-functionalized chelator, 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7-tris(acetic acid)-10-acetate mono (N-ethylmaleimide amide) (Mal-DOTA). The resulting DOTA-Affibody conjugates were radiolabeled with (64)Cu and evaluated in nude mice bearing subcutaneous SKOV3 tumors. Biodistribution experiments showed that tumor uptake values of (64)Cu-DOTA-Z(HER2:477) and (64)Cu-DOTA-(Z(HER2:477))(2) were 6.12 +/- 1.44% and 1.46 +/- 0.50% ID/g, respectively, in nude mice (n = 3 each) at 4 h postinjection. Moreover, (64)Cu-labeled monomer exhibited significantly higher tumor/blood ratio than that of radiolabeled dimeric counterpart at all time points examined in this study. MicroPET imaging of (64)Cu-DOTA-Z(HER2:477) in SKOV3 tumor mice clearly showed good and specific tumor localization. This study demonstrates that (64)Cu-labeled Z(HER2:477) is a promising targeted molecular probe for imaging HER2 receptor expression in living mice. Further work is needed to improve the excretion properties, hence dosimetry and imaging efficacy, of the radiometal-based probe.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11307-009-0256-6

    View details for Web of Science ID 000277375300010

    View details for PubMedID 19779897

  • Antioxidants Improve Early Survival of Cardiomyoblasts After Transplantation to the Myocardium MOLECULAR IMAGING AND BIOLOGY Rodriguez-Porcel, M., Gheysens, O., Paulmurugan, R., Chen, I. Y., Peterson, K. M., Willmann, J. K., Wu, J. C., Zhu, X., Lerman, L. O., Gambhir, S. S. 2010; 12 (3): 325-334

    Abstract

    We tested the hypothesis that modulation of the microenvironment (using antioxidants) will increase stem cell survival in hypoxia and after transplantation to the myocardium.Rat cardiomyoblasts were stably transfected with a reporter gene (firefly luciferase) for bioluminescence imaging (BLI). First, we examined the role of oxidative stress in cells under hypoxic conditions. Subsequently, stem cells were transplanted to the myocardium of rats using high-resolution ultrasound, and their survival was monitored daily using BLI.Under hypoxia, oxidative stress was increased together with decreased cell survival compared to control cells, both of which were preserved by antioxidants. In living subjects, oxidative stress blockade increased early cell survival after transplantation to the myocardium, compared to untreated cells/animals.Modulation of the local microenvironment (with antioxidants) improves stem cell survival. Increased understanding of the interaction between stem cells and their microenvironment will be critical to advance the field of regenerative medicine.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11307-009-0274-4

    View details for Web of Science ID 000277375300011

    View details for PubMedID 20013064

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2865580

  • Ultrahigh Sensitivity Carbon Nanotube Agents for Photoacoustic Molecular Imaging in Living Mice NANO LETTERS de la Zerda, A., Liu, Z., Bodapati, S., Teed, R., Vaithilingam, S., Khuri-Yakub, B. T., Chen, X., Dai, H., Gambhir, S. S. 2010; 10 (6): 2168-2172

    Abstract

    Photoacoustic imaging is an emerging modality that overcomes to a great extent the resolution and depth limitations of optical imaging while maintaining relatively high-contrast. However, since many diseases will not manifest an endogenous photoacoustic contrast, it is essential to develop exogenous photoacoustic contrast agents that can target diseased tissue(s). Here we present a novel photoacoustic contrast agent, Indocyanine Green dye-enhanced single walled carbon nanotube (SWNT-ICG). We conjugated this contrast agent with cyclic Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) peptides to molecularly target the alpha(v)beta(3) integrins, which are associated with tumor angiogenesis. Intravenous administration of this tumor-targeted contrast agent to tumor-bearing mice showed significantly higher photoacoustic signal in the tumor than in mice injected with the untargeted contrast agent. The new contrast agent gave a markedly 300 times higher photoacoustic contrast in living tissues than previously reported SWNTs, leading to subnanomolar sensitivities. Finally, we show that the new contrast agent can detect approximately 20 times fewer cancer cells than previously reported SWNTs.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/nl100890d

    View details for Web of Science ID 000278449200033

    View details for PubMedID 20499887

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2893026

  • Radiation-Luminescence-Excited Quantum Dots for in vivo Multiplexed Optical Imaging SMALL Liu, H., Zhang, X., Xing, B., Han, P., Gambhir, S. S., Cheng, Z. 2010; 6 (10): 1087-1091

    View details for DOI 10.1002/smll.200902408

    View details for Web of Science ID 000278629300004

    View details for PubMedID 20473988

  • Assessing delivery and quantifying efficacy of small interfering ribonucleic acid therapeutics in the skin using a dual-axis confocal microscope JOURNAL OF BIOMEDICAL OPTICS Ra, H., Gonzalez-Gonzalez, E., Smith, B. R., Gambhir, S. S., Kino, G. S., Solgaard, O., Kaspar, R. L., Contag, C. H. 2010; 15 (3)

    Abstract

    Transgenic reporter mice and advances in imaging instrumentation are enabling real-time visualization of cellular mechanisms in living subjects and accelerating the development of novel therapies. Innovative confocal microscope designs are improving their utility for microscopic imaging of fluorescent reporters in living animals. We develop dual-axis confocal (DAC) microscopes for such in vivo studies and create mouse models where fluorescent proteins are expressed in the skin for the purpose of advancing skin therapeutics and transdermal delivery tools. Three-dimensional image volumes, through the different skin compartments of the epidermis and dermis, can be acquired in several seconds with the DAC microscope in living mice, and are comparable to histologic analyses of reporter protein expression patterns in skin sections. Intravital imaging with the DAC microscope further enables visualization of green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter gene expression in the skin over time, and quantification of transdermal delivery of small interfering RNA (siRNA) and therapeutic efficacy. Visualization of transdermal delivery of nucleic acids will play an important role in the development of innovative strategies for treating skin pathologies.

    View details for DOI 10.1117/1.3432627

    View details for Web of Science ID 000280642900042

    View details for PubMedID 20615029

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2904026

  • First in man studies of [18F]FPPRGD2: A novel PET radiopharmaceutical for imaging alpha v beta 3 integrin levels Mittra, E., Goris, M., Iagaru, A., Kardan, A., Liu, S., Shen, B., Chin, F., Chen, X., Gambhir, S. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2010
  • Noninvasive molecular imaging of radioactive tracers using optical imaging techniques Liu, H., Ren, G., Miao, Z., Zhang, X., Tang, X., Han, P., Gambhir, S., Cheng, Z. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2010
  • In vivo multiplexed optical imaging with radiation luminescence excited quantum dots Liu, H., Zhang, X., Xing, B., Han, P., Gambhir, S., Cheng, Z. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2010
  • Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Endothelial Cells Engraft Into the Ischemic Hindlimb and Restore Perfusion ARTERIOSCLEROSIS THROMBOSIS AND VASCULAR BIOLOGY Huang, N. F., Niiyama, H., Peter, C., De, A., Natkunam, Y., Fleissner, F., Li, Z., Rollins, M. D., Wu, J. C., Gambhir, S. S., Cooke, J. P. 2010; 30 (5): 984-U224

    Abstract

    We examined the effect of delivery modality on the survival, localization, and functional effects of exogenously administered embryonic stem cells (ESCs) or endothelial cells derived from them (ESC-ECs) in the ischemic hindlimb.Murine ESCs or ESC-ECs were stably transduced with a construct for bioluminescence imaging (BLI) and fluorescent detection. In a syngeneic murine model of limb ischemia, ESCs or ESC-ECs were delivered by intramuscular (IM), intrafemoral artery (IA), or intrafemoral vein injections (n=5 in each group). For 2 weeks, cell survival and localization were tracked by BLI and confirmed by immunohistochemistry, and functional improvement was assessed by laser Doppler perfusion. BLI showed that ESCs localized to the ischemic limb after IM or IA, but not after intrafemoral vein administration. Regardless of the route of administration, ESCs were detected outside the hindlimb circulation in the spleen or lungs. ESCs did not improve limb perfusion and generated teratomas. In contrast, ESC-ECs delivered by all 3 modalities localized to the ischemic limb, as assessed by BLI. Most surprisingly, ESC-EC injected intrafemoral vein eventually localized to the ischemic limb after initially lodging in the pulmonary circulation. Immunohistochemical studies confirmed the engraftment of ESC-ECs into the limb vasculature after 2 weeks. Notably, ESC-ECs were not detected in the spleen or lungs after 2 weeks, regardless of route of administration. Furthermore, ESC-ECs significantly improved limb perfusion and neovascularization compared with the parental ESCs or the vehicle control group.In contrast to parental ESCs, ESC-ECs preferentially localized in the ischemic hindlimb by IA, IM, and intrafemoral vein delivery. ESC-ECs engrafted into the ischemic microvasculature, enhanced neovascularization, and improved limb perfusion.

    View details for DOI 10.1161/ATVBAHA.110.202796

    View details for Web of Science ID 000276677700015

    View details for PubMedID 20167654

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2874560

  • Cetuximab-Based Immunotherapy and Radioimmunotherapy of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma CLINICAL CANCER RESEARCH Niu, G., Sun, X., Cao, Q., Courter, D., Koong, A., Le, Q., Gambhir, S. S., Chen, X. 2010; 16 (7): 2095-2105

    Abstract

    To show the relationship between antibody delivery and therapeutic efficacy in head and neck cancers, in this study we evaluated the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-targeted immunotherapy and radioimmunotherapy by quantitative positron emission tomography (PET) imaging.EGFR expression on UM-SCC-22B and SCC1 human head and neck squamous cell cancer (HNSCC) cells were determined by flow cytometry and immunostaining. Tumor delivery and distribution of cetuximab in tumor-bearing nude mice were evaluated with small animal PET using (64)Cu-DOTA-cetuximab. The in vitro toxicity of cetuximab to HNSCC cells was evaluated by MTT assay. The tumor-bearing mice were then treated with four doses of cetuximab at 10 mg/kg per dose, and tumor growth was evaluated by caliper measurement. FDG PET was done after the third dose of antibody administration to evaluate tumor response. Apoptosis and tumor cell proliferation after cetuximab treatment were analyzed by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling and Ki-67 staining. Radioimmunotherapy was done with (90)Y-DOTA-cetuximab.EGFR expression on UM-SCC-22B cells is lower than that on SCC1 cells. However, the UM-SCC-22B tumors showed much higher (64)Cu-DOTA-cetuximab accumulation than the SCC1 tumors. Cetuximab-induced apoptosis in SCC1 tumors and tumor growth was significantly inhibited, whereas an agonistic effect of cetuximab on UM-SCC-22B tumor growth was observed. After cetuximab treatment, the SCC1 tumors showed decreased FDG uptake, and the UM-SCC-22B tumors had increased FDG uptake. UM-SCC-22B tumors are more responsive to (90)Y-DOTA-cetuximab treatment than SCC1 tumors, partially due to the high tumor accumulation of the injected antibody.Cetuximab has an agonistic effect on the growth of UM-SCC-22B tumors, indicating that tumor response to cetuximab treatment is not necessarily related to EGFR expression and antibody delivery efficiency, as determined by PET imaging. Although PET imaging with antibodies as tracers has limited function in patient screening, it can provide guidance for targeted therapy using antibodies as delivery vehicles.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-09-2495

    View details for Web of Science ID 000278595800013

    View details for PubMedID 20215534

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2848903

  • Molecular imaging of biological gene delivery vehicles for targeted cancer therapy: beyond viral vectors. Nuclear medicine and molecular imaging Min, J., Nguyen, V. H., Gambhir, S. S. 2010; 44 (1): 15-24

    Abstract

    Cancer persists as one of the most devastating diseases in the world. Problems including metastasis and tumor resistance to chemotherapy and radiotherapy have seriously limited the therapeutic effects of present clinical treatments. To overcome these limitations, cancer gene therapy has been developed over the last two decades for a broad spectrum of applications, from gene replacement and knockdown to vaccination, each with different requirements for gene delivery. So far, a number of genes and delivery vectors have been investigated, and significant progress has been made with several gene therapy modalities in clinical trials. Viral vectors and synthetic liposomes have emerged as the vehicles of choice for many applications. However, both have limitations and risks that restrict gene therapy applications, including the complexity of production, limited packaging capacity, and unfavorable immunological features. While continuing to improve these vectors, it is important to investigate other options, particularly nonviral biological agents such as bacteria, bacteriophages, and bacteria-like particles. Recently, many molecular imaging techniques for safe, repeated, and high-resolution in vivo imaging of gene expression have been employed to assess vector-mediated gene expression in living subjects. In this review, molecular imaging techniques for monitoring biological gene delivery vehicles are described, and the specific use of these methods at different steps is illustrated. Linking molecular imaging to gene therapy will eventually help to develop novel gene delivery vehicles for preclinical study and support the development of future human applications.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s13139-009-0006-3

    View details for PubMedID 24899933

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4042968

  • Rosiglitazone Increases Myocardial Glucose Metabolism in Insulin-Resistant Cardiomyopathy JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF CARDIOLOGY Kao, D. P., Witteles, R. M., Quon, A., Wu, J. C., Gambhir, S. S., Fowler, M. B. 2010; 55 (9): 926-927

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jacc.2009.08.085

    View details for Web of Science ID 000274865100015

    View details for PubMedID 20185047

  • Targeted Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound Imaging of Tumor Angiogenesis with Contrast Microbubbles Conjugated to Integrin-Binding Knottin Peptides JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE Willmann, J. K., Kimura, R. H., Deshpande, N., Lutz, A. M., Cochran, J. R., Gambhir, S. S. 2010; 51 (3): 433-440

    Abstract

    Targeted contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging is increasingly being recognized as a powerful imaging tool for the detection and quantification of tumor angiogenesis at the molecular level. The purpose of this study was to develop and test a new class of targeting ligands for targeted contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging of tumor angiogenesis with small, conformationally constrained peptides that can be coupled to the surface of ultrasound contrast agents.Directed evolution was used to engineer a small, disulfide-constrained cystine knot (knottin) peptide that bound to alpha(v)beta(3) integrins with a low nanomolar affinity (Knottin(Integrin)). A targeted contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging contrast agent was created by attaching Knottin(Integrin) to the shell of perfluorocarbon-filled microbubbles (MB-Knottin(Integrin)). A knottin peptide with a scrambled sequence was used to create control microbubbles (MB-Knottin(Scrambled)). The binding of MB-Knottin(Integrin) and MB-Knottin(Scrambled) to alpha(v)beta(3) integrin-positive cells and control cells was assessed in cell culture binding experiments and compared with that of microbubbles coupled to an anti-alpha(v)beta(3) integrin monoclonal antibody (MB(alphavbeta3)) and microbubbles coupled to the peptidomimetic agent c(RGDfK) (MB(cRGD)). The in vivo imaging signals of contrast-enhanced ultrasound with the different types of microbubbles were quantified in 42 mice bearing human ovarian adenocarcinoma xenograft tumors by use of a high-resolution 40-MHz ultrasound system.MB-Knottin(Integrin) attached significantly more to alpha(v)beta(3) integrin-positive cells (1.76 +/- 0.49 [mean +/- SD] microbubbles per cell) than to control cells (0.07 +/- 0.006). Control MB-Knottin(Scrambled) adhered less to alpha(v)beta(3) integrin-positive cells (0.15 +/- 0.12) than MB-Knottin(Integrin). After blocking of integrins, the attachment of MB-Knottin(Integrin) to alpha(v)beta(3) integrin-positive cells decreased significantly. The in vivo ultrasound imaging signal was significantly higher after the administration of MB-Knottin(Integrin) than after the administration of MB(alphavbeta3) or control MB-Knottin(Scrambled). After in vivo blocking of integrin receptors, the imaging signal after the administration of MB-Knottin(Integrin) decreased significantly (by 64%). The imaging signals after the administration of MB-Knottin(Integrin) were not significantly different in the groups of tumor-bearing mice imaged with MB-Knottin(Integrin) and with MB(cRGD). Ex vivo immunofluorescence confirmed integrin expression on endothelial cells of human ovarian adenocarcinoma xenograft tumors.Integrin-binding knottin peptides can be conjugated to the surface of microbubbles and used for in vivo targeted contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging of tumor angiogenesis. Our results demonstrate that microbubbles conjugated to small peptide-targeting ligands provide imaging signals higher than those provided by a large antibody molecule.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.109.068007

    View details for Web of Science ID 000275133100026

    View details for PubMedID 20150258

  • Evaluation of a Cu-64-Labeled Cystine-Knot Peptide Based on Agouti-Related Protein for PET of Tumors Expressing alpha(v)beta(3) Integrin JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE Jiang, L., Kimura, R. H., Miao, Z., Silverman, A. P., Ren, G., Liu, H., Li, P., Gambhir, S. S., Cochran, J. R., Cheng, Z. 2010; 51 (2): 251-258

    Abstract

    Recently, a truncated form of the agouti-related protein (AgRP), a 4-kDa cystine-knot peptide of human origin, was used as a scaffold to engineer mutants that bound to alpha(v)beta(3) integrin with high affinity and specificity. In this study, we evaluated the potential of engineered integrin-binding AgRP peptides for use as cancer imaging agents in living subjects.Engineered AgRP peptides were prepared by solid-phase peptide synthesis and were folded in vitro and purified by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. Competition assays were used to measure the relative binding affinities of engineered AgRP peptides for integrin receptors expressed on the surface of U87MG glioblastoma cells. The highest-affinity mutant, AgRP clone 7C, was site-specifically conjugated with 1,4,7,10-tetra-azacyclododecane-N,N',N''N'''-tetraacetic acid (DOTA). The resulting bioconjugate, DOTA-AgRP-7C, was radiolabeled with (64)Cu for biodistribution analysis and small-animal PET studies in mice bearing U87MG tumor xenografts. In addition to serum stability, the in vivo metabolic stability of (64)Cu-DOTA-AgRP-7C was assessed after injection and probe recovery from mouse kidney, liver, tumor, and urine.AgRP-7C and DOTA-AgRP-7C bound with high affinity to integrin receptors expressed on U87MG cells (half maximal inhibitory concentration values, 20 +/- 4 and 14 +/- 2 nM, respectively). DOTA-AgRP-7C was labeled with (64)Cu with high radiochemical purity (>99%). In biodistribution and small-animal PET studies, (64)Cu-DOTA-AgRP-7C displayed rapid blood clearance, good tumor uptake and retention (2.70 +/- 0.93 percentage injected dose per gram [%ID/g] and 2.37 +/- 1.04 %ID/g at 2 and 24 h, respectively), and high tumor-to-background tissue ratios. The integrin-binding specificity of (64)Cu-DOTA-AgRP-7C was confirmed in vitro and in vivo by showing that a large molar excess of the unlabeled peptidomimetic c(RGDyK) could block probe binding and tumor uptake. Serum stability and in vivo metabolite assays demonstrated that engineered AgRP peptides are sufficiently stable for in vivo molecular imaging applications.A radiolabeled version of the engineered AgRP peptide 7C showed promise as a PET agent for tumors that express the alpha(v)beta(3) integrin. Collectively, these results validate AgRP-based cystine-knot peptides for use in vivo as molecular imaging agents and provide support for the general use of AgRP as a scaffold to develop targeting peptides, and hence diagnostics, against other tumor receptors.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.109.069831

    View details for Web of Science ID 000274152800028

    View details for PubMedID 20124048

  • Photoacoustic ocular imaging OPTICS LETTERS de la Zerda, A., Paulus, Y. M., Teed, R., Bodapati, S., Dollberg, Y., Khuri-Yakub, B. T., Blumenkranz, M. S., Moshfeghi, D. M., Gambhir, S. S. 2010; 35 (3): 270-272

    Abstract

    We developed a photoacoustic ocular imaging device and demonstrated its utility in imaging the deeper layers of the eye including the retina, choroid, and optic nerve. Using safe laser intensity, the photoacoustic system was able to visualize the blood distribution of an enucleated pig's eye and an eye of a living rabbit. Ultrasound images, which were simultaneously acquired, were overlaid on the photoacoustic images to visualize the eye's anatomy. Such a system may be used in the future for early detection and improved management of neovascular ocular diseases, including wet age-related macular degeneration and proliferative diabetic retinopathy.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000274196100001

    View details for PubMedID 20125691

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2886805

  • A Dual-Labeled Knottin Peptide for PET and Near-Infrared Fluorescence Imaging of Integrin Expression in Living Subjects. Bioconjugate chemistry Kimura, R. H., Miao, Z., Cheng, Z., Gambhir, S. S., Cochran, J. R. 2010

    Abstract

    Previously, we used directed evolution to engineer mutants of the Ecballium elaterium trypsin inhibitor (EETI-II) knottin that bind to alpha(v)beta(3) and alpha(v)beta(5) integrin receptors with low nanomolar affinity, and showed that Cy5.5- or (64)Cu-DOTA-labeled knottin peptides could be used to image integrin expression in mouse tumor models using near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) imaging or positron emission tomography (PET). Here, we report the development of a dual-labeled knottin peptide conjugated to both NIRF and PET imaging agents for multimodality imaging in living subjects. We created an orthogonally protected peptide-based linker for stoichiometric coupling of (64)Cu-DOTA and Cy5.5 onto the knottin N-terminus and confirmed that conjugation did not affect binding to alpha(v)beta(3) and alpha(v)beta(5) integrins. NIRF and PET imaging studies in tumor xenograft models showed that Cy5.5 conjugation significantly increased kidney uptake and retention compared to the knottin peptide labeled with (64)Cu-DOTA alone. In the tumor, the dual-labeled (64)Cu-DOTA/Cy5.5 knottin peptide showed decreased wash-out leading to significantly better retention (p < 0.05) compared to the (64)Cu-DOTA-labeled knottin peptide. Tumor uptake was significantly reduced (p < 0.05) when the dual-labeled knottin peptide was coinjected with an excess of unlabeled competitor and when tested in a tumor model with lower levels of integrin expression. Finally, plots of tumor-to-background tissue ratios for Cy5.5 versus (64)Cu uptake were well-correlated over several time points post injection, demonstrating pharmacokinetic cross validation of imaging labels. This dual-modality NIRF/PET imaging agent is promising for further development in clinical applications where high sensitivity and high resolution are desired, such as detection of tumors located deep within the body and image-guided surgical resection.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/bc9003102

    View details for PubMedID 20131753

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3004996

  • A red-shifted Renilla luciferase for transient reporter-gene expression NATURE METHODS Loening, A. M., Dragulescu-Andrasi, A., Gambhir, S. S. 2010; 7 (1): 5-6

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nmeth0110-05

    View details for Web of Science ID 000273128300003

    View details for PubMedID 20038949

  • Optical Imaging with Radioactive Probes PLoS One Liu, H., Ren G, Miao Z, Zhang X, Tang X, Han P, Gambhir SS, Cheng Z 2010; 5 (3): E9470
  • Combined F-18-FDG and Fluoride Approach in PET/CT Imaging: Is There a Clinical Future? REPLY JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE Iagaru, A., Mittra, E., Goris, M. L., Gambhir, S. S. 2010; 51 (1): 166-167
  • Meta-analysis of the Performance of [18F] FDG-PET in Cutaneous Melanoma. European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging JImenez-Requena F, Delgado-Bolton R, Fernandez-Perez C, Gambhir SS, Schwimmer J, Perez-Vazquez J, Carreras-Delgado J. 2010; 37(2): 284-300
  • A Novel Method of Monitoring Placenta-Specific Transgene Expression Throughout Pregnancy by Noninvasive Bioluminescence Imaging 43rd Annual Meeting of the Society-for-the-Study-of-Reproduction Fan, X., Ren, P., Dhal, S., Goodman, S. B., Gambhir, S. S., Druzin, M. L., Nayak, N. R. SOC STUDY REPRODUCTION. 2010: 144–145
  • Functional and Transcriptional Characterization of Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Endothelial Cells for Treatment of Myocardial Infarction PLOS ONE Li, Z., Wilson, K. D., Smith, B., Kraft, D. L., Jia, F., Huang, M., Xie, X., Robbins, R. C., Gambhir, S. S., Weissman, I. L., Wu, J. C. 2009; 4 (12)

    Abstract

    Differentiation of human embryonic stem cells into endothelial cells (hESC-ECs) has the potential to provide an unlimited source of cells for novel transplantation therapies of ischemic diseases by supporting angiogenesis and vasculogenesis. However, the endothelial differentiation efficiency of the conventional embryoid body (EB) method is low while the 2-dimensional method of co-culturing with mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) require animal product, both of which can limit the future clinical application of hESC-ECs. Moreover, to fully understand the beneficial effects of stem cell therapy, investigators must be able to track the functional biology and physiology of transplanted cells in living subjects over time.In this study, we developed an extracellular matrix (ECM) culture system for increasing endothelial differentiation and free from contaminating animal cells. We investigated the transcriptional changes that occur during endothelial differentiation of hESCs using whole genome microarray, and compared to human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). We also showed functional vascular formation by hESC-ECs in a mouse dorsal window model. Moreover, our study is the first so far to transplant hESC-ECs in a myocardial infarction model and monitor cell fate using molecular imaging methods.Taken together, we report a more efficient method for derivation of hESC-ECs that express appropriate patterns of endothelial genes, form functional vessels in vivo, and improve cardiac function. These studies suggest that hESC-ECs may provide a novel therapy for ischemic heart disease in the future.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0008443

    View details for Web of Science ID 000273180200002

    View details for PubMedID 20046878

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2795856

  • Efficacy of F-18-FDG PET/CT in the evaluation of patients with recurrent cervical carcinoma EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE AND MOLECULAR IMAGING Mittra, E., El-Maghraby, T., Rodriguez, C. A., Quon, A., McDougall, I. R., Gambhir, S. S., Iagaru, A. 2009; 36 (12): 1952-1959

    Abstract

    Only a limited number of studies have evaluated the efficacy of 18F-FDG PET/CT for recurrent cervical carcinoma, which this study seeks to expand upon.This is a retrospective study of 30 women with cervical carcinoma who had a surveillance PET/CT after initial therapy. Sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value were calculated using a 2 × 2 contingency table with pathology results (76%) or clinical follow-up (24%) as the gold standard. The Wilson score method was used to perform 95% confidence interval estimations.The sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of PET/CT for the detection of local recurrence at the primary site were 93, 93, 93, 86, and 96%, respectively. The same values for the detection of distant metastases were 96, 95, 95, 96, and 95%, respectively. Seventy-one percent of the scans performed in symptomatic patients showed true-positive findings. In comparison, 44% of scans performed in asymptomatic patients showed true-positive findings. But, all patients subsequently had a change in their management based on the PET/CT findings such that the effect was notable. The maximum standardized uptake value ranged from 5 to 28 (average: 13 ± 7) in the primary site and 3 to 23 (average: 8 ± 4) in metastases which were significantly different (p = 0.04).This study demonstrates favorable efficacy of 18F-FDG PET/CT for identification of residual/recurrent cervical cancer, as well as for localization of distant metastases.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s00259-009-1206-x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000271979300004

    View details for PubMedID 19585114

  • Development and intra-institutional and inter-institutional validation of a comprehensive new hepatobiliary software: part 1-liver and gallbladder function NUCLEAR MEDICINE COMMUNICATIONS Krishnamurthy, G. T., Krishnamurthy, S., Gambhir, S. S., Rodrigues, C., Rosenberg, J., Schiepers, C., Buxton-Thomas, M. 2009; 30 (12): 934-944

    Abstract

    To develop a software tool for quantification of liver and gallbladder function, and to assess the repeatability and reproducibility of measurements made with it.The software tool developed with the JAVA programming language uses the JAVA2 Standard Edition framework. After manual selection of the regions of interest on a 99mTc hepatic iminodiacetic acid study, the program calculates differential hepatic bile flow, basal duodeno-gastric bile reflux (B-DGBR), hepatic extraction fraction (HEF) of both the lobes with deconvolutional analysis and excretion half-time with nonlinear least squares fit. Gallbladder ejection fraction, ejection period (EP), ejection rate (ER), and postcholecystokinin (CCK) DGBR are calculated after stimulation with CCK-8. To assess intra-observer repeatability and intra-observer reproducibility, measurements from 10 normal participants were analyzed twice by three nuclear medicine technologists at the primary center. To assess inter-site reproducibility, measurements from a superset of 24 normal participants were also assessed once by three observers at the primary center and single observer at three other sites.For the 24 control participants, mean+/-SD of hepatic bile flow into gallbladder was 63.87+/-28.7%, HEF of the right lobe 100+/-0%, left lobe 99.43+2.63%, excretion half-time of the right lobe 21.50+6.98 min, left lobe 28.3+/-11.3 min. Basal DGBR was 1.2+/-1.0%. Gallbladder ejection fraction was 80+/-11%, EP 15.0+/-3.0 min, ER 5.8+/-1.6%/min, and DGBR-CCK 1.3+/-2.3%. Left and right lobe HEF was virtually identical across readers. All measures showed high repeatability except for gallbladder bile flow, basal DGBR, and EP, which exhibited marginal repeatability. Ejection fraction exhibited high reproducibility. There was high concordance among the three primary center observers except for basal DGBR, EP, and ER. Concordance between the primary site and one of the other sites was high, one was fair, and one was poor.New United States Food and Drug Administration-approved personal computer-based Krishnamurthy Hepato-Biliary Software for quantification of the liver and gallbladder function shows promise for consistently repeatable and reproducible results both within and between institutions, and may help to promote universal standardization of data acquisition and analysis in nuclear hepatology.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/MNM.0b013e32832ed34a

    View details for Web of Science ID 000272116100006

    View details for PubMedID 19858769

  • Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Endothelial Cells Engraft Into the Ischemic Hindlimb and Restore Perfusion 82nd National Conference and Exhibitions and Scientific Sessions of the American-Heart-Association Huang, N. F., Niiyama, H., Peter, C., De, A., Natkunam, Y., Fleissner, F., Li, Z., Rollins, M. D., Wu, J. C., Gambhir, S. S., Cooke, J. P. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2009: S1152–S1152
  • A Novel Molecular Imaging Sensor of Cellular Oxidative Stress 82nd National Conference and Exhibitions and Scientific Sessions of the American-Heart-Association Peterson, K. M., Chen, I. Y., Simari, R. D., Gambhir, S. S., Lerman, A., Rodriguez-Porcel, M. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2009: S1025–S1025
  • F-18-FDG Uptake in Lung, Breast, and Colon Cancers: Molecular Biology Correlates and Disease Characterization JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE Jadvar, H., Alavi, A., Gambhir, S. S. 2009; 50 (11): 1820-1827

    Abstract

    It is hoped that in the not too distant future, noninvasive imaging-based molecular interrogation and characterization of tumors can improve our fundamental understanding of the dynamic biologic behavior of cancer. For example, the new dimension of diagnostic information that is provided by (18)F-FDG PET has led to improved clinical decision making and management changes in a substantial number of patients with cancer. In this context, the aim of this review is to bring together and summarize the current data on the correlation between the underlying molecular biology and the clinical observations of tumor (18)F-FDG accumulation in 3 major human cancers: lung, breast, and colon.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.108.054098

    View details for Web of Science ID 000272554100015

    View details for PubMedID 19837767

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2783751

  • Three-Dimensional Photoacoustic Imaging Using a Two-Dimensional CMUT Array IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ULTRASONICS FERROELECTRICS AND FREQUENCY CONTROL Vaithilingam, S., Ma, T., Furukawa, Y., Wygant, I. O., Zhuang, X., de la Zerda, A., Oralkan, O., Kamaya, A., Gambhir, S. S., Jeffrey, R. B., Khuri-Yakub, B. T. 2009; 56 (11): 2411-2419

    Abstract

    In this paper, we describe using a 2-D array of capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducers (CMUTs) to perform 3-D photoacoustic and acoustic imaging. A tunable optical parametric oscillator laser system that generates nanosecond laser pulses was used to induce the photoacoustic signals. To demonstrate the feasibility of the system, 2 different phantoms were imaged. The first phantom consisted of alternating black and transparent fishing lines of 180 mum and 150 mum diameter, respectively. The second phantom comprised polyethylene tubes, embedded in chicken breast tissue, filled with liquids such as the dye indocyanine green, pig blood, and a mixture of the 2. The tubes were embedded at a depth of 0.8 cm inside the tissue and were at an overall distance of 1.8 cm from the CMUT array. Two-dimensional cross-sectional slices and 3-D volume rendered images of pulse-echo data as well as photoacoustic data are presented. The profile and beamwidths of the fishing line are analyzed and compared with a numerical simulation carried out using the Field II ultrasound simulation software. We investigated using a large aperture (64 x 64 element array) to perform photoacoustic and acoustic imaging by mechanically scanning a smaller CMUT array (16 x 16 elements). Two-dimensional transducer arrays overcome many of the limitations of a mechanically scanned system and enable volumetric imaging. Advantages of CMUT technology for photoacoustic imaging include the ease of integration with electronics, ability to fabricate large, fully populated 2-D arrays with arbitrary geometries, wide-bandwidth arrays and high-frequency arrays. A CMUT based photoacoustic system is proposed as a viable alternative to a piezoelectric transducer based photoacoustic systems.

    View details for DOI 10.1109/TUFFC.2009.1329

    View details for Web of Science ID 000271478600010

    View details for PubMedID 19942528

  • Whole-body, real-time preclinical imaging of quantum dot fluorescence with time-gated detection JOURNAL OF BIOMEDICAL OPTICS May, A., Bhaumik, S., Gambhir, S. S., Zhan, C., Yazdanfar, S. 2009; 14 (6)

    Abstract

    We describe a wide-field preclinical imaging system optimized for time-gated detection of quantum dot fluorescence emission. As compared to continuous wave measurements, image contrast was substantially improved by suppression of short-lifetime background autofluorescence. Real-time (8 frames/s) biological imaging of subcutaneous quantum dot injections is demonstrated simultaneously in multiple living mice.

    View details for DOI 10.1117/1.3269675

    View details for Web of Science ID 000274267900004

    View details for PubMedID 20059235

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2801727

  • PET of Malignant Melanoma Using F-18-Labeled Metallopeptides JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE Ren, G., Liu, Z., Miao, Z., Liu, H., Subbarayan, M., Chin, F. T., Zhang, L., Gambhir, S. S., Cheng, Z. 2009; 50 (11): 1865-1872

    Abstract

    Melanocortin type 1 receptor (MC1R), also known as alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) receptor, is an attractive molecular target for melanoma imaging and therapy. An (18)F-labeled linear alpha-MSH peptide ((18)F-FB-Ac-Nle-Asp-His-d-Phe-Arg-Trp-Gly-Lys-NH(2) [NAPamide]) shows promising melanoma imaging properties but with only moderate tumor uptake and retention. A transition metal rhenium-cyclized alpha-MSH peptide, ReO[Cys(3,4,10),d-Phe(7),Arg(11)]alpha-MSH(3-13) (ReCCMSH(Arg(11))), has shown high in vitro binding affinity to MC1R and excellent in vivo melanoma-targeting profiles when labeled with radiometals. Therefore, we hypothesized that ReCCMSH(Arg(11)) could be a good platform for the further development of an (18)F-labeled probe for PET of MC1R-positive malignant melanoma.In this study, the metallopeptide Ac-d-Lys-ReCCMSH(Arg(11)) was synthesized using conventional solid-phase peptide synthesis chemistry and a rhenium cyclization reaction. The resulting peptides were then labeled with N-succinimidyl-4-(18)F-fluorobenzoate ((18)F-SFB). The (18)F-labeled metallopeptides were further tested for their in vitro receptor binding affinities, in vivo biodistribution, and PET imaging properties.Both isomers of Ac-d-Lys-ReCCMSH(Arg(11)), named as RMSH-1 and RMSH-2, were purified and identified by high-performance liquid chromatography. The binding affinities of RMSH-1 and RMSH-2 and their respective (19)F-SFB-conjugated peptides ((19)F-FB-RMSH-1 and (19)F-FB-RMSH-2) were all determined to be within nanomolar range. Both (18)F-labeled metallopeptides showed good tumor uptake in the B16F10 murine model, with high MC1R expression, but much lower uptake in the A375M human melanoma xenografted in mice, indicating low MC1R expression. (18)F-FB-RMSH-1, when compared with (18)F-FB-RMSH-2, displayed more favorable in vivo performance in terms of slightly higher tumor uptakes and much lower accumulations in the kidney and liver at 2 h after injection. Small-animal PET of (18)F-FB-RMSH-1 and -2 in mice bearing B16F10 tumors at 1 and 2 h showed good tumor imaging quality. As expected, much lower tumor uptakes and poorer tumor-to-normal organ contrasts were observed for the A375M model than for the B16F10 model. (18)F-FB-RMSH-1 and -2 showed higher tumor uptake and better tumor retention than did (18)F-FB-NAPamide.Specific in vivo targeting of (18)F-FB-RMSH-1 to malignant melanoma was successfully achieved in preclinical models with high MC1R expression. Thus, the radiofluorinated metallopeptide (18)F-FB-RMSH-1 is a promising molecular probe for PET of MC1R-positive tumors.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.109.062877

    View details for Web of Science ID 000272554100021

    View details for PubMedID 19837749

  • Matrix-insensitive protein assays push the limits of biosensors in medicine NATURE MEDICINE Gaster, R. S., Hall, D. A., Nielsen, C. H., Osterfeld, S. J., Yu, H., Mach, K. E., Wilson, R. J., Murmann, B., Liao, J. C., Gambhir, S. S., Wang, S. X. 2009; 15 (11): 1327-U130

    Abstract

    Advances in biosensor technologies for in vitro diagnostics have the potential to transform the practice of medicine. Despite considerable work in the biosensor field, there is still no general sensing platform that can be ubiquitously applied to detect the constellation of biomolecules in diverse clinical samples (for example, serum, urine, cell lysates or saliva) with high sensitivity and large linear dynamic range. A major limitation confounding other technologies is signal distortion that occurs in various matrices due to heterogeneity in ionic strength, pH, temperature and autofluorescence. Here we present a magnetic nanosensor technology that is matrix insensitive yet still capable of rapid, multiplex protein detection with resolution down to attomolar concentrations and extensive linear dynamic range. The matrix insensitivity of our platform to various media demonstrates that our magnetic nanosensor technology can be directly applied to a variety of settings such as molecular biology, clinical diagnostics and biodefense.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nm.2032

    View details for Web of Science ID 000271543700023

    View details for PubMedID 19820717

  • A strategy for blood biomarker amplification and localization using ultrasound PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA D'Souza, A. L., Tseng, J. R., Pauly, K. B., Guccione, S., Rosenberg, J., Gambhir, S. S., Glazer, G. M. 2009; 106 (40): 17152-17157

    Abstract

    Blood biomarkers have significant potential applications in early detection and management of various diseases, including cancer. Most biomarkers are present in low concentrations in blood and are difficult to discriminate from noise. Furthermore, blood measurements of a biomarker do not provide information about the location(s) where it is produced. We hypothesize a previously undescribed strategy to increase the concentration of biomarkers in blood as well as localize the source of biomarker signal using ultrasound energy directly applied to tumor cells. We test and validate our hypothesis in cell culture experiments and mouse tumor xenograft models using the human colon cancer cell line LS174T, while measuring the biomarker carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) before and after the use of ultrasound to liberate the biomarker from the tumor cells. The results demonstrate that the application of low-frequency ultrasound to tumor cells causes a significant release of tumor biomarker, which can be measured in the blood. Furthermore, we establish that this release is specific to the direct application of the ultrasound to the tumor, enabling a method for localization of biomarker production. This work shows that it is possible to use ultrasound to amplify and localize the source of CEA levels in blood of tumor-bearing mice and will allow for a previously undescribed way to determine the presence and localization of disease more accurately using a relatively simple and noninvasive strategy.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.0903437106

    View details for Web of Science ID 000270537500053

    View details for PubMedID 19805109

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2749842

  • A novel multimodal approach to track neural progenitor cells in vivo 24th International Symposium on Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism/9th International Conference on Quantification of Brain Function with PET Pendharkar, A., De, A., Wang, H., Gaeta, X., Wang, N., Chua, J. Y., Andres, R., Chen, X., Gambhir, S. S., Guzman, R. NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP. 2009: S472–S473
  • Creatine modulates survival, migration and differentiation in neural stem cells 24th International Symposium on Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism/9th International Conference on Quantification of Brain Function with PET Andres, R. H., Pendharkar, A., Guzman, R., De, A., Bliss, T. M., MacMillan, E., Svendsen, C., Gambhir, S. S., Widmer, H., Wallimann, T. NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP. 2009: S562–S562
  • A Novel Estrogen Receptor Intramolecular Folding-based Titratable Transgene Expression System MOLECULAR THERAPY Paulmurugan, R., Padmanabhan, P., Ahn, B., Ray, S., Willmann, J. K., Massoud, T. F., Biswal, S., Gambhir, S. S. 2009; 17 (10): 1703-1711

    Abstract

    The use of regulated gene expression systems is important for successful gene therapy applications. In this study, ligand-induced structural change in the estrogen receptor (ER) was used to develop a novel ER intramolecular folding-based transcriptional activation system. The system was studied using ER-variants of different lengths, flanked on either side by the GAL4-DNA-binding domain and the VP16-transactivation domain (GAL4(DBD)-ER-VP16). The ER ligands of different types showed efficient ligand-regulated transactivation. We also characterized a bidirectional transactivation system based on the ER and demonstrated its utility in titrating both reporter and therapeutic gene expression. The ligand-regulated transactivation system developed by using a mutant form of the ER (G521T, lacking affinity for the endogenous ligand 17beta-estradiol, whereas maintaining affinity for other ligands) showed efficient activation by the ligand raloxifene in living mice without significant interference from the circulating endogenous ligand. The ligand-regulated transactivation system was used to test the therapeutic efficiency of the tumor suppressor protein p53 in HepG2 (p53(+/+)) and SKBr3 (p53(-/-)/mutant-p53(+/+)) cells in culture and tumor xenografts in living mice. The multifunctional capabilities of this system should be useful for gene therapy applications, to study ER biology, to evaluate gene regulation, ER ligand screening, and ER ligand biocharacterization in cells and living animals.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/mt.2009.171

    View details for Web of Science ID 000270851900008

    View details for PubMedID 19654568

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2835012

  • Melanin-Targeted Preclinical PET Imaging of Melanoma Metastasis JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE Ren, G., Miao, Z., Liu, H., Jiang, L., Limpa-Amara, N., Mahmood, A., Gambhir, S. S., Cheng, Z. 2009; 50 (10): 1692-1699

    Abstract

    Dialkylamino-alkyl-benzamides possess an affinity for melanin, suggesting that labeling of such benzamides with (18)F could potentially produce melanin-targeted PET probes able to identify melanotic melanoma metastases in vivo with high sensitivity and specificity.In this study, N-[2-(diethylamino)ethyl]-4-(18)F-fluorobenzamide ((18)F-FBZA) was synthesized via a 1-step conjugation reaction. The sigma-receptor binding affinity of (19)F-FBZA was determined along with the in vitro cellular uptake of radiofluorinated (18)F-FBZA in B16F10 cells. In vivo distribution and small-animal PET studies were conducted on mice bearing B16F10 melanoma, A375M amelanotic melanoma, and U87MG tumors, and comparative studies were performed with (18)F-FDG PET in the melanoma models.In vitro, uptake of (18)F-FBZA was significantly higher in B16F10 cells treated with l-tyrosine (P < 0.001). In vivo, (18)F-FBZA displayed significant tumor uptake; at 2 h, 5.94 +/- 1.83 percentage injected dose (%ID) per gram was observed in B16F10 tumors and only 0.75 +/- 0.09 %ID/g and 0.56 +/- 0.13 %ID/g was observed in amelanotic A375M and U87MG tumors, respectively. Lung uptake was significantly higher in murine lungs bearing melanotic B16F10 pulmonary metastases than in normal murine lungs (P < 0.01). Small-animal PET clearly identified melanotic lesions in both primary and pulmonary metastasis B16F10 tumor models. Coregistered micro-CT with small-animal PET along with biopsies further confirmed the presence of tumor lesions in the mouse lungs.(18)F-FBZA specifically targets primary and metastatic melanotic melanoma lesions with high tumor uptake and may have translational potential.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.109.066175

    View details for Web of Science ID 000272553600023

    View details for PubMedID 19759116

  • A 2-Helix Small Protein Labeled with Ga-68 for PET Imaging of HER2 Expression JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE Ren, G., Zhang, R., Liu, Z., Webster, J. M., Miao, Z., Gambhir, S. S., Syud, F. A., Cheng, Z. 2009; 50 (9): 1492-1499

    Abstract

    Affibody molecules are a class of scaffold proteins being developed into a generalizable approach to targeting tumors. Many 3-helix-based Affibody proteins have shown excellent in vivo properties for tumor imaging and therapy. By truncating one alpha-helix that is not responsible for receptor recognition in the Affibody and maturating the protein affinity through synthetic strategies, we have successfully identified in our previous research several small 2-helix proteins with excellent binding affinities to human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2 (HER2). With preferential properties such as faster blood clearance and tumor accumulation, lower immunogenic potential, and facile and economically viable synthetic schemes, we hypothesized that these 2-helix protein binders could become excellent molecular imaging probes for monitoring HER2 expression and modulation.In this study, a 2-helix small protein, MUT-DS, was chemically modified with a metal chelator, 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetraacetic acid (DOTA). DOTA-MUT-DS was then site-specifically radiolabeled with an important PET radionuclide, (68)Ga. The resulting radiolabeled anti-HER2 2-helix molecule was further evaluated as a potential molecular probe for small-animal PET HER2 imaging in a SKOV3 tumor mouse model.The 2-helix DOTA-MUT-DS showed high HER2-binding affinity (dissociation constant, 4.76 nM). The radiolabeled probe displayed high stability in mouse serum and specificity toward HER2 in cell cultures. Biodistribution and small-animal PET studies further showed that (68)Ga-DOTA-MUT-DS had rapid and high SKOV3 tumor accumulation and quick clearance from normal organs. The specificity of (68)Ga-DOTA-MUT-DS for SKOV3 tumors was confirmed by monitoring modulation of HER2 protein on treatment of tumor mice with heat shock protein 90 inhibitor 17-N,N-dimethyl ethylene diamine-geldanamycin in vivo.This proof-of-concept research clearly demonstrated that synthetic 2-helix (68)Ga-DOTA-MUT-DS is a promising PET probe for imaging HER2 expression in vivo. The Affibody-derived small 2-helix protein scaffold has great potential for developing targeting agents for a variety of tumor-associated biomarkers.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.109.064287

    View details for Web of Science ID 000272548900023

    View details for PubMedID 19690041

  • Efficacy of F-18-FDG PET/CT for Breast Cancer Mittra, E., Quon, A., Gambhir, S. S., Iagaru, A. SPRINGER. 2009: S176–S176
  • Combined F-18 Fluoride and F-18 FDG PET/CT Scan for Evaluation of Malignancy Lagaru, A., Mittra, E., Dick, D., Quon, A., Goris, M. L., Gambhir, S. S. SPRINGER. 2009: S214–S214
  • Prospective Evaluation of Tc-99m-MDP Scintigraphy, F-18 NaF PET/CT and F-18 FDG PET/CT for Detection of Skeletal Metastases Iagaru, A., Mittra, E., Dick, D., Gambhir, S. S. SPRINGER. 2009: S187–S187
  • Chemical tools for imaging glycosylation in vivo Chang, P. V., Prescher, J. A., Foss, C. A., Ray, P., Gambhir, S. S., Pomper, M. G., Bertozzi, C. R. AMER CHEMICAL SOC. 2009
  • Visualizing Implanted Tumors in Mice with Magnetic Resonance Imaging Using Magnetotactic Bacteria CLINICAL CANCER RESEARCH Benoit, M. R., Mayer, D., Barak, Y., Chen, I. Y., Hu, W., Cheng, Z., Wang, S. X., Spielman, D. M., Gambhir, S. S., Matin, A. 2009; 15 (16): 5170-5177

    Abstract

    To determine if magnetotactic bacteria can target tumors in mice and provide positive contrast for visualization using magnetic resonance imaging.The ability of the magnetotactic bacterium, Magnetospirillum magneticum AMB-1 (referred to from here as AMB-1), to confer positive magnetic resonance imaging contrast was determined in vitro and in vivo. For the latter studies, AMB-1 were injected either i.t. or i.v. Bacterial growth conditions were manipulated to produce small (approximately 25-nm diameter) magnetite particles, which were observed using transmission electron microscopy. Tumor targeting was confirmed using 64Cu-labeled bacteria and positron emission tomography and by determination of viable cell counts recovered from different organs and the tumor.We show that AMB-1 bacteria with small magnetite particles generate T1-weighted positive contrast, enhancing in vivo visualization by magnetic resonance imaging. Following i.v. injection of 64Cu-labeled AMB-1, positron emission tomography imaging revealed increasing colonization of tumors and decreasing infection of organs after 4 hours. Viable cell counts showed that, by day 6, the bacteria had colonized tumors but were cleared completely from other organs. Magnetic resonance imaging showed a 1.22-fold (P = 0.003) increased positive contrast in tumors on day 2 and a 1.39-fold increase (P = 0.0007) on day 6.Magnetotactic bacteria can produce positive magnetic resonance imaging contrast and colonize mouse tumor xenografts, providing a potential tool for improved magnetic resonance imaging visualization in preclinical and translational studies to track cancer.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-08-3206

    View details for Web of Science ID 000269024900019

    View details for PubMedID 19671860

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3409839

  • Multiplexed imaging of surface enhanced Raman scattering nanotags in living mice using noninvasive Raman spectroscopy PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Zavaleta, C. L., Smith, B. R., Walton, I., Doering, W., Davis, G., Shojaei, B., Natan, M. J., Gambhir, S. S. 2009; 106 (32): 13511-13516

    Abstract

    Raman spectroscopy is a newly developed, noninvasive preclinical imaging technique that offers picomolar sensitivity and multiplexing capabilities to the field of molecular imaging. In this study, we demonstrate the ability of Raman spectroscopy to separate the spectral fingerprints of up to 10 different types of surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) nanoparticles in a living mouse after s.c. injection. Based on these spectral results, we simultaneously injected the five most intense and spectrally unique SERS nanoparticles i.v. to image their natural accumulation in the liver. All five types of SERS nanoparticles were successfully identified and spectrally separated using our optimized noninvasive Raman imaging system. In addition, we were able to linearly correlate Raman signal with SERS concentration after injecting four spectrally unique SERS nanoparticles either s.c. (R(2) = 0.998) or i.v. (R(2) = 0.992). These results show great potential for multiplexed imaging in living subjects in cases in which several targeted SERS probes could offer better detection of multiple biomarkers associated with a specific disease.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.0813327106

    View details for Web of Science ID 000268877300066

    View details for PubMedID 19666578

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2726370

  • Cys-diabody Quantum Dot Conjugates (ImmunoQdots) for Cancer Marker Detection BIOCONJUGATE CHEMISTRY Barat, B., Sirk, S. J., McCabe, K. E., Li, J., Lepin, E. J., Remenyi, R., Koh, A. L., Olafsen, T., Gambhir, S. S., Weiss, S., Wu, A. M. 2009; 20 (8): 1474-1481

    Abstract

    The present work demonstrates the use of small bivalent engineered antibody fragments, cys-diabodies, for biological modification of nanoscale particles such as quantum dots (Qdots) for detection of target antigens. Novel bioconjugated quantum dots known as immunoQdots (iQdots) were developed by thiol-specific oriented coupling of tumor specific cys-diabodies, at a position away from the antigen binding site to amino PEG CdSe/ZnS Qdots. Initially, amino PEG Qdot 655 were coupled with reduced anti-HER2 cys-diabody by amine-sulfhydryl-reactive linker [N-ε-maleimidocaproyloxy] succinimide ester (EMCS) to produce anti-HER2 iQdot 655. Spectral characterization of the conjugate revealed that the spectrum was symmetrical and essentially identical to unconjugated Qdot. Specific receptor binding activity of anti-HER2 iQdot 655 was confirmed by flow cytometry on HER2 positive and negative cells. Immunofluorescence results showed homogeneous surface labeling of the cell membrane with Qdot 655 conjugate. In addition, cys-diabodies specific for HER2, as well as prostate stem cell antigen (PSCA), were conjugated successfully with amino PEG Qdot 800. All of these iQdots retain the photoluminescence properties of the unconjugated Qdot 800 as well as the antigen binding specificity of the cys-diabody as demonstrated by flow cytometry. Simultaneous detection of two tumor antigens on LNCaP/PSCA prostate cancer cells (which express PSCA and HER2) in culture was possible using two iQdots, anti-HER2 iQdot 655 and anti-PSCA iQdot 800. Thus, these iQdots are potentially useful as optical probes for sensitive, multiplexed detection of surface markers on tumor cells. The present thiol-specific conjugation method demonstrates a general approach for site-specific oriented coupling of cys-diabodies to a wide variety of nanoparticles without disturbing the antigen binding site and maintaining small size compared to intact antibody.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/bc800421f

    View details for Web of Science ID 000269042100006

    View details for PubMedID 19642689

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2891877

  • BRET3: a red-shifted bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET)-based integrated platform for imaging protein-protein interactions from single live cells and living animals FASEB JOURNAL De, A., Ray, P., Loening, A. M., Gambhir, S. S. 2009; 23 (8): 2702-2709

    Abstract

    Taking advantage of the bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET) phenomenon, we report the development of a highly photon-efficient, self-illuminating fusion protein combining a mutant red fluorescent protein (mOrange) and a mutant Renilla reniformis luciferase (RLuc8). This new BRET fusion protein (BRET3) exhibits severalfold improvement in light intensity in comparison with existing BRET fusion proteins. BRET3 also exhibits the most red-shifted light output (564-nm peak wavelength) of any reported bioluminescent protein that utilizes its natural substrate coelenterazine, a benefit of which is demonstrated at various tissue depths in small animals. The imaging utility of BRET3 at the single-cell level is demonstrated using an intramolecular sensor incorporating two mammalian target of rapamycin pathway proteins (FKBP12 and FRB) that dimerize only in the presence of rapamycin. With its increased photon intensity, red-shifted light output, and good spectral resolution (approximately 85 nm), BRET3 shows improved spatial and temporal resolution for measuring intracellular events in single cells and in living small animal models. The development of further BRET3-based assays will allow imaging of protein-protein interactions using a single assay directly scalable from intact living cells to small living subjects, allowing accelerated drug discovery.

    View details for DOI 10.1096/fj.08-118919

    View details for Web of Science ID 000268836700038

    View details for PubMedID 19351700

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2717762

  • Simulations of Virtual PET/CT 3-D Bronchoscopy Imaging Using a Physical Porcine Lung-Heart Phantom MOLECULAR IMAGING AND BIOLOGY Yerushalmi, D., Mullick, R., Quon, A., Fahrig, R., Pelc, N. J., Fann, J. I., Gambhir, S. S. 2009; 11 (4): 275-282

    Abstract

    We present a systematic approach for studying positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET/CT) 3-D virtual fly-through endoscopy and for assessing the accuracy of this technology for visualizing and detecting endobronchial lesions as a function of focal lesion morphology and activity.Capsules designed to simulate endobronchial lesions were filled with activity and introduced into a porcine lung-heart phantom. PET/CT images were acquired, reconstructed, and volume rendered as 3-D fly-through and fly-around visualizations. Anatomical positioning of lesions seen on the 3-D-volume-rendered PET/CT images was compared to the actual position of the capsules.Lesion size was observed to be highly sensitive to PET threshold parameter settings and careful opacity and color transfer function parameter assignment.We have demonstrated a phantom model for studies of PET/CT 3-D virtual fly-through bronchoscopy and have applied this model for understanding the effect of PET thresholding on the visualization and detection of lesions.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11307-009-0201-8

    View details for Web of Science ID 000266830700010

    View details for PubMedID 19434462

  • Imaging Gene Expression in Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells: From Small to Large Animals RADIOLOGY Willmann, J. K., Paulmurugan, R., Rodriguez-Porcel, M., Stein, W., Brinton, T. J., Connolly, A. J., Nielsen, C. H., Lutz, A. M., Lyons, J., Ikeno, F., Suzuki, Y., Rosenberg, J., Chen, I. Y., Wu, J. C., Yeung, A. C., Yock, P., Robbins, R. C., Gambhir, S. S. 2009; 252 (1): 117-127

    Abstract

    To evaluate the feasibility of reporter gene imaging in implanted human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in porcine myocardium by using clinical positron emission tomography (PET)-computed tomography (CT) scanning.Animal protocols were approved by the Institutional Administrative Panel on Laboratory Animal Care. Transduction of human MSCs by using different doses of adenovirus that contained a cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter driving the mutant herpes simplex virus type 1 thymidine kinase reporter gene (Ad-CMV-HSV1-sr39tk) was characterized in a cell culture. A total of 2.25 x 10(6) transduced (n = 5) and control nontransduced (n = 5) human MSCs were injected into the myocardium of 10 rats, and reporter gene expression in human MSCs was visualized with micro-PET by using the radiotracer 9-(4-[fluorine 18]-fluoro-3-hydroxymethylbutyl)-guanine (FHBG). Different numbers of transduced human MSCs suspended in either phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) (n = 4) or matrigel (n = 5) were injected into the myocardium of nine swine, and gene expression was visualized with a clinical PET-CT. For analysis of cell culture experiments, linear regression analyses combined with a t test were performed. To test differences in radiotracer uptake between injected and remote myocardium in both rats and swine, one-sided paired Wilcoxon tests were performed. In swine experiments, a linear regression of radiotracer uptake ratio on the number of injected transduced human MSCs was performed.In cell culture, there was a viral dose-dependent increase of gene expression and FHBG accumulation in human MSCs. Human MSC viability was 96.7% (multiplicity of infection, 250). Cardiac FHBG uptake in rats was significantly elevated (P < .0001) after human MSC injection (0.0054% injected dose [ID]/g +/- 0.0007 [standard deviation]) compared with that in the remote myocardium (0.0003% ID/g +/- 0.0001). In swine, myocardial radiotracer uptake was not elevated after injection of up to 100 x 10(6) human MSCs (PBS group). In the matrigel group, signal-to-background ratio increased to 1.87 after injection of 100 x 10(6) human MSCs and positively correlated (R(2) = 0.97, P < .001) with the number of administered human MSCs.Reporter gene imaging in human MSCs can be translated to large animals. The study highlights the importance of co-administering a "scaffold" for increasing intramyocardial retention of human MSCs.

    View details for DOI 10.1148/radiol.2513081616

    View details for Web of Science ID 000268362900015

    View details for PubMedID 19366903

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2702468

  • Role of Oxidative Stress in Stem Cell Survival 10th Annual Conference on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology Peterson, K. M., Abdelrhaman, A., Gambhir, S. S., Rodriguez-Porcel, M. G. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2009: E88–E88
  • OXIDATIVE STRESS BLOCKADE IMPROVES STEM CELL SURVIVAL Peterson, K., Aly, A., Gambhir, S., Rodriguez-Porcel, M. ELSEVIER IRELAND LTD. 2009
  • Tumor Metabolic Phenotypes on F-18 FDG PET REPLY JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE Iagaru, A. H., Gambhir, S. S., Goris, M. L. 2009; 50 (6): 1011-1012
  • Engineered Two-Helix Small Proteins for Molecular Recognition CHEMBIOCHEM Webster, J. M., Zhang, R., Gambhir, S. S., Cheng, Z., Syud, F. A. 2009; 10 (8): 1293-1296

    Abstract

    Less is more: By starting with a high-affinity HER2-binding 3-helix affibody molecule, we successfully developed 2-helix small protein binders with 5 nM affinities by using a combination of several different strategies. Our efforts clearly suggest that 2-helix small proteins against important tumor targets can be obtained by rational protein design and engineering.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/cbic.200900062

    View details for Web of Science ID 000266561500003

    View details for PubMedID 19422008

  • Comparison of Optical Bioluminescence Reporter Gene and Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide MR Contrast Agent as Cell Markers for Noninvasive Imaging of Cardiac Cell Transplantation MOLECULAR IMAGING AND BIOLOGY Chen, I. Y., Greve, J. M., Gheysens, O., Willmann, J. K., Rodriguez-Porcel, M., Chu, P., Sheikh, A. Y., Faranesh, A. Z., Paulmurugan, R., Yang, P. C., Wu, J. C., Gambhir, S. S. 2009; 11 (3): 178-187

    Abstract

    In this study, we compared firefly luciferase (Fluc) reporter gene and superparamagnetic iron oxide (Feridex) as cell markers for longitudinal monitoring of cardiomyoblast graft survival using optical bioluminescence imaging (BLI) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), respectively.Rats (n = 31) underwent an intramyocardial injection of cardiomyoblasts (2 x 10(6)) labeled with Fluc, Feridex, or no marker (control) or an injection of Feridex alone (75 microg). Afterward, rats were serially imaged with BLI or MRI and killed at different time points for histological analysis.BLI revealed a drastically different cell survival kinetics (half-life = 2.65 days over 6 days) than that revealed by MRI (half-life = 16.8 days over 80 days). Injection of Feridex alone led to prolonged tissue retention of Feridex (> or =16 days) and persistent MR signal (> or =42 days).Fluc BLI reporter gene imaging is a more accurate gauge of transplanted cell survival as compared to MRI of Feridex-labeled cells.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11307-008-0182-z

    View details for Web of Science ID 000265686900005

    View details for PubMedID 19034584

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4155941

  • Optimized imaging of the growth and metastasis of human breast cancer stem cells in immunodeficient mice Liu, H., Patel, M., Prescher, J., Qian, D., Dalerba, P., Lin, J., Shimono, Y., Dirbas, F., Contag, C., Gambhir, S., Clarke, M. AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH. 2009
  • A novel strategy for a cocktail 18F fluoride and 18F FDG PET/CT scan for evaluation of malignancy: Results of the pilot phase study Iagaru, A., Mittra, E., Quon, A., Goris, M., Gambhir, S. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2009
  • CT and FDG PET/CT evaluation of response to NV1020 for liver colorectal metastases Iagaru, A., Sze, D., Gambhir, S. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2009
  • Melanin targeted molecular imaging of melanoma metastasis using a 18F-labeled benzamide analog Ren, G., Miao, Z., Liu, H., Jiang, L., Limpa-Amara, N., Mahmood, A., Gambhir, S., Cheng, Z. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2009
  • Molecular imaging of malignant melanoma using a 18F-labeled metallopeptide Ren, G., Liu, Z., Miao, Z., Liu, H., Jiang, L., Subbarayan, M., Chin, F., Zhang, L., Gambhir, S., Cheng, Z. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2009
  • Value of FDG PET/CT for the restaging of colorectal cancer after treatment with Erbitux. Mittra, E., Iagaru, A., Kunz, P., Quon, A., Gambhir, S. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2009
  • A Potent, Imaging Adenoviral Vector Driven by the Cancer-selective Mucin-1 Promoter That Targets Breast Cancer Metastasis CLINICAL CANCER RESEARCH Huyn, S. T., Burton, J. B., Sato, M., Carey, M., Gambhir, S. S., Wu, L. 2009; 15 (9): 3126-3134

    Abstract

    With breast cancer, early detection and proper staging are critical, and will often influence both the treatment regimen and the therapeutic outcome for those affected with this disease. Improvements in these areas will play a profound role in reducing mortality from breast cancer.In this work we developed a breast cancer-targeted serotype 5 adenoviral vector, utilizing the tumor-specific mucin-1 promoter in combination with the two-step transcriptional amplification system, a system used to augment the activity of weak tissue-specific promoters.We showed the strong specificity of this tumor-selective adenovirus to express the luciferase optical imaging gene, leading to diagnostic signals that enabled detection of sentinel lymph node metastasis of breast cancer. Furthermore, we were able to target hepatic metastases following systemic administration of this mucin-1 selective virus.Collectively, we showed that the amplified mucin-1 promoter-driven vector is able to deliver to and selectively express a desirable transgene in metastatic lesions of breast tumors. This work has strong clinical relevance to current diagnostic staging approaches, and could add to targeted therapeutic strategies to advance the fight against breast cancer.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-08-2666

    View details for Web of Science ID 000265712100022

    View details for PubMedID 19366829

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2830790

  • Molecular Imaging of Phosphorylation Events for Drug Development MOLECULAR IMAGING AND BIOLOGY CHAN, C. T., Paulmurugan, R., Reeves, R. E., Solow-Cordero, D., Gambhir, S. S. 2009; 11 (3): 144-158

    Abstract

    Protein phosphorylation mediated by protein kinases controls numerous cellular processes. A genetically encoded, generalizable split firefly luciferase (FL)-assisted complementation system was developed for noninvasive monitoring phosphorylation events and efficacies of kinase inhibitors in cell culture and in small living subjects by optical bioluminescence imaging.An Akt sensor (AST) was constructed to monitor Akt phosphorylation and the effect of different PI-3K and Akt inhibitors. Specificity of AST was determined using a non-phosphorylable mutant sensor containing an alanine substitution (ASA).The PI-3K inhibitor LY294002 and Akt kinase inhibitor perifosine led to temporal- and dose-dependent increases in complemented FL activities in 293T human kidney cancer cells stably expressing AST (293T/AST) but not in 293T/ASA cells. Inhibition of endogenous Akt phosphorylation and kinase activities by perifosine also correlated with increase in complemented FL activities in 293T/AST cells but not in 293T/ASA cells. Treatment of nude mice bearing 293T/AST xenografts with perifosine led to a 2-fold increase in complemented FL activities compared to that of 293T/ASA xenografts. Our system was used to screen a small chemical library for novel modulators of Akt kinase activity.This generalizable approach for noninvasive monitoring of phosphorylation events will accelerate the discovery and validation of novel kinase inhibitors and modulators of phosphorylation events.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11307-008-0187-7

    View details for Web of Science ID 000265686900002

    View details for PubMedID 19048345

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4154800

  • Novel Strategy for a Cocktail F-18-Fluoride and F-18-FDG PET/CT Scan for Evaluation of Malignancy: Results of the Pilot-Phase Study JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE Iagaru, A., Mittra, E., Yaghoubi, S. S., Dick, D. W., Quon, A., Goris, M. L., Gambhir, S. S. 2009; 50 (4): 501-505

    Abstract

    (18)F-FDG PET/CT is used for detecting cancer and monitoring cancer response to therapy. However, because of the variable rates of glucose metabolism, not all cancers are identified reliably. Sodium (18)F was previously used for bone imaging and can be used as a PET/CT skeletal tracer. The combined administration of (18)F and (18)F-FDG in a single PET/CT study for cancer detection has not been reported to date.This is a prospective pilot study (November 2007-November 2008) of 14 patients with proven malignancy (6 sarcoma, 3 prostate cancer, 2 breast cancer, 1 colon cancer, 1 lung cancer, and 1 malignant paraganglioma) who underwent separate (18)F PET/CT and (18)F-FDG PET/CT and combined (18)F/(18)F-FDG PET/CT scans for the evaluation of malignancy (a total of 3 scans each). There were 11 men and 3 women (age range, 19-75 y; average, 50.4 y).Interpretation of the combined (18)F/(18)F-FDG PET/CT scans compared favorably with that of the (18)F-FDG PET/CT (no lesions missed) and the (18)F PET/CT scans (only 1 skull lesion seen on an (18)F PET/CT scan was missed on the corresponding combined scan). Through image processing, the combined (18)F/(18)F-FDG scan yielded results for bone radiotracer uptake comparable to those of the (18)F PET/CT scan performed separately.Our pilot-phase prospective trial demonstrates that the combined (18)F/(18)F-FDG administration followed by a single PET/CT scan is feasible for cancer detection. This combined method opens the possibility for improved patient care and reduction in health care costs.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.108.058339

    View details for Web of Science ID 000272487200003

    View details for PubMedID 19289439

  • Human adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stromal cells as vehicles for tumor bystander effect: a model based on bioluminescence imaging GENE THERAPY Vilalta, M., Degano, I. R., Bago, J., Aguilar, E.