Ocean’s Nanocrystals for Pancreatic Cancer Imaging
Pancreatic cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer related death, with a 5-year survival rate of less than 5%.1 About 80% of patients present with either locally advanced or metastatic disease, which is not resectable by surgery. Novel approaches for early detection and effective treatment will make the most significant impact on clinical management of this disease. A major challenge in tumor-targeted nanoparticles is insufficient intra-tumoral distribution of the nanoparticles due to disordered tumor vasculatures.
Ocean and its collaborators developed uPAR targeted biodegradable multifunctional nanoparticles for the selective delivery of the nanoparticles into primary and metastatic pancreatic cancer lesions. The novel receptor-targeted nanoparticle was also a potential molecular imaging agent for the detection of pancreatic cancer. The results provided mechanistic insights in targeting uPAR for cancer imaging and demonstrated an important approach for developing receptor-targeted multifunctional nanoparticles. The results of time-dependent NIR imaging studies suggested an advantage of nanoparticle platform in tumor targeting by conjugating Cy5.5-ATF peptides to nanoparticles in contrast with Cy5.5-ATF peptides alone. The in vivo tumor imaging results showed strong NIR signals in the pancreatic tumor areas, but not in the liver, spleen, and many other normal organs of the tumor-bearing mice that received Cy5.5-ATF-IO nanoparticles. One of the most challenging tasks in clinical diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is to distinguish between lesions of the tumor and chronic pancreatitis. The results showed that uPAR was not up-regulated in chronic pancreatitis tissues and systemic delivery of the targeted nanoparticles did not produce optical and MR imaging signals in the pancreas of the mice with chronic. Additionally, the biodegradable nanoparticles were a sensitive imaging probe that was able to detect tumors as small as 0.5 to 1 mm3 in animal tumor models. Therefore, it has potential for future clinical applications, such as preoperative detection and localization of pancreatic cancer lesions by MRI, intra-operative delineation of tumor margins and peritoneal metastases by optical imaging, and targeted delivery of therapeutic agents while monitoring the response to therapy using MRI in patients with pancreatic cancer.
For more information on Ocean’s magnetic nanoparticles for pancreatic cancer imaging please click here.
*Lily Yang, Hui Mao, Zehong Cao, Y. Andrew Wang, Xianghong Peng, Xiaoxia Wang, Hari K. Sajja, Liya Wang, Hongwei Duan, Chunchun Ni, Charles A. Staley, William C. Wood, Xiaohu Gao, and Shuming Nie,” Molecular Imaging of Pancreatic Cancer in a Preclinical Animal Tumor Model Using Targeted Multifunctional Nanoparticles,” Gastroenterology, Accepted, 2009.