Cancer Molecular Imaging Research
The mission of the Cancer Molecular Imaging Program (CMIP) is to develop novel and translational molecular imaging agents to target cancer. By precisely targeting imaging agents to surface receptors of cancer cells, it is possible detect the presence of indicative expressed receptors in tumors using current imaging technologies such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET) and fluorescence imaging (FI). This information is crucial in addressing the unmet challenge of tailoring targeted therapeutics and advancing the field of precision medicine.
The current focus of CMIP is to develop magnetic resonance and optical agents based on small molecules, polymers, proteins and nanoparticles that can be used to interrogate molecular markers associated with various types of cancers. For example, agents currently being developed and tested in CMIP are:
- Near-infrared fluorescent dyes
- Metal chelates
- Iron oxide nanoparticles
- Polymeric nanoparticles
- Hyperpolarized metabolites and peptides
As part of this program we are investigating an emerging imaging technique, hyperpolarization, to enhance the magnetic resonance imaging signal of injectable agents in excess of 10,000 times. This technique provides a method to track and image the fate of the injectable agent minutes after administration, with imaging sequences performed in seconds. Finally, agents that possess both imaging and therapeutic agents (theranostic) are an active area of research within this program.
The research team is investigating the next generation of molecular imaging and molecular therapeutic agents to target prostate, brain and breast tumors, among others.
- University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
- Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York
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Biomedical Imaging Research Institute
Pacific Theatres Building, Suite 400
116 N. Robertson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048