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Contrast Media & Molecular Imaging
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 1863803, 2 pages

Theranostic Probes for Cancer Imaging

1School of Life Science and Technology, Xidian University, Xi’an 710071, China
2Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
3School of Radiation Medicine and Protection & School for Radiological and Interdisciplinary Sciences (RAD-X), Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, China
4Department of Radiation Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine and Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Fu Wang; nc.ude.naidix@gnawf

Received 27 August 2017; Accepted 27 August 2017; Published 18 October 2017

Copyright © 2017 Fu Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

This special issue is dedicated to theranostic studies including original research articles and review articles, which integrate specialized diagnosis and therapy using the various theranostic probes with an emphasis on cancer research. The new term “theranostics” was coined by combining two words: therapeutic and diagnostic. More specifically, therapeutic strategies including photodynamics, chemotherapy, gene therapy, hyperthermia, and radiation are integrated with one or more diagnostic imaging techniques such as computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), position emission tomography (PET), single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence imaging, and ultrasonography to develop molecular diagnostic tests and targeted therapeutics in clinics, resulting in the advance of personalized medicine. Therefore, these cutting-edge technologies allow us to simultaneously diagnose, image, and treat cancer and monitor the response of cancer treatment.

In this special issue, we invited colleagues worldwide who have been exploring cancer research for years, to discuss and report cutting-edge research in the use of nanomaterials for theranostics applications.

In one of the articles, Y.-Y. Ma et al. evaluate the potential of theranostic nanoparticles as a nanoplatform to load targeted molecules for both imaging and therapeutics. They also discuss the contributions of modern nanoparticles to accurate tumor image and effective tumor treatment.

In another article, W. Wang et al. successfully show that 64Cu-labeled anti-human AXL antibody (64Cu-anti-hAXL) is a useful probe for microPET/CT imaging in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC). AXL downregulation by inhibiting heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) in TNBC in vivo was clearly visualized by microPET/CT.

N. H. Alamdari et al. analyze a bio-hybrid material for early diagnosis and treatment of cancer using MRI. Gd(III)-Anionic Linear Globular Dendrimer-Asparagine designed and developed by Alamdari et al. showed the promising anticancer activity with no significant side effects in vitro and in vivo.

The article by M. Chen et al. developed a CD44-targeted polymeric hyaluronic acid nanoparticle (HANP) as a drug carrier for cancer chemotherapy. 10-Hydroxycamptothecin (HCPT) was encapsulated into HANP for in vitro and in vivo evaluations. HANP/HCPT demonstrated improved cytotoxicity in vitro on five cell lines as well as anticancer activity in vivo, which was monitored by 18F-PET imaging. No systemic toxic effects were observed. This work highlighted the potency of utilizing HANP as drug carrier for targeted tumor chemotherapy.

J. Zhang et al. review recent clinical applications of contrast-enhanced perfusion weighted (PW) MRI techniques in glioma theranostics. Due to complex and heterogeneous vasculatures of gliomas, the prognosis of gliomas remains poor although diagnostic techniques advance in recent years. Based on the current clinical evidence, PW-MRI is improving glioma prognosis, treatment, and response assessment although there are some clinical barriers and unsolved issues.

M. Iori et al. estimate manual, semiautomated, and fully automated synthesis for 90Y- and 177Lu-labelled radiopharmaceuticals in prostate cancer, one of the most prevalent cancers among men. The fully automated synthesis guaranteed reliable and reproducible preparations of pharmaceutical grade therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals although the potential concerns about radiation exposure to the operators still remain.

In summary, the six papers for this special issue containing 2 review articles and 4 original research reports, which were selected after peer-review by the guest editors Fu Wang, Lei Zhu, Kai Wang, and Dongkyoo Park, illustrate the broad scope of achievements and contributions of theranostics in the field of cancer research although all aspects of theranostics cannot be covered in one special issue.


We thank all the authors for their manuscripts and outstanding support for this special issue on therapeutic probes for cancer imaging, which will unquestionably benefit scientists and graduate students studying the cancer theranostics in the field of nanotechnology as well as molecular medicine.

Fu Wang
Lei Zhu
Kai Yang
Dongkyoo Park