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Cancer Res. 2004 Mar 1;64(5):1821-7.

In vivo targeting of underglycosylated MUC-1 tumor antigen using a multimodal imaging probe.

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  • 1Center for Molecular Imaging Research, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, Massachusetts 02129, USA. amoore@helix.mgh.harvard.edu


One of the most difficult challenges of oncology is to improve methods for early tumor detection, which is crucial for the success of cancer therapy and greatly improves the survival rate. Underglycosylated mucin-1 antigen (uMUC-1) is one of the early hallmarks of tumorigenesis and is overexpressed and underglycosylated on almost all human epithelial cell adenocarcinomas as well as in nonepithelial cancer cell lines, as well as in hematological malignancies such as multiple myeloma, and some B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas. In this study, we designed, synthesized, and tested a novel multimodal imaging probe specifically recognizing in vivo uMUC-1 antigen in an animal model of human cancer. Furthermore, in vivo magnetic resonance- and near-infrared-imaging experiments on tumor-bearing animals showed specific accumulation of the probe in uMUC-1-positive tumors and virtually no signal in control tumors. We expect that this probe has a potential to greatly aid in screening prospective patients for early cancer detection and in monitoring the efficacy of drug therapy.

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