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Front Biosci. 2008 Jan 1;13:790-805.

Molecular imaging of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2) expression.

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  • 1The Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford, Department of Radiology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305, USA.


The human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2) is a key member of the HER family of receptor tyrosine kinases. Activation of HER-2 affects cell growth, proliferation, migration, adhesion, and survival. Due to its crucial role in carcinogenesis and tumor progression, HER-2 has been intensively investigated as a target for cancer therapy. The ability to quantitatively image HER-2 expression in a noninvasive manner can aid in lesion detection, patient stratification, new drug development/validation, dose optimization, and treatment monitoring. This review summarizes the current state of understanding in multimodality imaging of HER-2 using positron emission tomography (PET), single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), optical, and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging with HER-2 specific antibodies, antibody derivatives and affibodies as targeting ligands. Successful development of new HER-2 targeted imaging agents with optimal in vivo stability, targeting efficacy, and desirable pharmacokinetics for clinical translation will enable maximum benefit in cancer patient management.

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