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Eur J Radiol. 2009 May;70(2):286-93. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2009.01.048. Epub 2009 Mar 13.

Concept of a selective tumour therapy and its evaluation by near-infrared fluorescence imaging and flat-panel volume computed tomography in mice.

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Department of Hematology and Oncology, University Medical Center, Goettingen, Germany.


Conventional chemotherapy of cancer has its limitations, especially in advanced and disseminated disease and suffers from lack of specificity. This results in a poor therapeutic index and considerable toxicity to normal organs. Therefore, many efforts are made to develop novel therapeutic tools against cancer with the aim of selectively targeting the drug to the tumour site. Drug delivery strategies fundamentally rely on the identification of good-quality biomarkers, allowing unequivocal discrimination between cancer and healthy tissue. At present, antibodies or antibody fragments have clearly proven their value as carrier molecules specific for a tumour-associated molecular marker. This present review draws attention to the use of near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) imaging to investigate binding specificity and kinetics of carrier molecules such as monoclonal antibodies. In addition, flat-panel volume computed tomography (fpVCT) will be presented to monitor anatomical structures in tumour mouse models over time in a non-invasive manner. Each imaging device sheds light on a different aspect; functional imaging is applied to optimise the dose schedule and the concept of selective tumour therapies, whereas anatomical imaging assesses preclinically the efficacy of novel tumour therapies. Both imaging techniques in combination allow the visualisation of functional information obtained by NIRF imaging within an adequate anatomic framework.

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