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Biomaterials. 2013 Mar;34(9):2244-51. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2012.11.057. Epub 2012 Dec 20.

A multifunctional heptamethine near-infrared dye for cancer theranosis.

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Institute of Combined Injury, State Key Laboratory of Trauma, Burns and Combined Injury, Chongqing Engineering Research Center for Nanomedicine, College of Preventive Medicine, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400038, China.


Personalized oncology significantly relies on the development of cancer theranostic agents to integrate cancer therapeutics and diagnostics. Current most common strategy for development of such multifunctional agents requires multistep chemical conjugation with cancer targeted ligands, contrast agents and therapeutic agents. Here we report the chemical synthesis and biological characterization of a new heptamethine dye, termed as IR-808DB, natively with multifunctional characteristics of cancer targeting, near-infrared fluorescence imaging, and efficient anticancer activity. The tumor inhibition effect of IR-808DB is higher than that of cyclophosphamide (CTX) toward a broad spectrum of tumor xenograft models. These findings provide IR-808DB a promising prospect as a new cancer theranostic agent that would enable integration of cancer targeted therapeutics and diagnostics without requirement of multi-component chemical conjugation.

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