Targeted Ultrasound Imaging of Cancer: An Emerging Technology on its Way to Clinics

Author(s): Fabian Kiessling, Jessica Bzyl, Stanley Fokong, Monica Siepmann, Georg Schmitz, Moritz Palmowski

Journal Name: Current Pharmaceutical Design

Volume 18 , Issue 15 , 2012

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Ultrasound is one of the workhorses in clinical cancer diagnosis. In particular, it is routinely used to characterize lesions in liver, urogenital tract, head and neck and soft tissues. During the last years image quality steadily improved, which, among others, can be attributed to the development of harmonic image analysis. Microbubbles were introduced as intravascular contrast agents and can be detected with superb sensitivity and specificity using contrast specific imaging modes. By aid of these unspecific contrast agents tissues can be characterised regarding their vascularity. Antibodies, peptides and other targeting moieties were bound to microbubbles to target sites of angiogenesis and inflammation intending to get more disease-specific information. Indeed, many preclinical studies proved the high potential of targeted ultrasound imaging to better characterize tumors and to more sensitively monitor therapy response. Recently, first targeted microbubbles had been developed that meet the pharmacological demands of a clinical contrast agent.

This review articles gives an overview on the history and current status of targeted ultrasound imaging of cancer. Different imaging concepts and contrast agent designs are introduced ranging from the use of experimental nanodroplets to agents undergoing clinical evaluation. Although it is clear that targeted ultrasound imaging works reliably, its broad acceptance is hindered by the user dependency of ultrasound imaging in general. Automated 3D-scanning techniques – like being used for breast diagnosis - and novel 3D transducers will help to make this fascinating method clinical reality.

Keywords: Sonography, molecular imaging, polymer, lipid, KDR, VEGFR2

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Article Details

Year: 2012
Page: [2184 - 2199]
Pages: 16
DOI: 10.2174/138161212800099900
Price: $65

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PDF: 16