Using In-Vivo Fluorescence Imaging in Personalized Cancer Diagnostics and Therapy, an Image and Treat Paradigm

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The major goal in developing drugs targeting specific tumor receptors, such as Monoclonal AntiBodies (MAB), is to make a drug compound that targets selectively the cancer-causing biomarkers, inhibits their functionality, and/or delivers the toxin specifically to the malignant cells. Recent advances in MABs show that their efficacy depends strongly on characterization of tumor biomarkers. Therefore, one of the main tasks in cancer diagnostics and treatment is to develop non-invasive in-vivo imaging techniques for detection of cancer biomarkers and monitoring their down regulation during the treatment. Such methods can potentially result in a new imaging and treatment paradigm for cancer therapy. In this article we have reviewed fluorescence imaging approaches, including those developed in our group, to detect and monitor Human Epidermal Growth Factor 2 (HER2) receptors before and during therapy. Transition of these techniques from the bench to bedside is the ultimate goal of our project. Similar approaches can be used potentially for characterization of other cancer related cell biomarkers.

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