Bio

Academic Appointments


  • Clinical Instructor, Radiology

Publications

All Publications


  • PET Imaging of HER2-Positive Tumors with Cu-64-Labeled Affibody Molecules. Molecular imaging and biology : MIB : the official publication of the Academy of Molecular Imaging Qi, S., Hoppmann, S., Xu, Y., Cheng, Z. 2019

    Abstract

    PURPOSE: Previous studies has demonstrated the utility of human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2 (HER2) as an attractive target for cancer molecular imaging and therapy. An affibody protein with strong binding affinity for HER2, ZHER2:342, has been reported. Various methods of chelator conjugation for radiolabeling HER2 affibody molecules have been described in the literature including N-terminal conjugation, C-terminal conjugation, and other methods. Cu-64 has recently been extensively evaluated due to its half-life, decay properties, and availability. Our goal was to optimize the radiolabeling method of this affibody molecule with Cu-64, and translate a positron emission tomography (PET) probe with the best in vivo performance to clinical PET imaging of HER2-positive cancers.PROCEDURES: In our study, three anti-HER2 affibody proteins-based PET probes were prepared, and their in vivo performance was evaluated in mice bearing HER2-positive subcutaneous SKOV3 tumors. The affibody analogues, Ac-Cys-ZHER2:342, Ac-ZHER2:342(Cys39), and Ac-ZHER2:342-Cys, were synthesized using the solid phase peptide synthesis method. The purified small proteins were site-specifically conjugated with the maleimide-functionalized chelator, 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7-tris- aceticacid-10-maleimidethylacetamide (maleimido-mono-amide-DOTA). The resulting DOTA-affibody conjugates were then radiolabeled with Cu-64. Cell uptake assay of the resulting PET probes, [64Cu]DOTA-Cys-ZHER2:342, [64Cu]DOTA-ZHER2:342(Cys39), and [64Cu]DOTA-ZHER2:342-Cys, was performed in HER2-positive human ovarian SKOV3 carcinoma cells at 4 and 37C. The binding affinities of the radiolabeled peptides were tested by cell saturation assay using SKOV3 cells. PET imaging, biodistribution, and metabolic stability studies were performed in mice bearing SKOV3 tumors.RESULTS: Cell uptake assays showed high and specific uptake by incubation of Cu-64-labeled affibodies with SKOV3 cells. The affinities (KD) of the PET radio probes as tested by cell saturation analysis were in the low nanomolar range with the ranking of [64Cu]DOTA-Cys-ZHER2:342 (25.29.2nM)[64Cu]DOTA-ZHER2:342-Cys (32.614.7nM)>[64Cu]DOTA-ZHER2:342(Cys39) (77.622.2nM). In vitro stability and in vivo metabolite analysis study revealed that all three probes were stable enough for in vivo imaging applications, while [64Cu]DOTA-Cys-ZHER2:342 showed the highest stability. In vivo small-animal PET further demonstrated fast tumor targeting, good tumor accumulation, and good tumor to normal tissue contrast of all three probes. For [64Cu]DOTA-Cys-ZHER2:342, [64Cu]DOTA-ZHER2:342(Cys39), and [64Cu]DOTA-ZHER2:342-Cys, tumor uptake at 24h are 4.01.0% ID/g, 4.00.8 %ID/g, and 4.30.7 %ID/g, respectively (mean SD, n=4). Co-injection of the probes with non-labeled anti-HER2 affibody proteins confirmed in vivo specificities of the compounds by tumor uptake reduction.CONCLUSIONS: The three Cu-64-labeled ZHER2:342 analogues all display excellent HER2 targeting ability and tumor PET imaging quality. Although varied in the position of the radiometal labeling of these three Cu-64-labeled ZHER2:342 analogues, there is no significant difference in tumor and normal tissue uptakes among the three probes. [64Cu]DOTA-Cys-ZHER2:342 stands out as the most superior PET probe because of its highest affinities and in vivo stability.

    View details for PubMedID 30617730

  • NeuroImaging Radiological Interpretation System (NIRIS) for Acute Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Journal of neurotrauma Wintermark, M., Li, Y., Ding, V. Y., Xu, Y., Jiang, B., Ball, R. L., Zeineh, M., Gean, A., Sanelli, P. 2018

    Abstract

    To develop an outcome-based NeuroImaging Radiological Interpretation System (NIRIS) for acute traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients that would standardize the interpretation of non-contrast head CTs and consolidate imaging findings into ordinal severity categories that would inform specific patient management actions and that could be used as a clinical decision support tool. We retrospectively identified all patients transported to our emergency department by ambulance or helicopter, for whom a trauma alert was triggered per established criteria and who underwent a non-contrast head CT due to suspicion of TBI, between November 2015 and April 2016. Two neuroradiologists reviewed the non-contrast head CTs and assessed the TBI imaging common data elements (CDEs), as defined by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Using descriptive statistics and receiver operating characteristic curve analyses to identify imaging characteristics and associated thresholds that best distinguished among outcomes, we classified patients into five mutually exclusive categories: 0-discharge from the emergency department; 1-follow-up brain imaging and/or admission; 2-admission to an advanced care unit; 3-neurosurgical procedure; 4-death up to 6 months after TBI. Sensitivity of NIRIS with respect to each patient's true outcome was then evaluated and compared to that of the Marshall and Rotterdam scoring systems for TBI. In our cohort of 542 TBI patients, NIRIS was developed to predict discharge (182 patients), follow-up brain imaging/admission (187 patients), need for advanced care unit (151 patients). neurosurgical procedures (10 patients) and death (12 patients). NIRIS performed similarly to the Marshall and Rotterdam scoring systems in terms of predicting mortality. We developed an interpretation system for neuroimaging using the CDEs that informs specific patient management actions and could be used as a clinical decision support tool for patients with TBI. Our NIRIS classification, with evidence-based grouping of the CDEs into actionable categories, will need to be validated in different TBI populations.

    View details for PubMedID 29665763

  • Sonographic Differentiation of Complicated From Uncomplicated Appendicitis Implications for Antibiotics-First Therapy JOURNAL OF ULTRASOUND IN MEDICINE Xu, Y., Jeffrey, R. B., Chang, S. T., DiMaio, M. A., Olcott, E. W. 2017; 36 (2): 269-277

    Abstract

    To evaluate sonographic findings as indicators of complicated versus uncomplicated appendicitis in the setting of known appendicitis, a necessary distinction in deciding whether to proceed with antibiotic therapy or with appendectomy.With Institutional Review Board approval and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act compliance, appendiceal sonograms of 119 patients with histopathologically proven appendicitis were retrospectively blindly reviewed to determine the presence or absence of the normally echogenic submucosal layer, the presence of mural hyperemia, periappendiceal fluid, appendicoliths, and hyperechoic periappendiceal fat and to determine the maximum outside diameter. Results were compared with the presence of complicated versus uncomplicated appendicitis on histopathologic examination and assessed by both univariate and mulitvariate logistic regression; confidence intervals (CIs) of proportions were assessed by the exact binomial test.Thirty-two (26.9%) of the 119 patients had complicated appendicitis, including 11 with gangrenous appendicitis without perforation and 21 with gangrenous appendicitis and perforation. Loss of the submucosal layer was the only independent significant indicator of complicated appendicitis in multivariate regression (P?

    View details for DOI 10.7863/ultra.16.03109

    View details for PubMedID 28039865

  • Color Doppler Imaging of the Appendix: Criteria to Improve Specificity for Appendicitis in the Borderline-Size Appendix. Journal of ultrasound in medicine Xu, Y., Jeffrey, R. B., Shin, L. K., DiMaio, M. A., Olcott, E. W. 2016; 35 (10): 2129-2138

    Abstract

    To test the hypothesis that continuous intramural vascular signal measuring at least 3 mm on color Doppler imaging is highly specific for appendicitis in patients with diagnostically borderline-size appendices.Two blinded observers independently reviewed color Doppler images of the appendix in 94 consecutive patients who had undergone sonography for suspected appendicitis and whose appendices were of diagnostically borderline size (6-8 mm maximum outer diameter). Intramural vascular flow on color Doppler images was classified as absent, type 1 (only punctate and dispersed signal), or type 2 (continuous linear or curvilinear signal measuring at least 3.0 mm in long- or short-axis views). Histopathologic examination and clinical follow-up served as reference standards. Proportions were assessed by the exact binomial test.Of the 94 patients, 33 (35.1%) had type 1 flow (of whom 5 [15.2%] had appendicitis); 23 (24.5%) had type 2 flow (of whom 20 [87.0%] had appendicitis); and 38 (40.4%) had absent flow (of whom 10 [26.3%] had appendicitis). The sensitivity, specificity, and odds ratio of type 2 flow as an indicator of appendicitis were 57.1%, 94.9%, and 24.9 (P< .001), respectively; the corresponding values for type 1 flow as an indicator of normal appendices were and 47.5%, 85.7%, and 5.4 (P = .002).Continuous intramural linear or curvilinear signal measuring at least 3 mm on color Doppler imaging is a highly specific, although relatively insensitive, sign of acute appendicitis in noncompressible appendices of diagnostically borderline size (6-8 mm).

    View details for DOI 10.7863/ultra.15.11064

    View details for PubMedID 27562977

  • The Milky Way Sign: A New Diagnostic Finding of Ductal Carcinoma in situ on Digital Breast Tomosynthesis BREAST JOURNAL Xu, Y., Miyake, K. K., Liu, Y. I., Downey, J. R., Lipson, J. A., Allison, K. H., Ikeda, D. M. 2016; 22 (3): 349-351

    View details for DOI 10.1111/tbj.12583

    View details for PubMedID 26932582

  • Lymphoid Hyperplasia of the Appendix: A Potential Pitfall in the Sonographic Diagnosis of Appendicitis AMERICAN JOURNAL OF ROENTGENOLOGY Xu, Y., Jeffrey, R. B., DiMaio, M. A., Olcott, E. W. 2016; 206 (1): 189-194

    Abstract

    The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that thickening of the lamina propria, a finding produced by lymphoid hyperplasia, is significantly associated with false-positive sonographic diagnoses of appendicitis in 6- to 8-mm noncompressible appendixes.Sonograms of 119 consecutive patients with suspected appendicitis and 6- to 8-mm noncompressible appendixes were retrospectively blindly evaluated for thickening of the lamina propria (short axis thickness ? 1 mm). The reference standard for appendicitis was pathologic analysis of resected specimens. Results were compared with the two-tailed Fisher exact test.Thirty-one patients (26.1%) had a thickened lamina propria and 88 (73.9%) did not. Of the 27 pediatric patients with a thickened lamina propria, five (18.5%) had true-positive and 22 (81.5%) had false-positive sonograms for appendicitis; among the 55 pediatric patients without a thickened lamina propria, 27 (49.1%) had true-positive and 28 (50.9%) had false-positive sonograms for appendicitis (p = 0.009). Similar differences in adult patients were not statistically significant. All five pediatric patients with appendicitis and thickened lamina propria also showed two or more findings of periappendiceal fluid, hyperechoic periappendiceal fat, or mural hyperemia on color Doppler examination, compared with two of 22 similar pediatric patients without appendicitis (p < 0.001).Lymphoid hyperplasia may result in a noncompressible appendix 6-8 mm in diameter and may be misdiagnosed as appendicitis in pediatric patients. True-positive diagnoses of appendicitis can be accurately identified by the presence of at least two additional findings from the group of periappendiceal fluid, hyperechoic periappendiceal fat, and mural hyperemia. Identifying the characteristic sonographic appearance of lymphoid hyperplasia may help prevent false-positive misdiagnoses of appendicitis.

    View details for DOI 10.2214/AJR.15.14846

    View details for Web of Science ID 000367181400038

    View details for PubMedID 26700351

  • A novel Affibody bioconjugate for dual-modality imaging of ovarian cancer CHEMICAL COMMUNICATIONS Wang, Y., Miao, Z., Ren, G., Xu, Y., Cheng, Z. 2014; 50 (85): 12832-12835

    View details for DOI 10.1039/c4cc03454f

    View details for Web of Science ID 000342756100005

  • Tyrosinase as a multifunctional reporter gene for Photoacoustic/MRI/PET triple modality molecular imaging SCIENTIFIC REPORTS Qin, C., Cheng, K., Chen, K., Hu, X., Liu, Y., Lan, X., Zhang, Y., Liu, H., Xu, Y., Bu, L., Su, X., Zhu, X., Meng, S., Cheng, Z. 2013; 3

    Abstract

    Development of reporter genes for multimodality molecular imaging is highly important. In contrast to the conventional strategies which have focused on fusing several reporter genes together to serve as multimodal reporters, human tyrosinase (TYR)--the key enzyme in melanin production--was evaluated in this study as a stand-alone reporter gene for in vitro and in vivo photoacoustic imaging (PAI), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET). Human breast cancer cells MCF-7 transfected with a plasmid that encodes TYR (named as MCF-7-TYR) and non-transfected MCF-7 cells were used as positive and negative controls, respectively. Melanin targeted N-(2-(diethylamino)ethyl)-18F-5-fluoropicolinamide was used as a PET reporter probe. In vivo PAI/MRI/PET imaging studies showed that MCF-7-TYR tumors achieved significant higher signals and tumor-to-background contrasts than those of MCF-7 tumor. Our study demonstrates that TYR gene can be utilized as a multifunctional reporter gene for PAI/MRI/PET both in vitro and in vivo.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/srep01490

    View details for Web of Science ID 000316251200007

    View details for PubMedID 23508226

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3603217

  • Tyrosinase as a multifunctional reporter gene for Photoacoustic/MRI/PET triple modality molecular imaging. Scientific reports Qin, C., Cheng, K., Chen, K., Hu, X., Liu, Y., Lan, X., Zhang, Y., Liu, H., Xu, Y., Bu, L., Su, X., Zhu, X., Meng, S., Cheng, Z. 2013; 3: 1490-?

    Abstract

    Development of reporter genes for multimodality molecular imaging is highly important. In contrast to the conventional strategies which have focused on fusing several reporter genes together to serve as multimodal reporters, human tyrosinase (TYR)--the key enzyme in melanin production--was evaluated in this study as a stand-alone reporter gene for in vitro and in vivo photoacoustic imaging (PAI), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET). Human breast cancer cells MCF-7 transfected with a plasmid that encodes TYR (named as MCF-7-TYR) and non-transfected MCF-7 cells were used as positive and negative controls, respectively. Melanin targeted N-(2-(diethylamino)ethyl)-18F-5-fluoropicolinamide was used as a PET reporter probe. In vivo PAI/MRI/PET imaging studies showed that MCF-7-TYR tumors achieved significant higher signals and tumor-to-background contrasts than those of MCF-7 tumor. Our study demonstrates that TYR gene can be utilized as a multifunctional reporter gene for PAI/MRI/PET both in vitro and in vivo.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/srep01490

    View details for PubMedID 23508226

  • Cerenkov Luminescence Imaging (CLI) for Cancer Therapy Monitoring JOVE-JOURNAL OF VISUALIZED EXPERIMENTS Xu, Y., Liu, H., Chang, E., Jiang, H., Cheng, Z. 2012

    Abstract

    In molecular imaging, positron emission tomography (PET) and optical imaging (OI) are two of the most important and thus most widely used modalities. PET is characterized by its excellent sensitivity and quantification ability while OI is notable for non-radiation, relative low cost, short scanning time, high throughput, and wide availability to basic researchers. However, both modalities have their shortcomings as well. PET suffers from poor spatial resolution and high cost, while OI is mostly limited to preclinical applications because of its limited tissue penetration along with prominent scattering optical signals through the thickness of living tissues. Recently a bridge between PET and OI has emerged with the discovery of Cerenkov Luminescence Imaging (CLI). CLI is a new imaging modality that harnesses Cerenkov Radiation (CR) to image radionuclides with OI instruments. Russian Nobel laureate Alekseyevich Cerenkov and his colleagues originally discovered CR in 1934. It is a form of electromagnetic radiation emitted when a charged particle travels at a superluminal speed in a dielectric medium. The charged particle, whether positron or electron, perturbs the electromagnetic field of the medium by displacing the electrons in its atoms. After passing of the disruption photons are emitted as the displaced electrons return to the ground state. For instance, one (18)F decay was estimated to produce an average of 3 photons in water. Since its emergence, CLI has been investigated for its use in a variety of preclinical applications including in vivo tumor imaging, reporter gene imaging, radiotracer development, multimodality imaging, among others. The most important reason why CLI has enjoyed much success so far is that this new technology takes advantage of the low cost and wide availability of OI to image radionuclides, which used to be imaged only by more expensive and less available nuclear imaging modalities such as PET. Here, we present the method of using CLI to monitor cancer drug therapy. Our group has recently investigated this new application and validated its feasibility by a proof-of-concept study. We demonstrated that CLI and PET exhibited excellent correlations across different tumor xenografts and imaging probes. This is consistent with the overarching principle of CR that CLI essentially visualizes the same radionuclides as PET. We selected Bevacizumab (Avastin; Genentech/Roche) as our therapeutic agent because it is a well-known angiogenesis inhibitor. Maturation of this technology in the near future can be envisioned to have a significant impact on preclinical drug development, screening, as well as therapy monitoring of patients receiving treatments.

    View details for DOI 10.3791/4341

    View details for Web of Science ID 000209226000031

  • Evaluation of Four Affibody-Based Near-Infrared Fluorescent Probes for Optical Imaging of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Positive Tumors BIOCONJUGATE CHEMISTRY Qi, S., Miao, Z., Liu, H., Xu, Y., Feng, Y., Cheng, Z. 2012; 23 (6): 1149-1156

    View details for DOI 10.1021/bc200596a

    View details for Web of Science ID 000305358700007

  • A Four-Arm Star-Shaped Poly(ethylene glycol) (StarPEG) Platform for Bombesin Peptide Delivery to Gastrin-Releasing Peptide Receptors in Prostate Cancer ACS MACRO LETTERS Xu, Y., Huang, W., Ren, G., Qi, S., Jiang, H., Miao, Z., Liu, H., Lucente, E., Bu, L., Shen, B., Barron, A., Cheng, Z. 2012; 1 (6): 753-757

    View details for DOI 10.1021/mz300105n

    View details for Web of Science ID 000305320600023

  • Proof-of-Concept Study of Monitoring Cancer Drug Therapy with Cerenkov Luminescence Imaging JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE Xu, Y., Chang, E., Liu, H., Jiang, H., Gambhir, S. S., Cheng, Z. 2012; 53 (2): 312-317

    Abstract

    Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI) has emerged as a less expensive, easier-to-use, and higher-throughput alternative to other nuclear imaging modalities such as PET. It is expected that CLI will find many applications in biomedical research such as cancer detection, probe development, drug screening, and therapy monitoring. In this study, we explored the possibility of using CLI to monitor drug efficacy by comparisons against PET. To assess the performance of both modalities in therapy monitoring, 2 murine tumor models (large cell lung cancer cell line H460 and prostate cancer cell line PC3) were given bevacizumab versus vehicle treatments. Two common radiotracers, 3'-deoxy-3'-(18)F-fluorothymidine ((18)F-FLT) and (18)F-FDG, were used to monitor bevacizumab treatment efficacy.One group of mice (n = 6) was implanted with H460 xenografts bilaterally in the shoulder region, divided into treatment and control groups (n = 3 each), injected with (18)F-FLT, and imaged with PET immediately followed by CLI. The other group of mice (n = 6) was implanted with PC3 xenografts in the same locations, divided into treatment and control groups (n = 3 each), injected with (18)F-FDG, and imaged by the same modalities. Bevacizumab treatment was performed by 2 injections of 20 mg/kg at days 0 and 2.On (18)F-FLT scans, both CLI and PET revealed significantly decreased signals from H460 xenografts in treated mice from pretreatment to day 3. Moderately increased to unchanged signals were observed in untreated mice. On (18)F-FDG scans, both CLI and PET showed relatively unchanged signals from PC3 tumors in both treated and control groups. Quantifications of tumor signals of Cerenkov luminescence and PET images showed that the 2 modalities had excellent correlations (R(2) > 0.88 across all study groups).CLI and PET exhibit excellent correlations across different tumor xenografts and radiotracers. This is the first study, to our knowledge, demonstrating the use of CLI for monitoring cancer treatment. The findings warrant further exploration and optimization of CLI as an alternative to PET in preclinical therapeutic monitoring and drug screening.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.111.094623

    View details for Web of Science ID 000300032800024

    View details for PubMedID 22241909

  • Evaluation of Four Affibody-Based Near-Infrared Fluorescent Probes for Optical Imaging of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Positive Tumors. Bioconjugate chemistry Qi, S., Miao, Z., Liu, H., Xu, Y., Feng, Y., Cheng, Z. 2012

    Abstract

    The epidermal growth factor receptor 1 (EGFR) has become an attractive target for cancer molecular imaging and therapy. An Affibody protein with strong binding affinity for EGFR, Z(EGFR:1907), has been reported. We are interested in translating Affibody molecules to potential clinical optical imaging of EGFR positive cancers. In this study, four anti-EGFR Affibody based near-infrared (NIR) fluorescent probes were thus prepared, and their in vivo performance was evaluated in the mice bearing EGFR positive subcutaneous A431 tumors. Methods: The Affibody analogue, Ac-Cys-Z(EGFR:1907), was synthesized using solid-phase peptide synthesis method. The purified small protein was then site-specifically conjugated with four NIR fluorescent dyes, Cy5.5-monomaleimide, Alex-Fluor-680-maleimide, SRfluor680-maleimide, or IRDye-800CW-maleimide, to produce four optical probes-Cy5.5-Z(EGFR:1907), Alexa680-Z(EGFR:1907), SR680-Z(EGFR:1907), and 800CW-Z(EGFR:1907). The EGFR binding property and specificity of the four NIR fluorescent Affibody probes were studied by fluorescence microscopy using high EGFR expressing A431 cells and low expressing MCF7 cells. The binding affinities of the probes (K(D)) to EGFR were further determined by flow cytometry. In vivo optical imaging of the four probes was performed in the mice bearing subcutaneous A431 tumors. Results: The four NIR optical probes were prepared in high purity. In vitro cell imaging studies demonstrated that all of them could specifically bind to EGFR positive A431 cells while showing minimum uptake in low EGFR expressing MCF7 cells. Flow cytometry showed that Cy5.5-Z(EGFR:1907) and Alexa680-Z(EGFR:1907) possessed high binding affinity in low nanomolar range (43.6 8.4 and 28.3 4.9, respectively). In vivo optical imaging of the four probes revealed that they all showed fast tumor targeting ability and good tumor-to-normal tissue contrast as early as 0.5 h postinjection (p.i.). The tumor-to-normal tissue ratio reached a peak at 2 to 4 h p.i. by regional of interest (ROI) analysis of images. Ex vivo studies further demonstrated that the four probes had high tumor uptakes. Particularly, Cy5.5-Z(EGFR:1907) and Alex680-Z(EGFR:1907) displayed higher tumor-to-normal tissue ratios than those of the other two probes. Conclusion: This work demonstrates that Affibody proteins can be modified with different NIR fluorescent dyes and used for imaging of EGFR expressing tumors. Different NIR fluorescent dyes have variable impact on the in vitro binding and in vivo performance of the resulting Affibody based probes. Therefore, selection of an appropriate NIRF label is important for optical probe development. The probes developed are promising for further tumor imaging applications and clinical translation. Particularly, Alex680-Z(EGFR:1907) and Cy5.5-Z(EGFR:1907) are excellent candidates as EGFR-targeted probes for optical imaging.

    View details for PubMedID 22621238

  • Cerenkov Luminescence Imaging (CLI) for cancer therapy monitoring. Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE Xu, Y., Liu, H., Chang, E., Jiang, H., Cheng, Z. 2012: e4341-?

    Abstract

    In molecular imaging, positron emission tomography (PET) and optical imaging (OI) are two of the most important and thus most widely used modalities. PET is characterized by its excellent sensitivity and quantification ability while OI is notable for non-radiation, relative low cost, short scanning time, high throughput, and wide availability to basic researchers. However, both modalities have their shortcomings as well. PET suffers from poor spatial resolution and high cost, while OI is mostly limited to preclinical applications because of its limited tissue penetration along with prominent scattering optical signals through the thickness of living tissues. Recently a bridge between PET and OI has emerged with the discovery of Cerenkov Luminescence Imaging (CLI). CLI is a new imaging modality that harnesses Cerenkov Radiation (CR) to image radionuclides with OI instruments. Russian Nobel laureate Alekseyevich Cerenkov and his colleagues originally discovered CR in 1934. It is a form of electromagnetic radiation emitted when a charged particle travels at a superluminal speed in a dielectric medium. The charged particle, whether positron or electron, perturbs the electromagnetic field of the medium by displacing the electrons in its atoms. After passing of the disruption photons are emitted as the displaced electrons return to the ground state. For instance, one (18)F decay was estimated to produce an average of 3 photons in water. Since its emergence, CLI has been investigated for its use in a variety of preclinical applications including in vivo tumor imaging, reporter gene imaging, radiotracer development, multimodality imaging, among others. The most important reason why CLI has enjoyed much success so far is that this new technology takes advantage of the low cost and wide availability of OI to image radionuclides, which used to be imaged only by more expensive and less available nuclear imaging modalities such as PET. Here, we present the method of using CLI to monitor cancer drug therapy. Our group has recently investigated this new application and validated its feasibility by a proof-of-concept study. We demonstrated that CLI and PET exhibited excellent correlations across different tumor xenografts and imaging probes. This is consistent with the overarching principle of CR that CLI essentially visualizes the same radionuclides as PET. We selected Bevacizumab (Avastin; Genentech/Roche) as our therapeutic agent because it is a well-known angiogenesis inhibitor. Maturation of this technology in the near future can be envisioned to have a significant impact on preclinical drug development, screening, as well as therapy monitoring of patients receiving treatments.

    View details for DOI 10.3791/4341

    View details for PubMedID 23183774

  • Harnessing the Power of Radionuclides for Optical Imaging: Cerenkov Luminescence Imaging JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE Xu, Y., Liu, H., Cheng, Z. 2011; 52 (12): 2009-2018

    Abstract

    Over the past several years, nuclear imaging modalities such as PET and SPECT have received much attention because they have been instrumental not only in preclinical cancer research but also in nuclear medicine. Yet nuclear imaging is limited by high instrumentation cost and subsequently low availability to basic researchers. Cerenkov radiation, a relativistic physical phenomenon that was discovered 70 years ago, has recently become an intriguing subject of study in molecular imaging because of its potential in augmenting nuclear imaging, particularly in preclinical small-animal studies. The intrinsic capability of radionuclides emitting luminescent light from decay is promising because of the possibility of bridging nuclear imaging with optical imaging-a modality that is much less expensive, is easier to use, and has higher throughput than its nuclear counterpart. Thus, with the maturation of this novel imaging technology using Cerenkov radiation, which is termed Cerenkov luminescence imaging, it is foreseeable that advances in both nuclear imaging and preclinical research involving radioisotopes will be significantly accelerated in the near future.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.111.092965

    View details for Web of Science ID 000298162500039

    View details for PubMedID 22080446

  • One-step radiosynthesis of F-18-AlF-NOTA-RGD(2) for tumor angiogenesis PET imaging EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE AND MOLECULAR IMAGING Liu, S., Liu, H., Jiang, H., Xu, Y., Zhang, H., Cheng, Z. 2011; 38 (9): 1732-1741

    Abstract

    One of the major obstacles of the clinical translation of (18)F-labeled arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD) peptides has been the laborious multistep radiosynthesis. In order to facilitate the application of RGD-based positron emission tomography (PET) probes in the clinical setting we investigated in this study the feasibility of using the chelation reaction between Al(18)F and a macrocyclic chelator-conjugated dimeric RGD peptide as a simple one-step (18)F labeling strategy for development of a PET probe for tumor angiogenesis imaging.Dimeric cyclic peptide E[c(RGDyK)](2) (RGD(2)) was first conjugated with a macrocyclic chelator, 1,4,7-triazacyclononane-1,4,7-triacetic acid (NOTA), and the resulting bioconjugate NOTA-RGD(2) was then radiofluorinated via Al(18)F intermediate to synthesize (18)F-AlF-NOTA-RGD(2). Integrin binding affinities of the peptides were assessed by a U87MG cell-based receptor binding assay using (125)I-echistatin as the radioligand. The tumor targeting efficacy and in vivo profile of (18)F-AlF-NOTA-RGD(2) were further evaluated in a subcutaneous U87MG glioblastoma xenograft model by microPET and biodistribution.NOTA-RGD(2) was successfully (18)F-fluorinated with good yield within 40 min using the Al(18)F intermediate. The IC(50) of (19)F-AlF-NOTA-RGD(2) was determined to be 46 4.4 nM. Quantitative microPET studies demonstrated that (18)F-AlF-NOTA-RGD(2) showed high tumor uptake, fast clearance from the body, and good tumor to normal organ ratios.NOTA-RGD(2) bioconjugate has been successfully prepared and labeled with Al(18)F in one single step of radiosynthesis. The favorable in vivo performance and the short radiosynthetic route of (18)F-AlF-NOTA-RGD(2) warrant further optimization of the probe and the radiofluorination strategy to accelerate the clinical translation of (18)F-labeled RGD peptides.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s00259-011-1847-4

    View details for Web of Science ID 000293637900017

    View details for PubMedID 21617974

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