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Towards the Molecular Imaging of Prostate Cancer Biomarkers Using Protein-based MRI Contrast Agents

[ Vol. 17 , Issue. 6 ]


Fan Pu, Shenghui Xue, Jingjuan Qiao, Anvi Patel and Jenny J. Yang   Pages 519 - 533 ( 15 )


Prostate cancer is the most common cancer for man with a high mortality rate due to a lack of non-invasive accurate and sensitive molecular diagnostic methods. The molecular imaging of cancer biomarkers using MRI with its spatial and temporal resolution, however, is largely limited by the lack of contrast agents with high sensitivity, targeting specificity and deep tumor penetration. In this review, we will first overview the current stage of prostate cancer diagnosis and then review prostate cancer biomarkers and related imaging techniques. Since biomarker targeting moieties are essential for molecular imaging, we will use prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) as an example to discuss different methods to characterize the interaction between biomarker and targeting moieties. At the end, we will review current progress of the development of targeted protein-based MRI contrast agents (ProCAs) for prostate cancer biomarkers with improved relaxivity and targeting capability.


Molecular imaging, protein-based MRI contrast agents, GRPR, PSMA, biomarkers.


Department of Chemistry, Center for Diagnostics & Therapeutics (CDT), Center for Biotechnology and Drug Design, Georgia State University, 50 Decatur Street, SE., Atlanta, GA 30303, USA.

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