ABSTRACT: Cerenkov luminescence (CL) has been used recently in a plethora of medical applications like imaging and therapy with clinically relevant medical isotopes. The range of medical isotopes used is fairly large and expanding. The generation of in vivo light is useful since it circumvents depth limitations for excitation light. Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI) is much cheaper in terms of infrastructure than positron emission tomography (PET) and is particularly useful for imaging of superficial structures. Imaging can basically be done using a sensitive camera optimized for low-light conditions, and it has a better resolution than any other nuclear imaging modality. CLI has been shown to effectively diagnose disease with regularly used PET isotope ((18)F-FDG) in clinical setting. Cerenkov luminescence tomography, Cerenkov luminescence endoscopy, and intraoperative Cerenkov imaging have also been explored with positive conclusions expanding the current range of applications. Cerenkov has also been used to improve PET imaging resolution since the source of both is the radioisotope being used. Smart imaging agents have been designed based on modulation of the Cerenkov signal using small molecules and nanoparticles giving better insight of the tumor biology.
Project description:Antibody-based therapies gain momentum in clinical therapy, thus the need for accurate imaging modalities with respect to target identification and therapy monitoring are of increasing relevance. Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI) are a novel method detecting charged particles emitted during radioactive decay with optical imaging. Here, we compare Position Emission Tomography (PET) with CLI in a multimodal imaging study aiming at the fast and efficient screening of monoclonal antibodies (mAb) designated for targeting of the neuroblastoma-characteristic epitope disialoganglioside GD2. Neuroblastoma-bearing SHO mice were injected with a 64Cu-labeled GD2-specific mAb. The tumor uptake was imaged 3 h, 24 h and 48 h after tracer injection with both, PET and CLI, and was compared to the accumulation in GD2-negative control tumors (human embryonic kidney, HEK-293). In addition to an in vivo PET/CLI-correlation over time, we also demonstrate linear correlations of CLI- and ?-counter-based biodistribution analysis. CLI with its comparably short acquisition time can thus be used as an attractive one-stop-shop modality for the longitudinal monitoring of antibody-based tumor targeting and ex vivo biodistribution.These findings suggest CLI as a reliable alternative for PET and biodistribution studies with respect to fast and high-throughput screenings in subcutaneous tumors traced with radiolabeled antibodies. However, in contrast to PET, CLI is not limited to positron-emitting isotopes and can therefore also be used for the visualization of mAb labeled with therapeutic isotopes like electron emitters.
Project description:The development of novel multimodality imaging agents and techniques represents the current frontier of research in the field of medical imaging science. However, the combination of nuclear tomography with optical techniques has yet to be established. Here, we report the use of the inherent optical emissions from the decay of radiopharmaceuticals for Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI) of tumors in vivo and correlate the results with those obtained from concordant immuno-PET studies.In vitro phantom studies were used to validate the visible light emission observed from a range of radionuclides including the positron emitters (18)F, (64)Cu, (89)Zr, and (124)I; beta-emitter (131)I; and alpha-particle emitter (225)Ac for potential use in CLI. The novel radiolabeled monoclonal antibody (89)Zr-desferrioxamine B [DFO]-J591 for immuno-PET of prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) expression was used to coregister and correlate the CLI signal observed with the immuno-PET images and biodistribution studies.Phantom studies confirmed that Cerenkov radiation can be observed from a range of positron-, beta-, and alpha-emitting radionuclides using standard optical imaging devices. The change in light emission intensity versus time was concordant with radionuclide decay and was also found to correlate linearly with both the activity concentration and the measured PET signal (percentage injected dose per gram). In vivo studies conducted in male severe combined immune deficient mice bearing PSMA-positive, subcutaneous LNCaP tumors demonstrated that tumor-specific uptake of (89)Zr-DFO-J591 could be visualized by both immuno-PET and CLI. Optical and immuno-PET signal intensities were found to increase over time from 24 to 96 h, and biodistribution studies were found to correlate well with both imaging modalities.These studies represent the first, to our knowledge, quantitative assessment of CLI for measuring radiotracer uptake in vivo. Many radionuclides common to both nuclear tomographic imaging and radiotherapy have the potential to be used in CLI. The value of CLI lies in its ability to image radionuclides that do not emit either positrons or gamma-rays and are, thus, unsuitable for use with current nuclear imaging modalities. Optical imaging of Cerenkov radiation emission shows excellent promise as a potential new imaging modality for the rapid, high-throughput screening of radiopharmaceuticals.
Project description:Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI) is a novel molecular optical imaging technique based on the detection of optical Cerenkov photons emitted by positron emission tomography (PET) imaging agents. The ability to use clinically approved tumour-targeted tracers in combination with small-sized imaging equipment makes CLI a particularly interesting technique for image-guided cancer surgery. The past few years have witnessed a rapid increase in proof-of-concept preclinical studies in this field, and several clinical trials are currently underway. This article provides an overview of the basic principles of Cerenkov radiation and outlines the challenges of CLI-guided surgery for clinical use. The preclinical and clinical trial literature is examined including applications focussed on image-guided lymph node detection and Cerenkov luminescence endoscopy, and the ongoing clinical studies and technological developments are highlighted. By intraoperatively guiding the oncosurgeon towards more accurate and complete resections, CLI has the potential to transform current surgical practice, and improve oncological and cosmetic outcomes for patients.
Project description:Targeted α-emitting drugs are promising for cancer therapy, but cannot be effectively imaged by conventional techniques. Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI) has previously been shown capable of imaging β(+)- and β(-)-emitting radionuclides in vivo and could have the potential to image α-emitters. Cerenkov light production from α-emitters is through Compton scattering and from farther down the decay chain. This causes the Cerenkov production to vary in time and depend on sample geometry, complicating the interpretation of CLI images. We used the simulation toolkit Geant4 to predict the Cerenkov light output from five α-emitting radionuclides that have therapeutic potential: (225)Ac, (230)U, (213)Bi, (212)Bi and (212)At. We found that (225)Ac, (213)Bi and (212)Bi produced an order of magnitude more Cerenkov light than (18)F. However, the light from (225)Ac is delayed from the initial decay, possibly decreasing the correlation of the drug and light source. This indicates that CLI will not be helpful in the development of some α-emitting drugs.
Project description:Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI) is an emerging new molecular imaging modality that is relatively inexpensive, easy to use, and has high throughput. CLI can image clinically available PET and SPECT probes using optical instrumentation. Cerenkov luminescence endoscopy (CLE) is one of the most intriguing applications that promise potential clinical translation. We developed a prototype customized fiberscopic Cerenkov imaging system to investigate the potential in guiding minimally invasive surgical resection.All experiments were performed in a dark chamber. Cerenkov luminescence from (18)F-FDG samples containing decaying radioactivity was transmitted through an optical fiber bundle and imaged by an intensified charge-coupled device camera. Phantoms filled with (18)F-FDG were used to assess the imaging spatial resolution. Finally, mice bearing subcutaneous C6 glioma cells were injected intravenously with (18)F-FDG to determine the feasibility of in vivo imaging. The tumor tissues were exposed, and CLI was performed on the mouse before and after surgical removal of the tumor using the fiber-based imaging system and compared with a commercial optical imaging system.The sensitivity of this particular setup was approximately 45 kBq (1.21 ?Ci)/300 ?L. The 3 smallest sets of cylindric holes in a commercial SPECT phantom were identifiable via this system, demonstrating that the system has a resolution better than 1.2 mm. Finally, the in vivo tumor imaging study demonstrated the feasibility of using CLI to guide the resection of tumor tissues.This proof-of-concept study explored the feasibility of using fiber-based CLE for the detection of tumor tissue in vivo for guided surgery. With further improvements of the imaging sensitivity and spatial resolution of the current system, CLE may have a significant application in the clinical setting in the near future.
Project description:Imaging the location and extent of cancer provides invaluable information before, during, and after surgery. The majority of "image-guided" methods that use, for example, positron emission tomography (PET) involve preoperative imaging and do not provide real-time information during surgery. It is now well established that the inherent optical emissions (Cerenkov radiation) from various ?-emitting radionuclides can be visualized by Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI). Here we report the full characterization of CLI using the positron-emitting radiotracer 89Zr-DFO-trastuzumab for target-specific, quantitative imaging of HER2/neu-positive tumors in vivo. We also provide the first demonstration of the feasibility of using CLI for true image-guided, intraoperative surgical resection of tumors. Analysis of optical CLIs provided accurate, quantitative information on radiotracer biodistribution and tissue uptake that correlated well with the concordant PET images. CLI, PET, and biodistribution studies revealed target-specific uptake of 89Zr-DFO-trastuzumab in BT-474 (HER2/neu positive) versus MDA-MB-468 (HER2/neu negative) xenografts in the same mice. Competitive inhibition (blocking) studies followed by CLI also confirmed the in vivo immunoreactivity and specificity of 89Zr-DFO-trastuzumab for HER2/neu. Overall, these results strongly support the continued development of CLI as a preclinical and possible clinical tool for use in molecular imaging and surgical procedures for accurately defining tumor margins.
Project description:Brown adipose tissue (BAT), a specialized tissue for thermogenesis, plays important roles for metabolism and energy expenditure. Recent studies validated BAT's presence in human adults, making it an important re-emerging target for various pathologies. During this validation, PET images with (18)F-FDG showed significant uptake of (18)F-FDG by BAT under certain conditions. Here, we demonstrated that Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI) using (18)F-FDG could be utilized for in vivo optical imaging of BAT in mice.Mice were injected with (18)F-FDG and imaged 60 minutes later with open filter and 2 minute acquisition. In vivo activation of BAT was performed by norepinephrine and cold treatment under isoflurane or ketamine anesthesia. Spectral unmixing and 3D imaging reconstruction were conducted with multiple-filter CLI images.1) It was feasible to use CLI with (18)F-FDG to image interscapular BAT in mice, with the majority of the signal (>85%) at the interscapular site originating from BAT; 2) The method was reliable because excellent correlations between in vivo CLI, ex vivo CLI, and ex vivo radioactivity were observed; 3) CLI could be used for monitoring BAT activation under different conditions; 4) CLI signals from the group under short-term isoflurane anesthesia were significantly higher than that from the group under long-term anesthesia; 5) The CLI spectrum of (18)F-FDG with a peak at 640 nm in BAT after spectral unmixing reflected the actual context of BAT; 6) Finally 3D reconstruction images showed excellent correlation between the source of the light signal and the location and physical shape of BAT.CLI with (18)F-FDG is a feasible and reliable method for imaging BAT in mice. Compared to PET imaging, CLI is significantly cheaper, faster for 2D planar imaging and easier to use. We believe that this method could be used as an important tool for researchers investigating BAT.
Project description:(90)Y has been used to label various new therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals. However, measuring the radiation dose delivered by (90)Y is challenging because of the absence of suitable ? emissions and its low abundance of positron emissions. For the treatment of prostate cancer, radiolabeled gastrin-releasing peptide receptor (GRPr) antagonists have yielded promising results in mouse models. In this study, we evaluated whether Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI) could be used to determine radiation doses of a (90)Y-labeled GRPr antagonist in nude mice.Mice bearing subcutaneous prostate cancer xenografts were injected with 0.74-18.5 MBq of the (90)Y-labeled GRPr antagonist DOTA-AR and underwent in vivo and ex vivo CLI at 1-48 h after injection. After imaging, animals were sacrificed, their tumors and organs were harvested, and the activity concentration was measured by liquid scintillation counting. In a second set of experiments, Cerenkov photon counts for tumor and kidney on in vivo CLI were converted to activity concentrations using conversion factors determined from the first set of experiments.(90)Y-DOTA-AR concentration in the 3 tumor models ranged from 0.5% to 4.8% of the injected activity per gram at 1 h after injection and decreased to 0.05%-0.15 injected activity per gram by 48 h after injection. A positive correlation was found between tumor activity concentrations and in vivo CLI signal (r(2) = 0.94). A similar correlation was found for the renal activity concentration and in vivo Cerenkov luminescence (r(2) = 0.98). Other organs were not distinctly visualized on the in vivo images, but ex vivo CLI was also correlated with the radioactivity concentration (r(2) = 0.35-0.94). Using the time-activity curves from the second experiment, we calculated radiation doses to tumor and kidney of 0.33 ± 0.12 (range, 0.21-0.66) and 0.06 ± 0.01 (range, 0.05-0.08) Gy/MBq, respectively.CLI is a promising, low-cost modality to measure individual radiation doses of (90)Y-labeled compounds noninvasively. The use of Cerenkov imaging is expected to facilitate the development and comparison of (90)Y-labeled compounds for targeted radiotherapy.
Project description:Antibodies, and engineered antibody fragments, labeled with radioisotopes are being developed as radiotracers for the detection and phenotyping of diseases such as cancer. The development of antibody-based radiotracers requires extensive characterization of their in vitro and in vivo properties, including their ability to target tumors in an antigen-selective manner. In this study, we investigated the use of Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI) as compared with PET as a modality for evaluating the in vivo behavior of antibody-based radiotracers.The anti-prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) huJ591 antibody (IgG; 150 kDa) and its minibody (Mb; 80 kDa) format were functionalized with the chelator 1,4,7-triazacyclononane-1-glutaric acid-4,7-diacetic acid (NODAGA) and radiolabeled with the positron-emitting radionuclide 64Cu (half-life, 12.7 h). Immunoreactive preparations of the radiolabeled antibodies were injected into NCr nu/nu mice harboring PSMA-positive CWR22Rv1 and PSMA-negative PC-3 tumor xenografts. Tumor targeting was evaluated by both PET and CLI.64Cu-NODAGA-PSMA-IgG and 64Cu-NODAGA-PSMA-Mb retained the ability to bind cell surface PSMA, and both radiotracers exhibited selective uptake into PSMA-positive tumors. Under the experimental conditions used, PSMA-selective uptake of 64Cu-NODAGA-PSMA-IgG and 64Cu-NODAGA-PSMA-Mb was observed by CLI as early as 3 h after injection, with tumor-to-background ratios peaking at 24 (IgG) and 16 (Mb) h after injection. Targeting data generated by CLI correlated with that generated by PET and necropsy.CLI provided a rapid and simple assessment of the targeting specificity and pharmacokinetics of the antibody-based PET radiotracers that correlated well with the behavior observed by standard PET imaging. Moreover, CLI provided clear discrimination between uptake kinetics of an intact IgG and its small-molecular-weight derivative Mb. These data support the use of CLI for the evaluation of radiotracer performance.
Project description:In the era of personalized medicine, there is an urgent need for in vivo techniques able to sensitively detect and quantify molecular activities. Sensitive imaging of gamma rays is widely used; however, radioactive decay is a physical constant, and its signal is independent of biological interactions. Here, we introduce a framework of previously uncharacterized targeted and activatable probes that are excited by a nuclear decay-derived signal to identify and measure molecular signatures of disease. We accomplished this by using Cerenkov luminescence, the light produced by ?-particle-emitting radionuclides such as clinical positron emission tomography (PET) tracers. Disease markers were detected using nanoparticles to produce secondary Cerenkov-induced fluorescence. This approach reduces background signal compared to conventional fluorescence imaging. In addition to tumor identification from a conventional PET scan, we demonstrate the medical utility of our approach by quantitatively determining prognostically relevant enzymatic activity. This technique can be applied to monitor other markers and represents a shift toward activatable nuclear medicine agents.