ACS nano

Differentiating Between Cancer and Inflammation: A Metabolic-Based Method for Functional Computed Tomography Imaging.

PMID 26886076


One of the main limitations of the highly used cancer imaging technique, PET-CT, is its inability to distinguish between cancerous lesions and post treatment inflammatory conditions. The reason for this lack of specificity is that [(18)F]FDG-PET is based on increased glucose metabolic activity, which characterizes both cancerous tissues and inflammatory cells. To overcome this limitation, we developed a nanoparticle-based approach, utilizing glucose-functionalized gold nanoparticles (GF-GNPs) as a metabolically targeted CT contrast agent. Our approach demonstrates specific tumor targeting and has successfully distinguished between cancer and inflammatory processes in a combined tumor-inflammation mouse model, due to dissimilarities in angiogenesis occurring under different pathologic conditions. This study provides a set of capabilities in cancer detection, staging and follow-up, and can be applicable to a wide range of cancers that exhibit high metabolic activity.