Development of nanoprobes for the targeted molecular detection and imaging of micrometastasis
Faculty of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (EKPA)
Circulating tumor cells (micrometastasis), are detected in more than 30% of patients with cancer with no clinical and histopathological findings. The detection methods used today either have low sensitivity (immunohistochemical and biochemical analysis) or they are too expensive (RT-PCR). The purpose of the study was to develop specific nanoprobes based on antibodies conjugated on quantum cadmium selenide granules (QDs) for the early detection of micrometastasis.
Our method was compared with experimental cell lines and patient blood samples by flow cytometry (FACS) and Real-Time PCR and showed high sensitivity that allows future integration into clinical practice, and offers unique capabilities for detecting micrometastasis in vitro, by measuring clinical materials of patients (blood, serum, tissue), and in vivo, since they allow molecular imaging of tumors. The nanoprobes we developed have the ability of specific detection of tumors when injected intravenously into xenografts in mice.
In conclusion, the use of nanoprobes contributes significantly to the detection of micrometastasis, with a lower cost and in less time than the currently used methods, while ensuring high sensitivity. This new technology will be an important tool for surgeons, oncologists and radiation oncologists, helping to design the best therapeutic strategy and improve targeted therapy of tumors.
Final report (in Greek)
Nikolaos Nikiteas, Associate Professor of Surgery, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Maria Gazouli, Lecturer of Biology, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Efstathios Efstathopoulos, Associate Professor of Medical Physics, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens