In vivo investigation of breast cancer progression by use of internal control

John Baeten, Jodi Haller, Helen Shih, Vasilis Ntzitichristos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Optical imaging of breast cancer has been considered for detecting functional and molecular characteristics of diseases in clinical and preclinical settings. Applied to laboratory research, photonic investigations offer a highly versatile tool for preclinical imaging and drug discovery. A particular advantage of the optical method is the availability of multiple spectral bands for performing imaging. Herein, we capitalize on this feature to demonstrate how it is possible to use different wavelengths to offer internal controls and significantly improve the observation accuracy in molecular imaging applications. In particular, we show the independent in vivo detection of cysteine proteases along with tumor permeability and interstitial volume measurements using a dual-wavelength approach. To generate results with a view toward clinically geared studies, a transgenic Hexllneu mouse model that spontaneously developed mammary tumors was used. In vivo findings were validated against conventional ex vivo tests such as histology and Western blot analyses. By correcting for biodistribution parameters, the dual-wavelength method increases the accuracy of molecular observations by separating true molecular target from probe biodistribution. As such, the method is highly appropriate for molecular imaging studies where often probe delivery and target presence are not independently assessed. On the basis of these findings, we propose the dual-wavelength/normalization approach as an essential method for drug discovery and preclinical imaging studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-227
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes


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