IMR Press / FBL / Volume 12 / Issue 12 / DOI: 10.2741/2420

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Article
Using molecular beacons for cancer imaging and treatment
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1 Department of Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania, USA
2 Department of Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania, USA
3 Department of Medical Biophysics, Ontario Cancer Institute/University of Toronto, Canada
4 Joey and Toby Tanenbaum/Brazilian Ball Chair in Prostate Cancer Research, Toronto, Canada
Academic Editor:Xiaoyuan Chen
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2007, 12(12), 4709–4721; https://doi.org/10.2741/2420
Published: 1 May 2007
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular imaging of biomarkers)
Abstract

Molecular beacons are essentially all probes that illuminate particular cellular target or cells with similar characteristics. In this review we focus on those molecular beacons that use near-infrared fluorescence imaging (NIRF-I) to identify the unique cellular and metabolic markers characteristic of cancer. They employ various delivery and activation pathways, selectively or specifically targeting proliferating and immortal cancer cells. These beacons can either be used in an imaging step separate from therapy or they can intimately connect these two steps into a single process. Matching cancer therapy to NIRF-I is photodynamic therapy (PDT) that uses the light-triggered phototoxic properties of some porphyrin-based dyes. Guided by beacon's restored fluorescence, the PDT laser could be focused on affected sites, killing the cancer cells using the enhanced photoactivity of the same beacon. Or vice versaa—the restored fluorescence from the cleaved beacon could be used as an indication of the beacon's own therapeutic success, imaging the post-PDT apoptotic cells.

Keywords
Near-Infrared Fluorescence Imaging
Fluorescence resonance energy transfer
Apoptosis Imaging
Image-Guided Therapy
Photodynamic Therapy
Molecular Beacon
Singlet Oxygen
Quenching
Delivery
Review
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