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Toll-like receptor 2
(TLR2) agonist-based fluorescent imaging of pancreatic tumors

A TLR2 agonist-based imaging agent could aid surgical resection of pancreatic tumors. Chemical synthesis and in vitro testing of a series of 14-mer peptides identified a lead compound as a low nanomolar TLR2 agonist. In mice bearing human pancreatic tumors, the lead compound conjugated to a near-infrared fluorescent dye specifically labeled the tumors but not surrounding tissues. Ongoing work includes using the dye-conjugated compound to guide surgical removal of xenograft pancreatic tumors from mice.

SciBX 5(45); doi:10.1038/scibx.2012.1195
Published online Nov. 15, 2012

Patented by the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute; available for licensing

Shanks Huynh, A. et al. J. Med. Chem.; published online Oct. 25, 2012;
Contact: Josef Vagner, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz.
Contact: David L. Morse, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, Tampa, Fla.