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Intracranial imaging of medulloblastomas with fluorescent-tagged, integrin-binding knottin peptide

A peptide-based imaging agent could help guide surgical resection of medulloblastomas. In vitro, a fluorescent-tagged knottin peptide that targeted integrin aVb3 (CD51/CD61), integrin aVb5 and integrin aVb1 (CD51/CD29) showed high binding affinity for a human medulloblastoma cell line. In two mouse models of medulloblastoma, i.v. injection of the fluorescent knottin peptide followed by intracranial and ex vivo tumor imaging enabled tumor cells to be distinguished from normal brain tissue. In these models, use of the fluorescent knottin peptide resulted in tumor images that have higher contrast than images resulting from three other fluorescent-tagged peptides that target integrins aVb3 and aVb5 but not aVb1. Ongoing work includes developing the peptide for intraoperative surgical use in patients with cancer.

SciBX 6(35); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.980
Published online Sept. 12, 2013

Patented; available for licensing

Moore, S.J. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; published online Aug. 15, 2013;
Contact: Jennifer R. Cochran, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.

Contact: Matthew P. Scott, same affiliation as above