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Technology Overview

OHSU # 3024 — Universal nanoprobes for imaging and treatment of cancer

Medical imaging is currently incapable of detecting very small tumors and there is a need for new contrast agents that allow for earlier detection of cancers.  The current technology is a self-assembled nanoprobe that specifically accumulates in a broad range of solid tumors to enable 1) high-resolution imaging for earlier cancer detection and 2) targeted drug delivery for cancer chemotherapy with less side-effects.

Technology Overview
Medical imaging methods have multiple applications in cancer detection and management, including detection of solid malignancies, monitoring therapy responsiveness, and image-guided surgery. However, current clinical imaging modalities are limited to >5 mm tumors and cannot accurately identify tumor margins.

The current technology consists of a universal nanoprobe that specifically targets and accumulates within a broad range of tumors.  Features of the nanoprobe include:

  • Roughly 10 nm micelle size in aqueous solution, allowing for better accumulation within tumors.
  • Highly-specific accumulation in multiple tumor types in vivo (tested mouse models include xenografts, syngeneic orthografts, transgenics, and patient-derived xenografts of breast, colon, skin, brain, and pancreatic cancers).
  • Detectable tumor signal for up to 14 days, potentially allowing for sustained and targeted delivery of conjugated-therapeutics to reduce off-target side effects.
  • Detection of submillimeter occult tumors for improved early cancer detection and margin definition for image-guided surgery.
  • Greater than 10:1 tumor to signal noise ratio allowing for clear and accurate signal detection.
  • Simple formulation for fluorescence and photoacoustic imaging, which can be easily modified for other imaging modalities, including PET, SPECT or MRI.
  • Non-toxic formulation and quick clearance of nanoprobe in non-cancerous tissues.
Licensing Opportunity
This technology is available for licensing.