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Multimodal Imaging Strategy Under Study in Urothelial Cell Carcinoma

By: Cordi Craig, MS
Posted: Thursday, June 3, 2021

Despite clinical advances, there has only been a slight improvement in the overall prognosis for patients with urothelial cell carcinoma in the past 3 decades. Cornelis F.M. Sier, PhD, of Leiden University Medical Centre, The Netherlands, and colleagues studied a multimodal near-infrared fluorescence-based imaging strategy, which may ultimately improve diagnosis, resection, and surveillance in this patient population. The preclinical report was published in the European Journal of Cancer.

“MNPR-101-800F targets urokinase plasminogen activator receptor and allows for simultaneous near-infrared and photoacoustic guidance,” the study team concluded. “If confirmed in a clinical setting, such assistance can result in a paradigm shift, altering how urologists survey and treat urothelial cell carcinoma, thus potentially improving patient outcomes.”

Using immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry, the research team measured the expression of urokinase plasminogen activator receptor and epithelial cell adhesion molecule. The binding of MNPR-101-800F to a recombinant human urokinase plasminogen activator receptor was determined using surface plasmon resonance. In vivo near-infrared fluorescence and photoacoustic three-dimensional imaging were tested in mice, and the translational potential was confirmed through a metastasizing UM-UC-3luc2 orthotopic mouse model. Infliximab-IRDye800CW and rituximab-IRDye800CW were assigned as controls.

The urothelial cell carcinoma cells indicated prominent urokinase plasminogen activator receptor expression at the tumor-stroma interface and epithelial cell adhesion molecules on epithelial cells. In vivo fluorescence imaging appeared to identify both subcutaneous and orthotopic tumors. The tumor-to-background ratios reached as high as 6.8 and significantly differed from controls (P < .0001). The homogeneous distribution of MNPR-101-IRDye800CW throughout the tumor was confirmed via photoacoustic imaging.

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit

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