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Multi-Modal Imaging Probe for Glypican‑3 Overexpressed in Orthotopic Hepatocellular Carcinoma

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journal contribution
posted on 30.09.2021, 12:34 by Shuo Feng, Xiaoqing Meng, Zhao Li, Tse-Shao Chang, Xiaoli Wu, Juan Zhou, Bishnu Joshi, Eun-Young Choi, Lili Zhao, Jiye Zhu, Thomas D. Wang
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is rising steadily in incidence, and more effective methods are needed for early detection and image-guided surgery. Glypican-3 (GPC3) is a cell surface biomarker that is overexpressed in early-stage cancer but not in cirrhosis. An IRDye800-labeled 12-mer amino acid sequence was identified, and specific binding to GPC3 was validated in vitro and in orthotopically implanted HCC tumors in vivo. Over 4-fold greater binding affinity and 2-fold faster kinetics were measured by comparison with previous GPC3 peptides. Photoacoustic images showed peak tumor uptake at 1.5 h post-injection and clearance within ∼24 h. Laparoscopic and whole-body fluorescence images showed strong intensity from tumor versus adjacent liver with about a 2-fold increase. Immunofluorescence staining of human liver specimens demonstrated specific binding to HCC versus cirrhosis with 79% sensitivity and 79% specificity, and normal liver with 81% sensitivity and 84% specificity. The near-infrared peptide is promising for early HCC detection in clinical trials.