What are theranostics?
Experimenting with human prostate cancer cells and mice, cancer imaging experts at Johns Hopkins say they have developed a method for finding and killing malignant cells while sparing healthy ones.The method, called theranostic imaging, targets and tracks potent drug therapies directly and only to cancer cells.
According to Martin G. Pomper, the William R. Brody Professor of Radiology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, the technique relies on binding an originally inactive form of drug chemotherapy, with an enzyme, to specific proteins on tumor cell surfaces and detecting the drug’s absorption into the tumor. The binding of the highly specific drug-protein complex, or nanoplex, to the cell surface allows it to get inside the cancerous cell, where the enzyme slowly activates the tumor-killing drug.
Pomper, an affiliated faculty member of Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology (INBT), is director of the Small Animal Imaging Resource Program (SAIRP) at Johns Hopkins and Deputy Director of the In Vivo Cellular and Molecular Imaging Center (ICMIC). He will will present the INBT professional development seminar, “Forays into Theranostics,” at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, April 5 in Croft G40 on the Homewood campus. Light refreshments will be served.
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