Imaging probes are a key component of the medical imaging toolset. From gadolinium chelates for MRI, iodinated agents in x-ray imaging techniques, to FDG for PET, these agents provide a plethora of benefits and diagnoses. Extensive efforts to create improved imaging probes are ongoing, motivated in part by the drawbacks of current formulations, such as the recent findings of brain retention of gadolinium agents or allergic reactions to iodinated agents. Moreover, the FDA has started to request companion diagnostic agents for targeted therapies. In addition, discoveries of novel chemistries has led to new types of materials being explored as imaging probes. Last, new types of imaging approaches, such as dual-energy mammography or photon-counting CT, would benefit from contrast agents specifically designed for them, to maximize contrast and diagnostic performance. The above factors are driving innovation in imaging probe developments. Furthermore, a new concept has emerged, that of theranostics, i.e. the combination of imaging and therapy. Theranostics can take many forms, such as image guided surgery, imaging to identify subjects for a specific therapy, combined imaging and therapeutic capabilities in a single agent, amongst others. Theranostics can offer benefits such as patient-specific treatments and higher efficacy, but can have drawbacks such as greater complexity and cost. In this symposium, we invited 3 experts who have extensive experience in imaging probes and theranostics to summarize the state of the art knowledge gained from research in recent years, review the current challenges and potential solutions, and share their perspectives of future directions.
1. Review principles, technical implementations, and clinical applications of imaging probes
2. Learn about emerging types of imaging probes, including new compositions and targeting strategies
3. Understand the principles of theranostics, the different forms and their advantages and drawbacks
Funding Support, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest: This research was supported in part by a grant from Philips research. The author holds stock in two companies that are developing contrast agents, PolyAurum and Daimroc Imaging. The work was also supported by the NIH and the NSF, as well as foundations such as the AHA and PBCC.