Recent trends in antibody-based oncologic imaging

Cancer Lett. 2012 Feb 28;315(2):97-111. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2011.10.017. Epub 2011 Oct 20.


Antibodies, with their unmatched ability for selective binding to any target, are considered as potentially the most specific probes for imaging. Their clinical utility, however, has been limited chiefly due to their slow clearance from the circulation, longer retention in non-targeted tissues and the extensive optimization required for each antibody-tracer. The development of newer contrast agents, combined with improved conjugation strategies and novel engineered forms of antibodies (diabodies, minibodies, single chain variable fragments, and nanobodies), have triggered a new wave of antibody-based imaging approaches. Apart from their conventional use with nuclear imaging probes, antibodies and their modified forms are increasingly being employed with non-radioisotopic contrast agents (MRI and ultrasound) as well as newer imaging modalities, such as quantum dots, near infra red (NIR) probes, nanoshells and surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). The review article discusses new developments in the usage of antibodies and their modified forms in conjunction with probes of various imaging modalities such as nuclear imaging, optical imaging, ultrasound, MRI, SERS and nanoshells in preclinical and clinical studies on the diagnosis, prognosis and therapeutic responses of cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal*
  • Diagnostic Imaging / trends*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal