Non-invasive mapping of deep-tissue lymph nodes in live animals using a multimodal PET/MRI nanoparticle

Daniel L.J. Thorek, David Ulmert, Ndeye Fatou M. Diop, Mihaela E. Lupu, Michael G. Doran, Ruimin Huang, Diane S. Abou, Steven M. Larson, Jan Grimm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


The invasion status of tumour-draining lymph nodes (LNs) is a critical indicator of cancer stage and is important for treatment planning. Clinicians currently use planar scintigraphy and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) with 99m Tc-radiocolloid to guide biopsy and resection of LNs. However, emerging multimodality approaches such as positron emission tomography combined with magnetic resonance imaging (PET/MRI) detect sites of disease with higher sensitivity and accuracy. Here we present a multimodal nanoparticle, 89 Zr-ferumoxytol, for the enhanced detection of LNs with PET/MRI. For genuine translational potential, we leverage a clinical iron oxide formulation, altered with minimal modification for radiolabelling. Axillary drainage in naive mice and from healthy and tumour-bearing prostates was investigated. We demonstrate that 89 Zr-ferumoxytol can be used for high-resolution tomographic studies of lymphatic drainage in preclinical disease models. This nanoparticle platform has significant translational potential to improve preoperative planning for nodal resection and tumour staging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3097
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - Jan 20 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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