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A review on accurate tumor diagnosis and targeting therapy published in Chem. Soc. Rev. by Chen Lingxin’s group at Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research, CAS

Chen Lingxin’s group (Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences) published a review entitled "Fluorescent chemical probes for accurate tumor diagnosis and targeting therapy" in Chemical Society Reviews. This review was based on the fluorescent chemical probe for the accurate tumor diagnosis and specific treatment, and summarized the latest research of this field.

This review described and provided a concise overview of the design, application, and development of small molecular fluorescent imaging agents and fluorescent theranostics for tumor diagnosis and therapy. First, the review established the status and challenges of traditional medical approaches and gave a brief overview of the characteristics and applications of fluorescent probes for tumor diagnosis and therapy. Second, the authors addressed the approaches that had been elegantly established and provided a timely and concise overview on the design, application, and development of small molecular-weight fluorescent imaging agents and fluorescent theranostics for tumor diagnosis and therapy. Finally, the criteria governing the choice of the targeted receptor, modification of the targeting ligand, employment of the conjugating linker, utilization of the fluorophore, and optimization of the therapeutic drug in designing fluorescent imaging agents and fluorescent theranostics was also discussed.

Cancer is an extremely aggressive disease. The incidence and death rate associated with cancer remain high. In the 1970s, the cancer mortality rate is 11.95%, now is 21.92%. Gene mutation is the underlying cause of cancer, and the current environmental pollution problem aggravates the possibility of gene mutation. Due to lack of sensitive early diagnosis, high specificity targeted therapy and real-time effective treatment monitoring, cancer is still a serious threat to human health and life. Therefore, it is of great important to establish convenient, sensitive and accurate diagnosis and treatment method for cancer. Theranostics is a smart flagship of tumor diagnosis and therapy in recent years. Its core is to combine tumor therapy and real-time imaging, guide doctors to adjust the treatment plan and improve the survival rate and quality of life of cancer patients. Precision Medical is designed to use basic clinical research to develop therapeutics for selective targeting and killing of tumor cells.

One of the goals pursued by fluorescent probes is clinical application. Under the doctrine of precision medicine, the modality of fluorescence imaging has advanced visualization of tumor lesions to enable diagnosis, facilitate surgical resection, investigate therapeutic efficacy, and improve prognosis. Imaging technologies are essential for the detection and visualization of tumor lesions. Current clinical imaging modalities include single photon emission computed tomography, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, computed tomography and ultrasound. Most of these have no depth sensitivities limit, but it is difficult to provide a real-time response for intraoperative diagnosis. Fluorescent imaging technology is expected to overcome some of the limitations of conventional therapeutics and improve tumor treatments. Fluorescence imaging tools have been proved to be useful, with excellent selectivity and high sensitivity for visualizing physiological and pathological factors at a molecular level, in addition to providing sufficient spatial resolution in vivo and in real time.

By summarizing the latest advances in fluorescent chemical probe, the author’s authority pointed out that this field had achieved rapid development in recent years. The probes had important application value in interventional surgery, tumor diagnosis and treatment. The related work is published in Chemical Society Reviews, 2017, 46, 2237. Fluorescent chemical probes for accurate tumor diagnosis and targeting therapy. Meanwhile, Chen’s group centered the "Environment and Health", carried out a series of work to address the impact of the current environmental pollution related to reactive species. Related work published in Advanced Functional Materials, 2017, manuscript Number: adfm. 201700769; Chemical Sciences, 2016, 7, 5098; .Biomaterials, 2015, 63, 93; Analytical Chemistry, 2015, 87, 3631; Analytical Chemistry, 2016, 88, 4122; Analyst, 2015, 140, 3766.

Schematic of theranostics delivery by receptor-mediated endocytosis

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