Nobuyuki Kosaka1, Marcelino Bernardo1, Makoto Mitsunaga1, Peter L. Choyke1, Hisataka Kobayashi1
1Molecular Imaging Program,
National Cancer Institute,
We dual-labeled cancer cells with a quantum dot and SPIO, and tracked them within the lymphatic system with in vivo MRI and optical imaging. By employing a dendrimer-based T1-weighted MRI contrast agent, MR lymphangiography simultaneously depicted cancer cells and draining lymphatic basins around the injected sites. In vivo functional drainage of lymphatic basins and migration of cancer cells were visualized with a single MRI scan. Additionally, fluorescence imaging provided cancer cell tracking at higher spatial resolution than MRI. Thus, MR and optical imaging can be a powerful research tool for investigating lymphatic metastases.