Advances in Imaging: Brain Tumors to Alzheimer’s Disease

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Rameshwar Patil, MD
Yosef Koronyo, MD
Alexander V. Ljubimov, MD
Brenda Salumbides, MD
Adam Mamelak, MD
Pallavi R. Gangalum, MD
Hui Ding, MD
Jose Portilla-Arias, MD
Eggehard Holler, MD
Pramod Butte, MD
Maya Koronyo-Hamaoui, MD
Julia Y. Ljubimova, MD
Keith L. Black, MD


Professor Black and colleagues have been working to improve the quality and sensitivity of imaging in the early detection of conditions from brain tumors to Alzheimer’s disease to enhance treatment protocols and patient management. Professor Black et al introduced nanopar- ticles to improve MRI imaging. These nanoparticles consist of poly (b-L- malic acid (PMLA)) conjugates with monoclonal antibodies ((mAbs)) and Gd-DOTA. These are known as MRI nano-imaging agents (NIA). Most importantly, they can penetrate the endothelial blood-brain barrier (BBB) to reach brain tumors (primary or metas- tasis). This is effective in cases of brain tumors or breast cancer or other cancers such as lung cancer and gastric cancer having HER2 and/or EGFR positive crossing BBB. By the covalent conjugation of MR contrast (NIA), the MRI virtual biopsy can differentiate brain tumors from infections or other brain pathological conditions. The brain’s intrinsic natural fluorescence such as NADH, FAD, lipopig- ments and porphyrin in the brain tissue can be identified by using time resolved fluorescence spectroscopy (TRFS) which is operated through the use of ultra-short laser. TRFS produces various color bands to differentiate the tumor from normal brain tissue in real time and registers the data on a 3D map. This is significant, as this will provide a greatly improved assessment methodology of tissue type. Consequently, this will potentially result in shorter operation times as well as more satisfactory tumor removal. In the detection of Alzheimer disease, amyloid plaque is deposited in retina tissue (including the RGC, RNFL and inner plexiform layer) which can produce a fluorescence effect by using curcumin as a contrast. This is then shown by human retina amyloid imaging device. Immunotherapies with glatiramer acetate (GA) have been shown to reduce amyloid deposits in brain and retinal AB deposits in mice. The study of advanced imaging technology and techniques including NIA, TRFS and the detection of amyloid plaque in Alzheimer disease are very important approaches to create a new era for diagnostic and therapeutic management of brain tumors and other cancers (HER2 and/or EGFR positive). This pioneering work by Professor Black, and colleagues, gives rise to a new hope for cancer patients for targeted therapy and for immunotherapies in Alzheimer’s disease.


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Patil R, Koronyo Y, Ljubimov AV, Salumbides B, Mamelak A, Gangalum PR, Ding H, Portilla-Arias J, Holler E, Butte P, Koronyo-Hamaoui M, Ljubimova JY, Black KL. Advances in Imaging: Brain Tumors to Alzheimer’s Disease. BKK Med J [Internet]. 2015Sep.18 [cited 2020Jul.15];10(1):83. Available from:
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