Molecular Imaging of Cancer Cells in Vivo

Technology #ua14-073

Questions about this technology? Ask a Technology Manager

Download Printable PDF

Josef Vagner
Associate Research Professor, BIO5 Institute
Zhenyu Zhang
Research Specialist, BIO5 Institute
Renata Patek
Research Specialist, BIO5 Institute
Managed By
Lisa Lin
Licensing Manager (520) 626-6969

Technology Title

Molecular Imaging of Cancer Cells in Vivo

Technology Descriptio:

The technology described is a non-invasive method of detecting cancer using in vivo probes that target and bind to receptor cites on or around the cancerous growth.


One potential application would be to administer the proposed ligand in suspected cases of cancer to identify and confirm possible tumors. This fulfills the purpose of an optical imaging probe.


  1. As an optical imaging probe, there is a high sensitivity for ligand detection and binding. This allows for a high detection success rate as well as the visualization of subtle anomalies.

  2. The probe is not radioactive, making it safer than the PET scan alternative probes.

  3. As a fluorescent probe, it is more versatile than the bioluminescent counterpart. Furthermore, it is easier to introduce into an organism.

Patent Information:

Morse, David L., Robert J. Gillies, Amanda Huynh, and Josef Vagner. Molecular Imaging of Cancer Cells in Vivo. (Patent WO2013036543 A2)

Related Publications:

  • Seya, T., T. Akazawa, J. Uehori, M. Matsumoto, I. Azuma, and K. Toyoshima. “Role of Toll-like Receptors and Their Adaptors in Adjuvant Immunotherapy for Cancer.” Anticancer Research 23.6A (2003): 4369-376. Europe PubMed Central. 2003. Web. 28 Dec. 2013.

  • Adams, Sylvia. “Toll-like Receptor Agonists in Cancer Therapy.” Immunotherapy 1.6 (2009): 949-64. Future Medicine. Future Medicien Ltd., Nov. 2009. Web. 28 Dec. 2013.

  • Vabulas, Ramunas M., Parviz Ahmad-Nejad, Clarissa De Costa, Thomas Miethke, Carsten J. Kirschning, Hans Hacker, and Hermann Wagner. “Endocytosed HSP60s Use Toll-like Receptor 2 (TLR2) and TLR4 to Activate the Toll/Interleukin-1 Receptor Signaling Pathway in Innate Immune Cells.” The Journal of Biological Chemistry 276 (2001): 31332-1339. JBC. The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc., 11 June 2001. Web. 28 Dec. 2013.

  • Wetzler, Lee M. “The Role of Toll-like Receptor 2 in Microbial Disease and Immunity.” Vaccine 21.2 (2003): S55-60. Science Direct. Elseiver, 1 June 2003. Web. 28 Dec. 2013.

  • Latz, Eicke, Anjali Verma, Alberto Visintin, Mei Gong, Cherilyn M. Sirois, Dionne CG Klein, Brian G. Monks, C. J. McKnight, Marc S. Lamphier, W. P. Duprex, Terje Espevik, and Douglas T. Golenbock. “Ligand-induced Conformational Changes Allosterically Activate Toll-like Receptor 9.” Nature Immunology 8 (2007): 772-79. Nature. Nature Publishing Group, 17 June 2007. Web. 28 Dec. 2013.

Case Information

Licensing Manager:  Paul R. Eynott PhD, MBA



Principal Investigator: Josef Vagner, PhD

Department: University of Arizona Cancer Center