Colonoscopy remains a primary preventative measure for colorectal cancer (CRC) by detecting adenomas. However, using white-light colonoscopy without targeting a specific molecular marker can result in 30% of lesions going undetected.
To improve adenoma detection, Md. Jashim Uddin, Ph.D., Larry Marnett, Ph.D., and their team utilized COX-2, an enzyme upregulated in preneoplastic lesions and CRC, as a marker to develop a fluorescent imaging agent.
Their research found that administering a fluorescent COX-2 inhibitor before colonoscopy allowed for clear identification of adenomas in mice without labeling normal colons. They used an FDA-approved polymer to ensure the easy formation of COX-2 inhibitor-containing nanoparticles for clinical use.
Published in the Journal of Biomedical Optics, this work represents an advancement in adenoma detection during colonoscopy, potentially reducing the number of CRC diagnoses.