Evaluating the aggressiveness of prostate cancer (PCa) is crucial for PCa diagnosis and prognosis. Previously, studies have shown that photoacoustic spectral analysis (PASA) can assess prostate tissue microarchitecture for evaluating the aggressiveness of PCa. In this study, in a transgenic mouse (TRAMP) model of PCa, we utilized methylene blue polyacrylamide nanoparticles (MB PAA NPs) to label the cancer cells in prostate in vivo. MB PAA NPs can specifically target proliferating cancer cells as a contrast agent, allowing photoacoustic (PA) imaging to better detect PCa tumors, and also assessing prostate glandular architecture. With the PA signals from the prostates measured simultaneously by a needle hydrophone and a PA and ultrasound (US) dual-imaging system, we conducted PASA and correlated the quantified spectral parameter slopes with the cancer grading from histopathology. The PASA results from 18 mice showed significant differences between normal and cancer, and also between low-score cancer and high-score cancer. This study in the clinically relevant TRAMP model of PCa demonstrated that PA imaging and PASA, powered by MB PAA NPs that can label the PCa microarchitectures in vivo after systemic administration, can detect PCa and, more importantly, evaluate cancer aggressiveness.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry
- Biomedical Engineering
- Engineering (miscellaneous)
- Clinical Biochemistry