Nanotheranostics 2017; 1(3):296-312. doi:10.7150/ntno.20564 This issue


Prediction of Anti-cancer Nanotherapy Efficacy by Imaging

Miles A. Miller1, 2, Sean Arlauckas1, Ralph Weissleder1, 2, 3✉

1. Center for Systems Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, USA;
2. Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, USA;
3. Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School, USA.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) license ( See for full terms and conditions.
Miller MA, Arlauckas S, Weissleder R. Prediction of Anti-cancer Nanotherapy Efficacy by Imaging. Nanotheranostics 2017; 1(3):296-312. doi:10.7150/ntno.20564. Available from

File import instruction


Graphic abstract

Anticancer nanotherapeutics have shown mixed results in clinical trials, raising the questions of whether imaging should be used to i) identify patients with a higher likelihood of nanoparticle accumulation, ii) assess nanotherapeutic efficacy before traditional measures show response, and iii) guide adjuvant treatments to enhance therapeutic nanoparticle (TNP) delivery. Here we review the use of a clinically approved MRI nanoparticle (ferumoxytol, FMX) to predict TNP delivery and efficacy. It is becoming increasingly apparent that nanoparticles used for imaging, despite clearly distinct physicochemical properties, often co-localize with TNP in tumors. This evidence offers the possibility of using FMX as a generic “companion diagnostic” nanoparticle for multiple TNP formulations, thus potentially allowing many of the complex regulatory and cost challenges of other approaches to be avoided.

Keywords: dextran-coated iron oxide nanoparticle, magnetic resonance imaging, enhanced permeability and retention effect, nanomedicine, personalized medicine, tumor associated macrophage.