Towards Personalized Medicine: Photoacoustic Imaging of Glutathione Enables Companion Diagnosis and Targeted Treatment of Lung Cancer

28 April 2020, Version 2
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Companion diagnostics (CDx) represent a new frontier in personalized medicine that promises to improve treatment outcomes by matching therapies to patients. Currently, these tests are limited in scope and cannot report on real-time changes associated with disease progression and remediation. To address this, we have developed the first photoacoustic imaging-based CDx (PACDx) for the selective detection of elevated glutathione (GSH) in lung cancer. Since GSH is abundant in most cells, we utilized a physical organic approach to precisely tune the chemical reactivity to distinguish between normal and pathological states. In blinded studies, PACDx was applied to identify mice bearing lung tumors. Moreover, we designed a matching prodrug, PARx, that utilizes the same mechanism to release a chemotherapeutic with a PA readout. We demonstrate that PARx can inhibit tumor growth without off-target toxicity in a lung cancer xenograft model. We envision that this work will establish a new standard for personalized medicine by employing a unique imaging-based approach.


acoustogenic probe
companion diagnostic
in vivo imaging
lung cancer

Supplementary materials

PACDx SI ChemRxiv Version 2 Final


Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting Policy [opens in a new tab] - please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here [opens in a new tab] .
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy [opens in a new tab] and Terms of Service [opens in a new tab] apply.