Nano-Theranostics for the Sensing, Imaging and Therapy of Prostate Cancers

David Gonzalez Calatayud, Sotia Neophytou, Eleni Nicodemou, Giuseppe Giuffrida, Haobo Ge, Sofia Pascu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


We highlight hereby recent developments in the emerging field of theranostics, which encompasses the combination of therapeutics and diagnostics in a single entity aimed for an early-stage diagnosis, image-guided therapy as well as evaluation of therapeutic outcomes of relevance to prostate cancer (PCa). Prostate cancer is one of the most common malignancies in men and a frequent cause of male cancer death. As such, this overview is concerned with recent developments in imaging and sensing of relevance to prostate cancer diagnosis and therapeutic monitoring. A major advantage for the effective treatment of PCa is an early diagnosis that would provide information for an appropriate treatment. Several imaging techniques are being developed to diagnose and monitor different stages of cancer in general, and patient stratification is particularly relevant for PCa. Hybrid imaging techniques applicable for diagnosis combine complementary structural and morphological information to enhance resolution and sensitivity of imaging. The focus of this review is to sum up some of the most recent advances in the nanotechnological approaches to the sensing and treatment of prostate cancer (PCa). Targeted imaging using nanoparticles, radiotracers and biomarkers could result to a more specialised and personalised diagnosis and treatment of PCa. A myriad of reports has been published literature proposing methods to detect and treat PCa using nanoparticles but the number of techniques approved for clinical use is relatively small. Another facet of this report is on reviewing aspects of the role of functional nanoparticles in multimodality imaging therapy considering recent developments in simultaneous PET-MRI (Positron Emission Tomography-Magnetic Resonance Imaging) coupled with optical imaging in vitro and in vivo, whilst highlighting feasible case studies that hold promise for the next generation of dual modality medical imaging of PCa. It is envisaged that progress in the field of imaging and sensing domains, taken together, could benefit from the biomedical implementation of new synthetic platforms such as metal complexes and functional materials supported on organic molecular species, which can be conjugated to targeting biomolecules and encompass adaptable and versatile molecular architectures. Furthermore, we include hereby an overview of aspects of biosensing methods aimed to tackle PCa: prostate biomarkers such as Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) have been incorporated into synthetic platforms and explored in the context of sensing and imaging applications in preclinical investigations for the early detection of PCa. Finally, some of the societal concerns around nanotechnology being used for the detection of PCa are considered and addressed together with the concerns about the toxicity of nanoparticles–these were aspects of recent lively debates that currently hamper the clinical advancements of nano-theranostics. The publications survey conducted for this review includes, to the best of our knowledge, some of the most recent relevant literature examples from the state-of-the-art. Highlighting these advances would be of interest to the biomedical research community aiming to advance the application of theranostics particularly in PCa diagnosis and treatment, but also to those interested in the development of new probes and methodologies for the simultaneous imaging and therapy monitoring employed for PCa targeting.

Original languageEnglish
Article number830133
JournalFrontiers in Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2022


  • imaging
  • nanomedicine
  • prostate cancer
  • sensing
  • theranostics
  • therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Nano-Theranostics for the Sensing, Imaging and Therapy of Prostate Cancers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this