About this Research Topic
Imaging technology has demonstrated to be an important tool for breaking through the bottleneck of drug development, as it could provide great insights into the morphology or functionality of pharmacological models (cell, tissue and animal). It has several advantages compared to traditional evaluation methods; such as high spatiotemporal resolution, imaging sensitivity, and tissue specificity - and can be utilized in gene expression, substance metabolism, cancer detection, drug development, and other fields.
Imaging technology covers both microscopic and macroscopic imaging scales, and includes fluorescence-based microscopy, Raman- based microscopy, targeted ultrasound imaging, photoacoustic imaging, SPECT, PET, and molecular MRI to name a few. These technologies can be used for imaging or analyzing living systems at various levels (such as molecular, cellular, tissue, and living animal levels). As a result, imaging strategies have been applied in several research projects for evaluating the pharmacokinetics, activity and mechanisms of cancer therapy using small molecule drugs or pro-drugs. At the same time, more specific imaging-based evaluation methods have been developed to improve the pharmacological studies of chemotherapy.
However, there remains several challenges that need to be addressed: a) Targeted delivery with high specificity is one of the major challenges; b) Quantification analysis of the binding ratio between drug and receptor c) Greater analysis of drug binding site in the cell, the binding process, and mechanisms that follow. Further pharmacological research is needed to enhance the application of imaging technology, such as the ability to real-time monitor the drug delivery in vivo, detection technology with high sensitivity and high temporal resolution, and high-/ultra-resolution microscopic imaging technology with a large field of view will greatly help represent the reaction between the drug and receptor.
The objective of this Research Topic is to highlight multiple applications of imaging techniques used to evaluate pharmacological oncology studies. We will consider submissions that utilize any imaging techniques in characterizing the targets of anti-cancer drugs (small molecule or macromolecule of natural or synthetic origin or Traditional Medicine), studying the related pharmacology and toxicity of these drugs in suitable models and human subjects. Since each imaging technique might have its advantages and limitations, a combination strategy will be also considered. For this Research Topic in vivo studies will be prioritized.
Potential themes include but are not limited to the following:
• The application of imaging technology in the screening of anti-cancer drugs
• The development of new imaging techniques and related optimization algorithms in pharmacokinetics of oncology
• Investigation of the targets of anti-cancer drugs via imaging technology
• Pharmacodynamics and toxicity study of anti-cancer drugs (imaging technology should be included in experiments design)
• The contribution of imaging technology to the determination of anti-tumor efficacy of Traditional Medicine
• The special imaging probe design for the evaluation of anti-cancer drug
• Establishment of anti-cancer drug evaluation model based on image omics
For manuscripts dealing with plant extracts or other natural substances/compounds, the composition and the stability of the study material must be described in sufficient detail. In particular, for extracts, chromatograms with characterization of the dominating compound(s) are requested. The level of purity must be proven and included. Please refer to the Four Pillars of Best Practice in Ethnopharmacology, a subset of which concerning general standards in natural product research are applied to all such studies in all sections of Frontiers in Pharmacology.
Keywords: Imaging techniques, pharmacology, anti-cancer, multiple strategies, drug development
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.