About this Research Topic
Theranostic systems offer both therapeutic aspects and the potential of concurrent diagnosis. Those possess features such as targeting capabilities, imaging and therapy in a single system. As such, they have promising potential with regards to overseeing patient response to a particular therapy. Depending upon the target of interest, the underlying concept involves the synthesis of molecular conjugates composed of masked drug agents, disease-targeting ligands linked together through special, cleavable, chemical linkers. Ideally, active drug agents are masked with chemical linkers of a particular design, which allow their reconversion to the active form only under physiological conditions linked to the target disease type. These systems have shown immense potential in understanding the uptake and drug activation mechanisms and can significantly advance the drug discovery efforts in future.
Recently, a lot of effort has been made to design and develop novel molecular theranostic systems for certain disease types, which have shown strong therapeutic performance in preclinical models. Compared to conventional approaches, the current field offers advantages in improving the specific delivery of therapeutic agent, minimizing the associated side effects, and enhancing the medical imaging. However, their clinical application needs further improvement in reducing the therapy cost, pharmacokinetics and side effects. The current theranostic systems are only at academic stage and still need more research to improve our understanding of interwoven diagnosis and therapeutic agents to overcome the challenges for further translation to clinical practices.
We welcome Original Research, Review, Mini Review and Perspective articles on themes including, but not limited to:
• Design and synthesis of novel molecular systems towards theranostic applications
• Studies on the characteristics of cleavable linkers for drug activation and imaging
• Studies towards the understanding of structure-activity relationship of novel molecular systems for theranostics
• Nanoformulation of novel molecular-based theranostic systems
Topic Editor Prof Peter Verwilst is a co-inventor listed on several patents in the field of theranostic agents. The other Topic Editors declare no competing interests.
Keywords: Molecular theranostic, Chemical linkers, Imaging, Site-selective activation, targeted drug delivery
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