A comprehensive procedure to evaluate the in vivo performance of cancer nanomedicines
Inspired by the success of previous cancer nanomedicines in the clinic, researchers have generated a large number of novel formulations in the past decade. However, only a small number of nanomedicines have been approved for clinical use, whereas the majority of nanomedicines under clinical development have produced disappointing results. One major obstacle to the successful clinical translation of new cancer nanomedicines is the lack of an accurate understanding of their in vivo performance. This article features a rigorous procedure to characterize the in vivo behavior of nanomedicines in tumor-bearing mice at systemic, tissue, single-cell, and subcellular levels via the integration of positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT), radioactivity quantification methods, flow cytometry, and fluorescence microscopy. Using this approach, researchers can accurately evaluate novel nanoscale formulations in relevant mouse models of cancer. These protocols may have the ability to identify the most promising cancer nanomedicines with high translational potential or to aid in the optimization of cancer nanomedicines for future translation.