Anna Kahkoska

Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2013

Capstone Advisor

Robert Doyle, Professor

Honors Reader

Cathryn Newton Professor and Dean Emerita

Capstone Major


Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Social Sciences

Subject Categories

Biochemistry | Biology | Chemistry


Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. This year, an estimated 577,190 Americans will die as a result of this family of diseases. Finding cancer at its most treatable stage gives patients the greatest chance of recovery; novel imaging agents that target primary and metastasized tumors offer hope for improved prognoses in the future. Based on the hypothesis that vitamin B12 (B12) and its association with specific transport proteins could offer selective access to cancer cell lines, a series of B12-based imaging agents were synthesized, characterized, and assayed for both in vitro and in vivo functions. A water soluble B12-Re(I) probe that incorporated the thiazole linker-chelator moiety was used to demonstrate the presence of cubilin in A549 lung cancer cells, and a B12-64Cu probe was shown to selectively target tumor cells through specific receptors for B12 in a mouse model. These findings suggest that B12-based bioprobes have great promise for cancer cell lines in vitro and targeting tumors as imaging agents in vivo. The remarkable B12 bioprobes developed here have a future as tools to better understand the biochemistry of B12 specifically and the physiology of cancer more generally, a fascinating interface of two discrete fields of study.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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