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AHSG Imaging - In-vivo imaging of calcified lesions

Pathological calcification and its detection is a topic relevant as well for basic research as for many clinical fields. For example, micro-calcification occurs in several kinds of tumours (e.g. in certain kinds of brain tumours, prostate - and breast cancer) and the detection is important for diagnostic and therapeutic purpose. Moreover pathological calcification is related to many rheumatic and nephrological diseases. Probably the most common disease associated with calcification is artherosclerosis.

The liver-derived serum protein Alpha2-HS Glycoprotein (AHSG / Fetuin-A) is one of the most important calciumbinding proteins involved in mineral homeostasis. It is considered to be a systemic inhibitor of calciumphosphate precipitation, thus preventing calcification.

This invention relates to the use of AHSG and its derivatives for in-vivo detection of physiologic and pathologic calcification. After labeling with e.g. fluorescent or luminescent dyes, AHSG enriches in the calcified tissue and can be detected by different imaging modalities with very high sensitivity.

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