Targeting the Cholecystokinin-B Receptor for Imaging and Early Detection of Pancreatic Cancer and Precancerous Lesions

Contracts Guide

Disclose Your Invention
MTA/CDA Assistance
COVID-19 Related Agreements
Main Campus Research
Office of Sponsored Research
Education Links

Connect with Industry

Technologies for Licensing
Industry Collaboration Opportunities
Research and Clinical Trials

Categories:  “Cancer Therapeutics

Reference #: 2020-043

OTC Contact: Ruchika Nijhara, Ph.D., MBA, CLP (Directory Information | Send a Message)


Survival from pancreatic cancer remains extremely poor, in part because this malignancy is not diagnosed in the early stages, and pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN) lesions are not seen on routine radiographic imaging. Georgetown researchers showed that cholecystokinin-B receptor (CCK-BR) becomes over-expressed in these lesions and thus has the potential to be used as a target for early detection. This technical innovation discloses a method of detecting the presence of a pancreatic lesion in vivo through a biodegradable fluorescent polyplex nanoparticle (NP) that selectively targets the CCK-BR. The NP can be conjugated with a fluorophore or radioactive molecule and with imaging machines diagnose the presence of precancerous lesions.


Georgetown researchers have developed a novel CCK-BR-based nanoparticle that specifically targets pancreatic lesions and can be used to screen high-risk subjects for pancreatic cancer. This breaking new ground technology brings relevant progress to PanIN lesions detection, enabling early cancer diagnosis through a tissue specificity approach.



Stage of Development

Studies are being conducted on the development of this imaging tool for screening humans at high risk of pancreatic cancer to enable early cancer detection.

Patent Status



Jill P. Smith, M.D.

Steven Stern, Ph.D.