Esther Mena, M.D.
Esther Mena, MD is a Staff Clinician at the Molecular Imaging Program (MIP). She is Board-Certified in the field of Nuclear Medicine. Dr. Mena's main research interest involves the use of novel PET/CT imaging techniques for early diagnosis and management of cancer, with the goal of using molecular imaging to understand the tumor biology and to further improve patient clinical outcome. Dr. Mena is an associate and lead investigator on several clinical trials at the NIH involving imaging biomarkers for early cancer detection and assessing therapeutic response to cancer treatments.
Dr. Mena's recent ongoing research includes imaging of prostate cancer targeting the prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA). She is also interested in the use of systemic, targeted radionuclides or conjugates as a treatment modality for cancer.
1) Positron Emission Tomography (PET), 2) prostate cancer imaging, 3) imaging of hematological malignancies (myeloma), 4) targeted radionuclide therapy, 5) PET quantification
The vision of the Molecular Imaging Program is to accelerate the development and clinical translation of new treatments for cancer using advanced imaging techniques. Dr. Mena's primary research interest is in the use of novel PET imaging for early detection of cancer, particularly prostate cancer and hematological malignancies (myeloma), angiogenesis, cancer cell receptor imaging and targeted radionuclide therapy.
Selected Key Publications
(18)F-DCFPyL PET/CT Imaging in Patients with Biochemical Recurrence Prostate Cancer after Primary Local Therapy.J Nucl Med. Nov. 1: Epub ahead of print, 2019. [ Journal Article ]
- Semin Nucl Med. 49(4): 326-336, 2019. [ Journal Article ]
Clinical impact of PSMA-based (18)F-DCFBC PET/CT imaging in patients with biochemically recurrent prostate cancer after primary local therapy.Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 45(1): 4-11, 2018. [ Journal Article ]
A pilot study of the value of 18F-fluoro-deoxy-thymidine PET/CT in predicting viable lymphoma in residual 18F-FDG avid masses after completion of therapy.Clin Nucl Med. 39(10): 874-81, 2014. [ Journal Article ]
[¹⁸F]fluciclatide in the in vivo evaluation of human melanoma and renal tumors expressing αvβ 3 and α vβ 5 integrins.Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 41(10): 1879-88, 2014. [ Journal Article ]
Originally born in Barcelona, Spain, Dr. Mena received her medical degree from the University of Barcelona (UAB). She then completed a residency in Nuclear Medicine at Sant Pau Hospital, Barcelona, and joined the faculty at UDIAT, Parc Tauli, Barcelona. Dr. Mena initially joined the Molecular Imaging Program at NCI as a Clinical Research Fellow. She subsequently completed her residency in Nuclear Medicine at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, serving as a chief resident. She also completed a fellowship program in PET/CT imaging at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Mena rejoined the Molecular Imaging Program at NCI as a Staff Clinician. She is a Board-Certified in Nuclear Medicine and an active member of the American Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging.