Esther Mena, M.D.

Esther Mena, M.D.
Associate Research Physician

Esther Mena, MD is a Staff Clinician at the Molecular Imaging Branch (MIB). 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.

Areas of Expertise

1) Positron Emission Tomography (PET), 2) prostate cancer imaging, 3) imaging of hematological malignancies (myeloma), 4) targeted radionuclide therapy, 5) PET quantification

Contact Info

Esther Mena, M.D.
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
Building 10, Room B3B47A
Bethesda, MD 20892
Ph: 240-760-6111

The vision of the Molecular Imaging Branch 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.

NIH Scientific Focus Areas:
Biomedical Engineering and Biophysics, Clinical Research, Immunology, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
View Dr. Mena's PubMed Summary.

Selected Key Publications

  1. Mena E, Lindenberg ML, Turkbey IB, Shih JH, Harmon SA, Lim I, Lin FI, Adler S, Eclarinal P, McKinney Y, Citrin D, Dahut W, Wood B, Krishnasamy V, Chang R, Levy E, Merino M, Pinto P, Eary JF, Choyke PL.
    J Nucl Med. Nov. 1: Epub ahead of print, 2019. [ Journal Article ]
  2. Mena E, Lindenberg LM, Choyke PL.
    Semin Nucl Med. 49(4): 326-336, 2019. [ Journal Article ]
  3. Mena E, Lindenberg ML, Shih JH, Adler S, Harmon S, Bergvall E, Citrin D, Dahut W, Ton AT, McKinney Y, Weaver J, Eclarinal P, Forest A, Afari G, Bhattacharyya S, Mease RC, Merino MJ, Pinto P, Wood BJ, Jacobs P, Pomper MG, Choyke PL, Turkbey B.
    Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 45(1): 4-11, 2018. [ Journal Article ]
  4. Mena E, Lindenberg ML, Turkbey BI, Shih J, Logan J, Adler S, Wong K, Wilson W, Choyke PL, Kurdziel KA.
    Clin Nucl Med. 39(10): 874-81, 2014. [ Journal Article ]
  5. Mena E, Owenius R, Turkbey B, Sherry R, Bratslavsky G, Macholl S, Miller MP, Somer EJ, Lindenberg L, Adler S, Shih J, Choyke P, Kurdziel K.
    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. 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 Branch 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.