Esther Mena, M.D.

Esther Mena, M.D.

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute
Molecular Imaging Branch


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

Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
Prostate Cancer Imaging
Imaging Of Hematological Malignancies (myeloma)
Targeted Radionuclide Therapy
PET Quantification

Information for Patients

Learn more about our clinical trials and the highly specialized care teams that lead them.


Selected Key Publications

(18)F-DCFPyL PET/CT Imaging in Patients with Biochemical Recurrence Prostate Cancer after Primary Local Therapy

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 ]

New Targets for PET Molecular Imaging of Prostate Cancer

Mena E, Lindenberg LM, Choyke PL.
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

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 ]

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

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 ]

[¹⁸F]fluciclatide in the in vivo evaluation of human melanoma and renal tumors expressing αvβ 3 and α vβ 5 integrins

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 ]