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Development of novel cell death PET imaging probes for early treatment response assessment.

Apoptosis or programmed cell death plays a major role not only in the pathogenesis but also in the treatment of cancer. In recent years, a variety of novel cell death inducing molecular cancer therapies have entered the clinic. Although many demonstrated their potential as effective treatment options in several types of cancer, costs to patients and the healthcare system are often staggering. Moreover, most anti-cancer treatments are linked to toxicity to healthy tissues. Early objective and accurate evaluation of tumor response to therapy is therefore of great importance. Tumor response assessment based upon the molecular effects of therapies, such as cell death induction, is a promising strategy for early prediction of therapy outcome. The availability of a radiotracer for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of cell death could offer clinicians a tool to early after onset of treatment predict individualized responses in patients, and aid in personalized and cost-reducing patient care. Activation of caspase-3 and exposure of phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) represent key biomarkers for apoptosis. Currently no caspase-3 selective nor PE targeting PET radiotracers are available. This project therefore aims at developing novel caspase-3 selective and PE targeting radiotracers for PET imaging of cell death. Both cell death targeting strategies will be compared for early in vivo evaluation of response to therapy (immunotherapy and multi-kinase inhibitor treatment in preclinical models of colorectal cancer).
Date:1 Oct 2018  →  Today
Disciplines:Medical imaging and therapy, Medicinal products, Nuclear imaging, Cancer biology, Biomarker evaluation, Medicinal chemistry, Molecular medicine