The uses of molecular imaging for targeted cancer therapy

Arturo Chiti, MD, FEBNM of the Humanitas University, Milan, Italy, talks about the mechanisms of molecular imaging techniques in cancer and their use to assess response and predict survival in targeted therapy. He also discusses the next steps for these techniques. In positron emission tomography (PET), structures on cancer cells are targeted and labelled with radionuclides. The path of these molecules to the cancer cells can be followed, and has been used to identify neuroendocrine tumors. Neuroendocrine tumors overexpress somatostatin receptors (SSTRs) and Prof. Chiti discusses the question if it is possible to use peptides labeled with radionuclides that can be detected by PET to give information on the overexpression of the receptors and the location of the tumor. The next step is to modify the radionuclide themselves so that it can act as the treatment, acting as a sort of localized radiotherapy. The model has worked well for neuroendocrine tumors. Other research using these targeted techniques is in prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) expression in metastatic prostate cancer. Additionally, radiolabeled monoclonal antibody conjugated with rituximab has been used successfully in the treatment of some diseases such as lymphoma. Recorded at the 2016 National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Conference in Liverpool, UK.
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