Non-invasive tracer techniques to characterize angiogenesis


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Roland Haubner

University of Innsbruck, Austria

Abstract

Great efforts are being made to develop anti-angiogenesis drugs for treatment of cancer as well as other diseases. Some of the compounds are already in clinical trials. Imaging techniques allowing non-invasive monitoring of corresponding molecular processes can provide helpful information for planning and controlling corresponding therapeutic approaches but will also be of interest for basic science. Current nuclear medicine techniques focus on the development of tracer targeting the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), matrix metalloproteinases (MMP), the ED-B domain of a fibronectin isoform, and the integrin αvβ3.

Most efforts are focused on the development of radiolabeled RGD-peptides for imaging αvβ3 expression. A variety of different tracers are introduced. These include peptides labeled with Tc-99m and In-111 for SPECT as well as tracer labeled with F-18, Cu-64 and Ga-68 for PET. Most intensive work is concentrated on [F-18]Galacto-RGD. It had not only be demonstrated in murine tumor models but also in a variety of clinical studies, that monitoring of αvβ3 expression with this class of tracer is possible.

Here the recent tracer developments as well as the preclinical and the clinical evaluations are summarised and the potential of the different approaches to characterise angiogenesis are discussed.