News | PET Imaging | March 29, 2016

New PET Imaging Technology Could Improve Cancer Treatment Response

New method could lead to better therapies for many deadly cancers

PET imaging, cancer treatment, UCLA study, Caius Radu, dCK

March 29, 2016 —A promising new discovery by University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) scientists could lead to a new method of identifying cancer patients that express high levels of an enzyme and are more likely to respond to cancer treatments.

Decades of significant advances and improvements in positron emission tomography (PET) imaging technology have led to the detection of an enzyme in humans that plays a significant role in DNA formation, the building blocks of life. The enzyme, called deoxycytidine kinase (dCK), was previously found to be highly expressed in acute leukemia cells and in activated lymphocytes and controls a critical step in the nucleoside salvage pathway, an important therapeutic and PET imaging target in cancer.

The study was published online March 28 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

In a seven-year study, a team of UCLA researchers led by Caius Radu, M.D., a UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center member and a professor in the Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, developed a highly sophisticated PET probe called [18F]CFA that is capable of detecting dCK activity in humans for the first time.

"The quality of the images is much better," said Radu. "We are able to clearly see tissues, including tumor tissues, with high dCK activity that we haven't seen before in humans using any of the other probes previously developed for this enzyme."

PET is a noninvasive imaging technology that uses a radioactive substance, called PET probe, to look for disease in the body and it also shows how organs and tissues are functioning. Until recently, PET technology was only able to clearly detect dCK in mice due to metabolic instability of the previous probes and cross-reactivity with a dCK-related enzyme in humans.

The dCK enzyme plays an integral role in allowing drugs such as Clofarabine, Cytarabine and Fludarabine to treat certain types of leukemia and others like Gemcitabine to treat breast, ovarian, non-small cell lung and pancreatic cancers.

"This enzyme is essential for the therapeutic activity of an entire class of anticancer drugs and even for some antiviral drugs," said Radu, who is also a member of the UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center. "It can take an inactive drug and activate it. If you trick a cancer cell or virus to activate the drug, it would be toxic for the cancer cell or viral genome."

Since activated immune cells increase their expression of the dCK enzyme, [18F]CFA could also be used to monitor the effectiveness of immunotherapeutic interventions, said Radu.

The researchers hope to begin clinical trials with the [18F]CFA in the near future. Radu and his colleagues will eventually seek an approval by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

Radu and his team are co-founders of Sofie Biosciences and they are the inventors of [18F]CFA and analogs, which were patented by the University of California and have been licensed to Sofie Biosciences. University of California also patented additional intellectual property for small molecule dCK inhibitors.

For more information: www.pnas.org

Related Content

 “Cyclotrons used in Nuclear Medicine Report & Directory, Edition 2020” that describes close to 1,500 medical cyclotrons worldwide
News | Nuclear Imaging | March 10, 2020
March 10, 2020 — MEDraysintell released its new and unique report “...
MR Solutions’ dry magnet MRI system for molecular imaging on display at EMIM 2020
News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | February 28, 2020
February 28, 2020 — MR Solutions will be displaying its la
Potassium Molybdate Mo 99 Source Vessels for RadioGenix System

Potassium Molybdate Mo 99 Source Vessels for RadioGenix System (Photo: Business Wire)

News | Radiopharmaceuticals and Tracers | February 18, 2020
February 18, 2020 — NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes, LLC, a
SIR-Spheres Y-90 resin

SIR-Spheres Y-90 resin microspheres are released into the hepatic artery.

News | Nuclear Imaging | February 14, 2020
February 14, 2020 —  ...
Nuclear imaging equipment growth in 2020
News | Nuclear Imaging | February 14, 2020
February 14, 2020 — The nuclear imaging equipment
A 50-y-old postmenopausal woman with fibroadenoma (arrows) in left breast

A 50-y-old postmenopausal woman with fibroadenoma (arrows) in left breast. (A) Unenhanced fat-saturated T1-weighted MRI shows extreme amount of FGT (ACR d). (B) Moderate BPE is seen on dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI at 90 s. (C) Mean ADC of breast parenchyma of contralateral breast on diffusion-weighted imaging with ADC mapping is 1.5 × 10?3 mm2/s. (D) On 18F-FDG PET/CT, lesion is not 18F-FDG-avid, and BPU of normal breast parenchyma is relatively high, with SUVmax of 3.2. Photo courtesy of K Pinker, et al., Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

News | PET-MRI | January 27, 2020
January 27, 2020 — Researchers have identified several potentially useful...
Nuclear imaging of the spine shown on Philips Healthcare BrightView XCT

Image courtesy of Philips Healthcare

News | Nuclear Imaging | January 27, 2020
January 27, 2020 — According to the new market research report "...
This is a lung X-ray reviewed automatically by artificial intelligence (AI) to identify a collapsed lung (pneumothorax) in the color coded area. This AI app from Lunit is awaiting final FDA review and in planned to be integrated into several vendors' mobile digital radiography (DR) systems. Fujifilm showed this software integrated as a work-in-progress into its mobile X-ray system at RSNA 2019. GE Healthcare has its own version of this software for its mobile r=ray systems that gained FDA in 2019.   #RSNA #

This is a lung X-ray reviewed automatically by artificial intelligence (AI) to identify a collapsed lung (pneumothorax) in the color coded area. This AI app from Lunit is awaiting final FDA review and in planned to be integrated into several vendors' mobile digital radiography (DR) systems. Fujifilm showed this software integrated as a work-in-progress into its mobile X-ray system at RSNA 2019. GE Healthcare has its own version of this software for its mobile r=ray systems that gained FDA in 2019.

Feature | RSNA | January 20, 2020 | Dave Fornell, Editor
Here are images of some of the newest new medical imaging technologies displayed on the expo floor at the ...
Feinstein Institutes' Thomas Chaly, Ph.D., poses in front of a PET-CT imaging machine. He has been instrumental in pushing for FDA approval of a new PET imaging agent, Fluorodopa F-18 (FDOPA), to combat Parkinson’s

Feinstein Institutes' Thomas Chaly, Ph.D., in front of a PET-CT imaging machine. He has been instrumental in pushing for FDA approval of a new PET imaging agent, Fluorodopa F-18 (FDOPA), to combat Parkinson’s

News | Nuclear Imaging | December 26, 2019
December 26, 2019 — The Feinstein Institutes for Medical R...