News | May 21, 2012

NIH $2.6 Million Grant Used to Study Imaging Prostate Cancer Without Biopsy

May 21, 2012 — The Kimmel Cancer Center and the Department of Radiology at Thomas Jefferson University in Pennsylvania has received a five-year, $2.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grant will support investigations of a potentially revolutionary method that can stage prostate cancers and detect recurrent disease more accurately, significantly reducing the number of confirmation biopsies; such biopsies can be invasive, costly and often lead to false-positive readings.

The new technique involves the use of a positron emission tomography (PET) scan and a novel imaging agent. The study is being led by Mathew Thakur, Ph.D., professor of radiology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and the director of the Laboratories of Radiopharmaceutical Research and Molecular Imaging.

Prostate specific antigen (PSA) measurements, ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) remain standard tools for diagnosis and management of prostate cancer; however, each requires an invasive biopsy for histologic confirmation. Biopsies are associated with morbidity and high costs, and more than 65 percent of the 1.5 million biopsies performed each year in the United States show benign pathology, indicating a high false-positive rate for these standard diagnostic tools.

These limitations, the researchers say, demonstrate a dire need for noninvasive methods that can accurately stage prostate cancer, detect recurrent disease and image metastatic lesions with improved reliability.

Thakur and his colleagues are studying Cu-64 peptide biomolecules to evaluate prostate cancer tumors via PET imaging. These agents detect prostate cancer by finding a biomarker called VPAC1, which is over-expressed as the tumor develops.

“The challenge has been to develop an imaging agent that will target a specific, fingerprint biomarker that visualizes prostate cancer early and reliably,” said Thakur, who is also a member of Jefferson’s Kimmel Cancer Center.

Previous studies with Cu-64 peptides from Thakur yielded promising results in stratifying breast cancer. A pre-clinical study published in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine in late 2009 found that 64Cu-TP3805 detected tumors over-expressing the VPAC1 oncogene more accurately in mice than 18F-FDG, a commonly used agent for imaging tumors.

With this NIH grant, the researchers will test the hypothesis in both mice and humans. They will evaluate two Cu-64 peptides specific for VPAC1 in mice and perform a feasibility study in 25 pre-operative prostate cancer patients, using the best-suited Cu-64 peptide determined from the mouse studies.

“This noninvasive method could significantly contribute to the management of prostate cancer,” said Thakur. “It would result in a reduction of unnecessary biopsy procedures and under-treatment or over-treatment that yield minimal benefits, incontinence or impotence.”

Other researchers include Ethan Halpern, M.D., Charles Intenzo, M.D., and Sung Kim, M.D., of the department of radiology; Edouard Trabulsi, M.D., of the department of urology; and Eric Wickstrom, Ph.D., of the department of biochemistry and molecular biology. The team will partner with NuView, a molecular imaging technology firm, on the study.

For more information: www.kimmelcancercenter.org

Related Content

Videos | SPECT-CT | December 12, 2018
This is a walk around of the new Spectrum Dynamics Veriton SPECT-CT nuclear imaging system introduced at the 2018 ...
Spectrum Dynamics Sues GE for Theft, Misappropriation of Trade Secrets and Unfair Competition
News | SPECT Imaging | December 06, 2018
Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) cardiac imaging company Spectrum Dynamics filed a lawsuit Dec. 6,...
Subtle Medical Receives FDA Clearance, CE Mark for SubtlePET
Technology | PET Imaging | December 05, 2018
Subtle Medical announced 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market SubtlePET. Subtle...
Mirada Medical Joins U.K. Consortium Exploring Healthcare AI
News | Artificial Intelligence | December 04, 2018
Mirada Medical, a leading global brand in medical imaging software, will form part of an artificial intelligence (AI)...
Immune Inflammatory Levels Linked to Disease-Free Survival in Prostate Cancer
News | Prostate Cancer | November 19, 2018
Data from a validation study of a high-risk prostate cancer trial suggests that higher levels of pretreatment...
GE Healthcare Recalls Millennium Nuclear Medicine Systems
News | Nuclear Imaging | November 15, 2018
GE Healthcare announced it is recalling its Millennium Nuclear Medicine Systems due to an incident in which the the top...
Artificial Intelligence Predicts Alzheimer's Years Before Diagnosis
News | Neuro Imaging | November 14, 2018
Artificial intelligence (AI) technology improves the ability of brain imaging to predict Alzheimer’s disease, according...
Researchers Awarded 2018 Canon Medical Systems USA/RSNA Research Grants
News | Radiology Imaging | November 13, 2018
The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Research & Education (R&E) Foundation recently announced the...
Subtle Medical Showcases Artificial Intelligence for PET, MRI Scans at RSNA 2018
News | Artificial Intelligence | November 13, 2018
At the 2018 Radiological Society of North America annual meeting (RSNA 2018), Nov. 25-30 in Chicago, Subtle Medical...