A protein that is critical in the metabolism of cancer cells has been first imagined with a newly developed radiopharmaceutical, 18F-DASA-23. Imaging with this new agent may improve the assessment of response to treatment for patients, specifically those with brain tumors. This study was presented at the 2021 annual meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging.
Tumor cells undergo various changes to survive and thrive in the body. One of the key changes they make is to modify a master switch, known as pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2). PKM2 controls cell metabolism and allows the cell to make the most of it building blocks necessary for cell division.
“Until now we had no way to assess the presence or activity levels of the PKM2 protein involved in this switch,” said Corinne Beinat, PhD, radiology instructor at Stanford University’s radiology / molecular imaging program at Stanford. , California. “Through the development of 18F-DASA-23, this is the first time we can non-invasively interrogate the biochemistry of a tumor with respect to this master switch PKM2. “
The study focused on patients with glioblastoma brain tumors, as normal brain cells have very low levels of PKM2. Healthy volunteers and glioblastoma patients underwent positron emission / MRI tomography with 18F-DASA-23. The radiopharmaceutical was successful in visualizing PKM2 in patients with glioblastoma, while it was rapidly removed from the bodies of sans volunteers.
“This radiopharmaceutical can be very beneficial in assessing whether treatments with brain tumors work,” Beinat said. “For example, if a brain tumor is treated with a drug and an image is taken with 18F-DASA-23, we can know very quickly if the therapeutic approach works. If it is not effective, we will not have to waste any more time waiting to see if the tumor itself is shrinking “.
He added that 18F-DASA-23 could also be used in other cancers or to learn more about how normal tissues adjust their metabolism during development or in response to various environmental conditions.
Abstract 99. “Initial clinical evaluation of [18F]DASA-23, a PET imager for the evaluation of pyruvate kinase M2 aberrantly expressed in glioblastoma, “Corinne Beinat, Chirag Patel, Tom Haywood, Lewis Naya, Jessa Castillo, Bin Shen, Tarik Massoud, Andrei Iagaru, Guido Davidzon, Lawrence Recht and Sanjiv Gambhir, Stanford University, Stanford, California.
Provided by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
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