Source: Image created by C Beinat et. al, Stanford University, Stanford, CA.

Reston, VA (Embargoed until 7:30 p.m. EDT, Monday, June 14, 2021) – A protein that is critical to the metabolism of cancer cells was first imaged with the newly developed radiopharmaceutical 18F-DASA-23. Imaging with this novel drug has the potential to improve the assessment of the therapeutic response of patients, especially those with brain tumors. This study was presented at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging’s annual meeting in 2021.

Tumor cells go through various changes in order to survive and thrive in the body. One of the major changes they make is the modification of a main switch known as pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2). PKM2 controls the cell metabolism and enables the cell to produce more of the building blocks necessary for cell division.

“Until now, we have had no way of assessing the presence or activity of the PKM2 protein involved in this switch,” said Corinne Beinat, PhD, lecturer in radiology in the Radiology / Molecular Imaging program at Stanford University at Stanford , California. “With the development of 18F-DASA-23 we can for the first time non-invasively query the biochemistry of a tumor in relation to this master switch PKM2.”

The study focused on patients with glioblastoma brain tumors because normal brain cells have very low levels of PKM2. Healthy volunteers and patients with glioblastoma were subjected to positron emission tomography / magnetic resonance imaging with 18F-DASA-23. The radiopharmaceutical was successful in visualizing PKM2 in glioblastoma patients while rapidly removing it from the bodies of healthy volunteers.

“This radiopharmaceutical can be very helpful in assessing whether the treatment of brain tumors is working,” said Beinat. “If, for example, a brain tumor is treated with a drug and then mapped with 18F-DASA-23, we can potentially know very quickly whether the therapeutic approach is working. If it’s not effective, we don’t have to waste any more time seeing if the tumor itself shrinks. “

She added that 18F-DASA-23 could potentially be used in other cancers as well, or to learn more about how normal tissues adjust their metabolism during development or in response to various environmental conditions.

Summary 99. “First clinical evaluation of [18F] DASA-23, a PET Imaging Tracer for Evaluation of Aberrantly Expressed Pyruvate Kinase M2 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.

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All abstracts of the SNMMI annual conference 2021 can be found online at https: //sb.snmjournale.Organization/Content/62 /Supplement_1.

About the Society for Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

The Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) is an international scientific and medical organization dedicated to advancing nuclear medicine and molecular imaging results.

SNMMI members set the standard for molecular imaging and nuclear medicine practice by creating guidelines, sharing information through journals and meetings, and advocating key issues affecting the research and practice of molecular imaging and therapy. Further information is available at http: // www.snmmi.org .

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