Prostate Cancer Lesions Accurately Detected by New Imaging Agent

Prostate Cancer Lesions Accurately Detected by New Imaging Agent
Thomas Jefferson University researchers recently tested a new imaging technique to detect prostate cancer cells and malignant lesions — a technique they also developed — and report that it is both highly accurate and more effective than current detection methods. Their article, “VPAC1 Targeted 64Cu-TP3805 Positron Emission Tomography Imaging of Prostate Cancer: Preliminary Evaluation in Man,” was published in Urology. Current tests to detect and stage prostate cancer rely on a biopsy, an invasive procedure that can be risky, costly and  inaccurate, allowing as many as 66 percent of cancers to go undetected. Prostate cancer can be tricky to determine since its tumor cells do not grow into a substantial mass, but spread like seeds. In standard biopsies, 12 tissue samples are generally taken and analyzed in the hope that at least one sample from a cancerous prostate will include cancer cells. Researchers evaluated their technique, which combines a novel imaging agent with a PET imaging procedure, and has already been tested successfully for human breast cancer. The team, led by Dr. Mathew Thakur, developed the agent, called 64Cu-TP3805, to attach itself to VPAC1 receptors present on the surface of cancer cells to promote their growth. The TP3805 part of the agent hooks the receptors, and the Cu-64 — a radiation-emitting copper peptide — allows their detection by the PET (positron emission tomography) CT scan procedure, essentially revealing cancerous cells. Another advantage of this agent is its short half-life, meaning that it decays quic
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Margarida graduated with a BS in Health Sciences from the University of Lisbon and a MSc in Biotechnology from Instituto Superior Técnico (IST-UL). She worked as a molecular biologist research associate at a Cambridge UK-based biotech company that discovers and develops therapeutic, fully human monoclonal antibodies.

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