Copper is key for the activation of several molecules involved in cell proliferation. Its levels are increased in tumors, suggesting that copper concentration in cancer cells could be used as an imaging biomarker for positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) scans.Studies in mice and humans with prostate cancer already had shown that agent, copper-64 chloride (64CuCl2), accumulated in cancerous regions. But its ability to detect prostate cancer relapse following surgery or radiation therapy remained unknown. So, researchers conducted a clinical trial comparing 64CuCl2 with the commonly used PET/CT tracer fluorine-18-choline (18F-choline) in 50 prostate cancer pat
A new imaging agent detecting copper accumulation in tumors is better at detecting early prostate cancer relapse than the tracing molecules used currently, an Italian study shows. Because the new agent is not excreted through the urine – and therefore does not accumulate in the bladder – it allows for a more thorough exploration of the pelvic and prostatic region than standard imaging agents. The molecule also is better at detecting the site of relapse in patients with low prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels.