Telix Pharmaceuticals has established a collaboration agreement with a team of researchers from the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, or DKFZ) to develop an innovative image-guided surgery for men with prostate cancer.
Investigators from the DKFZ and Heidelberg University Clinic have been working on the development of a next-generation radiotracer — a radioactive compound that may be administered to patients to "light up" tumors in positron emission tomography (PET) scans. It is based on Telix's TLX591-CDx (68Ga-PSMA-11), marketed in the U.S. under the brand name Illumet.
Besides emitting radiation required for PET, the new compound also contains a fluorescing agent (fluorophore) that is visible through optical imaging. For this reason, the compound may be simultaneously used as a standard radiotracer agent to image prostate cancer through PET, and as a fluorescent agent to guide surgeons during prostate surgery.
Image-guided fluorescence imaging is a standard feature of many modern systems. It is based on the use of automated surgical robots that are widely used across the globe during urologic surgeries. One example is the