Research objectives and content
The use of radiolabelled neuropeptides is a new and exciting development in nuclear medicine for oncological applications but radiolabelling of highly specific small biomolecules like peptides with the metal Technetium-99m, the isotope of choice for nuclear imaging without changing their biological properties is a great challenge to the
radiopharmaceutical scientist. RC-160, a somatostatin analogue, seems to be an important alternative to the recently developed 111 In labelled Octreotide for the targeting of certain cancer types (in particular for pancreatic adenocarcinomas and brain tumors).
The aim of the project is to label RC-160 with 99m Tc using conjugation with bifunctional chelating agents and to evaluate its biochemical and biological behaviour. The radiolabelled peptides will be tested for labelling efficiency, purity and stability. Their affinity for the somatostatin receptor sub-types will be determined using binding assays on different tumor cell lines and cell homogenates. Animal biodistribution of promising candidates in mouse and rat will be investigated. This work will add substantial data to 99m Tc-labelling of peptides as well as the action, relevance and expression of somatostatin receptors in tumors in vivo.
Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
The applicant will learn new techniques necessary for the development of new radiopharmaceuticals; peptide chemistry, radiolabelling methods for biomolecules, methods for radiochemical analysis, radioligand binding assays and biodistribution studies in animals. This training effect will be of great value for this future career and the home institute, where this kind of research can be continued.
Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)
This project, if successful, will be of significant interest for the radiopharmaceutical industry for further development of a powerful new compound for tumor targeting.