Approximately one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate
cancer in his lifetime. In 2017, the American Cancer Society estimates
that there will be more than 161,000 new prostate cancer cases in the
United States and around 27,000 deaths from the disease.
In the featured article from the February 2017 issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine
researchers document the first-in-human application of a new imaging
agent to help find prostate cancer in both early and advanced stages and
plan treatment. The study indicates that the new agent - a PET
radiotracer - is both safe and effective.
‘The new agent - a PET radiotracer - is both safe and effective to help find prostate cancer in both early and advanced stages and plan treatment.’
The new agent is a gallium-68 (Ga-68)-labeled peptide BBN-RGD agent
that targets both gastrin-releasing peptide receptor (GRPR) and integrin
αvβ3. Dual-receptor targeting provides advantages over single-receptor
targeting by allowing tumor contrast when either or both receptor types
are expressed, improving binding affinity and increasing the number of
treatable at the early stage, prostate cancer is prone to metastasis,"
explain the team of authors, led by Xiaoyuan Chen, senior investigator,
Laboratory of Molecular Imaging and Nanomedicine at the U.S. National
Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. "An effective and
specific imaging method of detecting both primary and metastatic lesions
is thus of critical importance to manage patients with prostate
This study included 13 patients with prostate cancer (four newly
diagnosed and nine post-therapy) and five healthy volunteers.
Ga-68-BBN-RGD PET/CT detected 20 bone lesions in seven patients either
with primary prostate cancer or after radical prostatectomy. The
patients with bone metastases did not necessarily have an elevated
prostate specific antigen level.
"This result is better than bone
scanning with MDP," Chen notes, referring to the most common radiotracer
used today. "MDP bone scans are sensitive but lack specificity because
localized skeletal accumulation of Tc-99m-MDP can also be observed in
the case of trauma and infection." No adverse side effects were found
during the whole procedure and two-week follow-up, demonstrating the
safety of Ga-68-BBN-RGD.
"Compounds capable of targeting more than one biomarker have the
ability of binding to both early and metastatic stages of prostate
cancer, creating the possibility for a more prompt and accurate
diagnostic profile for both primary and the metastatic tumors," explains
Looking ahead, Chen says, "Ga-68-BBN-RGD could play an additive role
in staging and detecting prostate cancer and provide guidance for
internal radiation therapy using the same peptide labeled with
therapeutic radionuclides." He points out that larger-scale clinical
investigations are warranted.
Authors of the article "Clinical translation of a dual integrin αvβ3
and GRPR targeting PET radiotracer 68Ga-BBN-RGD" include Jingjing
Zhang, Fang Li, Shaobo Yan, Li Huo, Libo Chen, Xinrong Fan, Weigang Yan,
Zhiyuan Li and Zhaohui Zhu, Peking Union Medical College Hospital,
Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College,
Beijing, China; Gang Niu, Lixin Lang, Xuefeng Yan, and Xiaoyuan Chen,
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB),
National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.