Prostate cancer has a new nemesis in novel PET tracer

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Researchers have demonstrated the ability of a novel PET radiotracer to aid prostate-cancer imaging and suggested it shows promise for doing the same with other cancers.

The team pitted the new tracer, Carbon-11 labeled sarcosine (11C-sarcosine), against the widely used 11C-choline in preclinical trials as well as in a prostate-cancer patient.

The results were favorable for 11C-sarcosine, confirming its viability, and the researchers believe the new tracer may have benefits over the old.

Their report is running in the August edition of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine. The journal’s publisher, the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI), posted a news item on the work Aug. 7.

“To our knowledge, this is the first radiotracer to interrogate the activity of PATs (proton-coupled amino acid transporters), which play a role as multi-purpose carriers with distinct roles in different cells,” says lead author Morand Piert, MD, of the University of Michigan. “In the brain, these transporters are involved in the neuronal amino acid transport. In the intestinal tract, certain PATs play a role as nutrient and drug transporter.”

Read the rest of SNMMI’s news item: