SNM: Prostate tumor fingerprints may drive personalized treatment

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SALT LAKE CITY--Research shared at the SNM annual meeting this week shows how a novel peptide-targeted imaging agent could help clinicians detect a biological process that signals cancer in prostate cells. Information about the process may differentiate prostate tumor types and the progression of disease.

“Early detection of prostate cancer is not enough,” stated lead author Chiun-Wei Huang, PhD candidate, researcher at the Molecular Imaging Center of the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Physicians need to understand the molecular profile of prostate cancer to characterize indolent or metastatic disease.

Researchers used optical imaging to capture light emitted from an imaging agent prepared with a peptide that targets receptor activity involved in the prolific growth of certain tumor cells. Huang and his colleagues focused on the biomarker alpha2 beta1 integrin, an expression of building block protein. Imaging cells that display an abnormal over abundance of this activity could provide essential information about the aggressive growth, survival, migration and invasiveness of individual cases of prostate cancer, Huang reported.

Of the three human prostate cell lines, the PC-3 line was highly expressive of alpha2 beta1 integrin. Identifying the tumor "fingerprint" may help identify the tumor type or stage and lead to more personalized treatment, Huang said.

According to the study, PC-3 tumor cells showed the highest tracer uptake, and in vitro and in vivo localization demonstrated the potential of the peptide to help select tumor subtypes for anti-integrin alpha2 beta1 treatment.

In addition, as such agents are developed and refined, they could be used to test the effectiveness of new drug therapies to treat the disease, Huang concluded.