Publication date: Feb 05, 2020
Carcinogenesis is a complex multistep process, characterized by changes at different levels, both genetic and epigenetic, which alter cell metabolism. Positron emission tomography (PET) is a very sensitive image modality that allows to evaluate oncometabolism. PET functionalities are immense, since by labelling a molecule that specifically intervenes in a biochemical regulatory pathway of interest with a positron-emitting radionuclide, we can easily image that pathway. Thus, PET makes possible imaging several metabolic processes and assessing risk prediction, screening, diagnosis, response to therapy, metastization and recurrence. In this paper, we provide an overview of different radiopharmaceuticals developed for PET use in oncology, with a focus on brain tumours, breast cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, neuroendocrine tumours, bladder cancer and prostate cancer because for these cancer types PET has been shown to be valuable. Most of the described tracers are just used in the research environment, with the aim to assess if these tracers could be able to offer an improvement concerning staging/restaging, characterization and stratification of different types of cancer, as well as therapeutic response assessment. In pursuit of personalized therapy, we briefly discuss the more established metabolic tracers and describe recent work on the development of new radiopharmaceuticals, aware that there will continue to exist diagnostic challenges to face modern cancer medicine.
Abrantes, A.M., Pires, A.S., Monteiro, L., Teixo, R., Neves, A.R., Tavares, N.T., Marques, I.A., and Botelho, M.F. Tumour functional imaging by PET. 06296. 2020 Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis.