10. New imaging agent detects metastatic prostate cancer cells
The first-in-human application of an imaging agent has helped identify early and advanced stages of prostate cancer. The new agent, a PET radiotracer, has also shown to be safe and effective, according to the researchers who developed it.
The agent, gallium-68 (Ga-68), targets gastrin-releasing peptide receptors and integrin αvβ3. When both receptor types are expressed, this allows for tumor contrasting to occur, increasing the number of effective receptors and improving binding affinity.
In this study, 13 patients with prostate cancer and 5 healthy volunteers were exposed to the Ga-68 agent. It was able to detect 20 bone lesions in 7 prostate cancer patients. However, those patients did not have an elevated prostate-specific antigen level.