Nuclear Medicine

Perspectives of Targeted Radionuclide Imaging and Therapy of Fibroblast Activation Protein (FAP) in Cancer

Group Gourni   Tumors develop within a complex microenvironment consisted of diverse cell types surrounded by a matrix rich of proteins, termed tumor stroma. Stroma includes immune cells, fibroblasts and vascular enothelial cells. Cancer cells rely on extensive support from the stroma to survive, proliferate and invade, thus making stroma an important potential target for anti-cancer therapy. Targeting elements of stroma, may be a useful therapeutic strategy to prevent tumor growth and progression. One of those elements is the fibroblast activation protein (FAP) which is overexpressed on activated fibroblasts on several tumors types.

The current project aims at designing and evaluating novel FAP-specific inhibitors for the generation of radiotracers with the potential to be used for the diagnosis and treatment of FAP-positive tumors. The novel radiotracers are thoroughly investigated in vitro and in vivo using cell lines and xenografted tumor models to understand their binding properties and their in vivo performance.