uPAR theranostics for cancer patients

For practice of personalized medicine in cancer, non-invasive tools for diagnosing at the molecular level are needed. Molecular imaging methods are capable of this while at the same time circumventing sampling error as the whole tumor burden is evaluated. We recently developed and performed the first- ever clinical PET scan of uPAR, a proteolytic system known to be strongly associated with metastatic potential in most cancer forms. We believe this new concept of uPAR-PET is a major breakthrough and has the potential to become one of the most used PET tracers as it fulfills unmet needs in prostate and breast cancer. Based on this, together with additional proof-of-concept data we obtained on targeted uPAR for optical imaging and radionuclide therapy, we now plan to develop and take into patients these new technologies for improved outcome.

The aim of the project is to develop, evaluate and translate into patients, new and highly innovative molecular imaging methods with PET, 13C-hyperpolarized magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) and optical imaging demonstrating the aggressiveness and metastatic potential of cancers. Also, β or α emitting therapy will be developed and used together with imaging as theranostic pairs. The overall objective is to develop methods that can be used for better cancer imaging and tailoring of therapy.