Radiotracer could help treat 28 different types of cancer

Researchers have found that a new class of radiotracer can be used to identify 28 different types of malignant tumors, sharing their findings in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine. The radiotracer, 68Ga-FAPI, works by taking aim at cancer-associated fibroblasts.

The team used 68Ga-FAPI PET/CT imaging on 80 patients with 28 different kinds of cancer. All patients were recommended for the treatment because they were “facing an unmet diagnostic challenge that could not be solved sufficiently with standard methods,” according to a prepared statement from the Society of Nuclear Medicine & Molecular Imaging (SNMMI).

The PET scans occurred one hour after patients were injected with the radiotracer. No patients experienced complications from the examination.

“The remarkably high uptake of 68Ga-FAPI makes it useful for many cancer types, especially in cases where traditional 18F-FDG PET/CT faces limitations,” co-author Uwe Haberkorn, MD, professor of nuclear medicine at the University Hospital of Heidelberg and the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, Germany, said in the SNMMI statement. “For example, low-grade sarcomas generally have a low uptake of 18F-FDG, causing an overlap between benign and malignant lesions. In breast cancer, 18F-FDG PET/CT is commonly used in recurrence, but not generally recommended for initial staging. And for esophageal cancer, 18F-FDG PET/CT often has only a low to moderate sensitivity for lymph node staging.”