Targeted molecular imaging of cancer is vital for better personalized medicine, but requires novel imaging agents that recognize key molecular surface cell markers. Her2 is overexpressed in 20-30% of breast cancer and is targeted by Herceptin, yet no molecular imaging agent for Her2 is clinically approved. We propose to use Scanning Unnatural Protease Resistant (SUPR) peptides to develop a novel Her2-specific radiotracer for PET/CT. SUPR peptides show antibody-like affinities, resistance to proteolytic and metabolic modification, and rapid clearance from systemic circulation, making them ideal imaging agents. First, Anti-Her2 SUPR peptides modified with a near-infrared optical dye will be screened for Her2-specific tumor uptake mice. We will then synthesize [18F]-labeled SUPR peptides to image Her2-overexpressing tumors by PET/CT. EvoRx Technologies will collaborate with the MD Anderson Cancer Center to rapidly translate SUPR peptides into a powerful nuclear imaging tool, advancing the personalized treatment of breast cancer.
Molecular imaging can improve clinical choices for breast cancer treatment. We propose to develop more accurate and non-invasive imaging molecules to identify patients who would benefit from targeted cancer therapies. This technology will reduce painful and invasive biopsies and provide physicians with significantly more diagnostic information to personalize breast cancer treatment.