Main Field(s) of Research, Abstract
The use of radionuclides for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes continues to expand. Reasons for this trend are the fact that radionuclide based molecular imaging techniques like positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPET) are the most sensitive, non-invasive imaging modalities currently available. PET and SPET may be used for early detection, characterization, and monitoring of disease as well as for investigating the efficacy of cancer drugs. Second, radiolabeled monoclonal antibodies and small molecules have proven to play an important role in treatment of aggressive metastatic diseases (90Y-Zevalin™ for the therapy of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, 90Y-DOTATOC for therapy of neuroendocrine tumors and 131I-MIBG for e.g. neuroblastoma). Our group is actively developing and optimizing new radioimmunoconjugates and small molecules for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes against various tumor associated antigens and receptors. In this respect we focus on the development of radiolabeled vitamin B9 (folic acid) and vitamin B12 (cobalamin) as well as peptide analogues of Bombesin. Apart from the chemical-synthetic modification of these molecules, we put emphasis on the biological and pharmacological characterization and optimization of the radioactive compounds in vitro and in vivo using modern small animal imaging scanners.
Main Fields of Research, Keywords
Radioimmunoconjugates; targeted tumor diagnosis and therapy; folic acid; vitamin B12; non-invasive in vivo imaging; positron emission tomography (PET); single photon emission tomography (SPET);
Special Techniques and Equipment
We have fully equipped B, C-type laboratories at the ETH Zurich as well as at the Paul Scherrer Institute, the largest national research laboratories in Switzerland suitable for the preparation and in vitro/in vivo testing of new radiotracer for medical imaging and therapy. A wide variety of methods is used by our group including synthetic organic and inorganic chemistry, molecular biology and pharmacology. Several small animal scanners for PET/CT and SPECT/CT imaging are operated by our group or in collaboration with groups at the ETHZ.
Education and Training
We have training opportunities for PostDoc fellows, PhD students and medical students (nuclear physicists)