Research in the Nucmed group focuses on the development of novel tracers to image disease processes using radionuclide and optical imaging techniques. The main areas of interest are cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and neurological disorders. In addition, for certain applications, these tracers are used as therapeutic agents as well. Our translational research lines start with tracer development, followed by preclinical characterization in animal models and finally clinical studies are carried out in patients. Please click on one of the tiles below for further information on the specific projects and click here for on an overview of all projects per disease.
Programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) is an import coinhibitory molecule in the anti-cancer immune response. By up-regulating PD-L1, tumor cells are capable of escaping immune recognition and attack. Antibodies that block the interaction between PD-1 and PD-L1 have shown impressive antitumor activity. However, not all patients respond to this type of treatment. Imaging of PD-L1 expression can be used to select patients who are most likely to benefit from anti-PD-1/PD-L1 targeted therapy. In this project, we have developed a novel non-invasive imaging technique to determine tumor PD-L1 expression and accessibility using radiolabeled anti-PD-L1 antibodies and microSPECT/CT imaging. With imaging technique, we can discriminate between tumors with high and low PD-L1 expression levels. The figure shows typical examples of microSPECT/CT images of mice with different types of human breast cancer xenografts. The tumor PD-L1 expression levels increase from left to right To read the full article, please click here.