Imaging the folate receptor on cancer cells with 99mTc-etarfolatide: properties, clinical use, and future potential of folate receptor imaging

A. Maurer, P. Elsinga, S. Fanti, B. Nguyen, W. Oyen and W. Weber

Department of Radiology, Temple University Hospital and School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
May, 2014



Folate receptor (FR) can be used as a therapeutic target because of its expression on different epithelial cancers, such as ovarian, non-small cell lung, endometrial, and breast cancer. Assessing FR expression in tumors may help to identify patients who can benefit from FR-targeted therapeutics, such as vintafolide and farletuzumab. Different methods exist to detect FR expression. Tissue sampling has limited clinical utility, mainly because it requires an invasive procedure. (99m)Tc-etarfolatide, a (99m)Tc-labeled folate conjugate, is in late-phase trials in Europe and the United States. It allows noninvasive, whole-body imaging of the FR. This review focuses on this FR-imaging agent and how it may be used to direct FR-targeted therapy.