Department of Nuclear Medicine, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. email@example.com
Cholecystokinin (CCK) receptors are overexpressed in numerous human cancers, like medullary thyroid carcinomas, small cell lung cancers and stromal ovarian cancers. The specific receptor-binding property of the endogenous ligands for these receptors can be exploited by labeling peptides with a radionuclide and using these as carriers to guide the radioactivity to the tissues that express the receptors. In this way, tumors can be visualized using positron emission tomography and single photon emission computed tomography imaging. A variety of radiolabeled CCK/gastrin-related peptides has been synthesized and characterized for imaging. All peptides have the C-terminal CCK receptor-binding tetrapeptide sequence Trp-Met-Asp-Phe-NH(2) in common or derivatives thereof. This review focuses on the development and application of radiolabeled CCK/gastrin peptides for radionuclide imaging and radionuclide therapy of tumors expressing CCK receptors. We discuss both preclinical studies as well as clinical studies with CCK and gastrin peptides.