Radiopharmacology and Cancer Imaging
Using small animal imaging (PET, SPECT, CT, MRI and optical) radiopharmacological characteristics and safety of novel radiolabeled compounds are evaluated in laboratory mice and rats with regard to biodistribution, metabolic fate, and excretion profiles. These investigations include small molecules, peptides, antibodies and nanoparticles targeting extra- and intracellular targets, e.g., cathepsins, cyclooxygenase-2, transglutaminase‑2, and somatostatin receptors. Diagnostic performance of promising radiotracers as well as efficiency of anti-cancer drugs and treatment regimens are evaluated in animal models of melanoma, phaeochromocytoma/paraganglioma, prostate cancer, and other tumor entities. Our research also involves functional imaging of metabolic alterations, such as hypoxia and inflammation in order to further improve our understanding of distinct tumor characteristics and to identify potential “Achilles’ heels” for targeted adjuvant, e.g. radiosensitizing treatments.