Programme 4: Chemistry / Radiochemistry
We will deploy novel methodologies for both new small molecules for use in diagnosis and therapy and for new platform technologies for both PET and SPECT. New methods for the synthesis and purification of 18F-labelled molecules have been developed. In paralled new bifunctional chelating agents are being developed for longer-lived metallic radionuclides. One target has been hypoxia using Cu bis (thiosemicarbazone) ligands (e.g. 64CuATSM), but routes for other molecules have and will be established. We are involved in the synthesis of fluorescent molecules that can also be radiolabelled to probe sub-cellular function and for combined PET or SPECT/optical imaging. Novel methods will be used to exploit the imaging applications of glycosides and their derivatives. The project overall encompasses PET, SPECT, MRI and MRS.
The proposed research in the chemistry and radiochemistry programme comprises 2 main components:
i) The development of new more efficient methods for the radiolabelling of biologically active molecules and subsequent purification using both PET and SPECT radionuclides.
ii) PET and SPECT imaging and therapy in several different but complementary aspects of hypoxia. Some of the proposed radiolabelled compounds are also fluorescent to provide information about biodistributions at the cellular level.
Radiochemical labelling is a key component of many other projects to be undertaken within the remit of the Cancer Imaging Centre.