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MicroSPECT/PET/CT for preclinical molecular imaging

English title MicroSPECT/PET/CT for preclinical molecular imaging
Applicant Prior John
Number 150837
Funding scheme R'EQUIP
Research institution Service de médecine nucléaire Département de radiologie
Institution of higher education University of Lausanne - LA
Main discipline Experimental Cancer Research
Start/End 01.12.2013 - 31.05.2015
Approved amount 488'620.00
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All Disciplines (3)

Experimental Cancer Research
Cardiovascular Research

Keywords (4)

radioisotope; micro-SPECT/CT; molecular imaging; micro-PET/CT

Lay Summary (French)

L’imagerie moléculaire permet une meilleure observation des processus moléculaire chez les êtres vivants. Ceci permet d’étudier chez la souris ou le rat les fonctions cellulaires ou moléculaires pour quantifier et localiser la distribution de radiopharmaceutiques (médicaments radioactifs) de manière non destructive. Ceci permet d’obtenir cette information de manière répétée pour aider le diagnostic et la thérapie de certaines maladies oncologiques et cardiologiques.
Lay summary

Contenu et objectifs du travail de recherche

 Cet équipement, identique sur le principe à ceux utilisés en clinique, permettra de passer plus rapidement de la recherche préclinique aux patients. La présence de cet équipement à l’hôpital permet la production et le marquage des isotopes à courte durée de vie qui empêcherait leur transport sur de longues distances. Cinq projets en bénéficieront: en oncologie, il s’agit de la thérapie fractionnée par peptides radioactifs du cancer de la prostate et du sein, la détection précoce de la formation de nouveaux vaisseaux dans les formes héréditaires du cancer du sein et de l’ovaire, le développement d’approches diagnostiques et thérapeutiques de la vascularisation des tumeurs et la radiothérapie du cancer du poumon ; en cardiologie, il s’agira de la régénération cardiaque après infarctus.


Contexte scientifique et social du projet de recherche

 Cet équipement permettra d’obtenir des informations inédites pour la recherche sur le diagnostic et la thérapie de maladies oncologique et cardiovasculaires, actuellement encore responsables d’une majorité des décès en Suisse. La réalisation d’imageries répétées chez le petit animal de façon noninvasive et non- destructive est un avantage majeur d’accélérer la production des  nouvelles connaissances en recherche.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 02.12.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants


152Tb and 68Ga-labeled DOTA-neurotensin analogs for targeting human ductal pancreatic cancers
Viertl David, Buchegger Franz, Tourwé Dirk, Kosinski Marek, Stora Thierry, Bühler Léo, Prior John (2015), 152Tb and 68Ga-labeled DOTA-neurotensin analogs for targeting human ductal pancreatic cancers, in Nuklearmedizin/Nuclear Medicine, StuttgartSchattauer, Stuttgart.


Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Parkinson Lausanne (Liliane Tenenbaum, Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Neurotherapies) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
HIV Immunology, UNIZH, Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Swiss Congress of Nuclear Medicine 2015 Talk given at a conference 152Tb and 68Ga-labeled DOTA-neurotensin analogs for targeting human ductal 04.06.2015 Basel, Switzerland Prior John;

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
189969 PETITION - PET for InTensive Care units and Innovative protON therapy 01.09.2020 Sinergia
128129 Identification of miRNAs modulating the regenerative response of the heart in the zebrafish and the mouse 01.06.2010 NRP 63 Stem cells and regenerative medicine
138653 Control of Notch1 Gene Transcription in skin homeostasis and carcinogenesis 01.10.2011 Project funding
124090 Advanced Cell Therapies for Cardiac Repair-SPUM 01.04.2009 SPUM
130505 A systematic and functional analysis of HIF-dependent splice regulator expression and pre-mRNA alternative splicing in pathologic stress-induced cardiac hypertrophy 01.01.2011 Sinergia
143355 Role of the Notch pathway in cardiac multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells 01.10.2012 Project funding
130576 miRNAs as integrative determinants of the keratinocyte response to UVB. 01.08.2010 Sinergia


Molecular imaging allows better understanding of fundamental molecular pathways in a noninvasive manner. The use of preclinical imaging such as microPET (dual-photon) or mi-croSPECT (single-photon) is performed using radiopharmaceuticals specifically designed to image one cellular function or pathways in small animals (mice, rats) and can eventually be coupled with CT for anatomical imaging. As their clinical counterpart (PET/CT and SPECT/CT) already available at CHUV, they help localizing and quantifying biodistribution of diagnostic and therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals in vivo and can be repeatedly performed in vivo. Up to now, these microPET/SPECT techniques are not available at CHUV/UNIL and would be neces-sary to have to perform the first in vivo steps for many translational projects. This apparatus would be available to the whole CHUV/UNIL community performing preclinical research in oncology, cardiovascular and neurological diseases, provided that radiopharmaceu-ticals can be synthetized and send to CHUV (18F-based tracers with half-life of 110 min) or gen-erated in our nuclear medicine laboratory (68Ga-based tracers, 68-min half life). The proximity of the nuclear medicine (NUC) radiopharmaceutical (radiation-controlled zone at the B- and C-level) laboratory and the radiation therapy accelerators (RTH) allows benefiting from ideal conditions for preclinical small-animal research. Indeed, research involving large dose of radiation (therapeutical activities) necessitating SPECT imaging, image-intensive follow-up of animals (immunological processes performed every day or two) or short-lived radiotracers (Ga-68) cannot be performed in the PET-only scanner that is available to the scientific commu-nity at large at the EPFL-located CIBM PET laboratory.A palette of 5 projects that could uniquely benefit from the new microPET/SPECT/CT imaging equipment is given, covering from (1) fractionated targeted peptide receptor radiation ther-apy (PRRT) of tumors with radiolabeled bombesin and neurotensin analogs binding to gastrin releasing peptide (GRP) and neurotensin receptors; (2) cardiac regeneration; (3) Development of Molecular Imaging of Tumor Vasculature for the Early Detection of Hereditary Ovarian and Breast Cancer; (4) Development of Theranostics for Tumor Vasculature and (5) Spatial and temporal adaptive hypofractionated SBRT of orthotropic lung cancer in mice. A list of 6 potential projects that could additionally benefit from this equipment is given in the last section (4. Table of usage).