Tyrosine kinases often play pivotal roles in the pathogenesis of cancer and are good candidates for therapeutic intervention and targeted molecular imaging. Today’s kinase-targeted drugs are at the forefront of precision medicine and offer a much improved risk-to-benefit ratio for patients as compared to conventional chemotherapy. Companion diagnostics are often co-developed with these drugs and serve to accelerate development of these often niche drugs. A major focus of our lab is to develop these companion diagnostics, particularly for use in PET imaging, a very powerful, quantitative, non-invasive method for observing drug behavior in living systems. In our lab, many areas of medical science are brought to bear to address this challenging task: here, we operate at the nexus of molecular biology, chemistry, radiochemistry, medical physics and medicine. Here are some examples of the drugs (radiopharmaceuticals) and their indications that we are studying:
- Radio-iodinated kinase inhibitors for PET imaging models of leukemia
- Radiosynthesis and characterization of the kinase-targeted radiotracer, ¹⁸F-SKI-249380 (F-18 Fluorodasatinib)
- Using mouse models of solid tumors to measure radiation exposure / dosimetry and project radiation human dosimetry of the PET tracer, 18F-SKI249380, using computational models.
- Using nanoparticlesto deliver and enhance uptake of 18F-SKI249380 in a glioblastoma model