Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and melanocortin-1 (MC1) receptors are attractive molecular targets for cancer imaging due to their over-expressions on cancer cells. GnRH and alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (&#945;-MSH) peptides can bind the GnRH and MC1 receptors with nanomolar binding affinities, respectively. Through peptide-receptor interaction, the peptides can specifically target diagnostic radionuclides to cancer cells for imaging. This presentation will describe the design and application of novel receptor-targeting radiolabeled peptides for breast cancer and melanoma imaging.
"The research interests in my laboratory are focused on developing novel radiolabeled peptides for cancer (melanoma, breast and prostate cancers) diagnosis and treatment. Specifically, we are using radiolabeled peptides to target G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) over-expressed on cancer cells for cancer detection and therapy. Radiolabeled peptides are attractive probes for cancer imaging and therapy due to their specific nanomolar binding affinities with the GPCRs over-expressed on cancer cells. Radiolabeled peptides can selectively deliver diagnostic and therapeutic radionuclides to cancer cells through peptide-receptor interaction for imaging and therapy. Hence, malignant tumors can be detected non-invasively by imaging modalities (SPECT or PET) through the collection of signals generated from diagnostic radionuclides. Moreover, malignant tumors can be effectively treated by targeted radiation yielded from therapeutic radionuclides delivered by the peptides selectively. "
-Taken from Dr. Maio's Faculty Profile