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Amino Acid Transporter-Targeted Radiotracers for Molecular Imaging in Oncology

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Abstract:

Amino acids are required for sustenance of continuous uncontrolled growth of tumor cells, and upregulation of amino acid transporter expression has often been observed in tumor cells to facilitate their accelerated rates of amino acid uptake. Therefore, amino acid transporters have promise as ideal targets for tumor imaging. In fact, many natural and artificial amino acids have been radiolabeled for positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging of tumor. In this article, we review the classification, molecular biology, and pharmacological relevance of amino acid transport systems. In addition, we discuss the chemistry, radiochemistry, current clinical applications, and future prospects for the use of radiolabeled amino acid-based probes for PET and SPECT imaging in oncology for each category of radionuclide.

Keywords: Amino acid transporter; amino acid uptake; cancer diagnosis; molecular imaging; positron emission tomography; radiochemistry; radiotracer; single-photon emission computed tomography; tumor cells

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2174/092986712801215946

Publication date: 2012-07-01

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