Day 1 :
MD Anderson Cancer Center, USA
Time : 10:10-10:50
Vikas Kundra is a professor of radiology, director of molecular imaging and has a joint appointment in the department of Cancer Systems Imaging at U.T.-MDrnAnderson Cancer Center. He trained at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He has multiple publications in basic, translation, and clinical research and is grant funded. He is a fellow society of Body Computed Tomography and Magnetic Resonance (SCBT-MR). He specializes in body imaging, focused on cancer imaging.
Clinical trials of gene therapy have been hampered by a lack of clinically relevant methods for in vivo detection of generntransfer. Evaluating success of gene transfer in the clinic is currently confinedprimarily to biopsy sampling, which providesrnlimited evaluation of in vivo gene delivery, is prone to sampling error, has associated morbidity and mortality, and can have problems with patient compliance especially when repeated evaluation or monitoring of multiple sites is needed. Instead,remonitoring of exogenous gene expression should be noninvasive and easily repeatable over time in the same patienttoinformrnregarding the location, magnitude, and kinetics of gene expression. Moreover, this could prove instrumental towards thernrational development of innovative formulations designed to selectively target particular tissues, organs, or disease sites. Reporter genes may be used to approach these needs.. These often encode enzymes, transport proteins, and receptors that most frequently bind and/or entrap an imaging agent. These may be limited for percutaneous imaging of humans because offen scatter, such as light based agents; size; immunogenicity, particularly if not of human origin; quantification; and availability offen clinically approved imaging agents. A desirable feature of such a reporter would be that it does not affect the intracellular milieurnby signaling or pump action so that it does not cause untoward effects in expressing cells. We find that human somatostatinrnreceptor type 2 gene-based reporters (SSTR2-based) reporters have such desirable features for imaging in animals and forrntranslation to humans. The SSTR2-based systems enable in vitro, in vivo, and ex vivo assessment of the reporter, can be imagedrnusing clinically approved radiopharmaceuticals, and can be designed to be signaling deficient. Using small animal cognates ofrnclinical machines as well as machines designed for patients, we have used a combination of functional and anatomic imagingrnto quantify in vivo expression of SSTR2-based reporters and have used these to evaluate methods for improving expression.rnImaging and quantification of such reporters has been performed in small animals and, as a bridge to translation, in largernanimals.