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New prostate cancer tracer developed by CDT student

Posted 23rd July 2018

An easy to produce prostate cancer tracer, a substance vital for the discovery of cancers, has been developed by 3rd year CDT student, Jennifer Young.

The new tracer was developed with support from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Biomedical Research Centre at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, and King’s College London.

It can be made very quickly and easily in a radio-pharmacy, meaning that smaller hospitals and clinics can produce it. It is hoped that this will mean more patients will have access to high-quality lifesaving scans:

The tracer Jennifer has developed will give more patients access to potentially lifesaving scans. The low-cost and relatively straightforward production process means that smaller hospitals and not just the biggest specialist hospitals can produce it for their patients. We hope this will be the first of several tracers based on this technology for application to other cancers, not just prostate - Professor Philip Blower (Jennifer's Supervisor, Kings)

For the paper that covered the synthesis of the radiotracer up to the pre-clinical stage, Jennifer was selected as a recipient of the Alavi–Mandell Award. The award is given to individuals who were the first author of a paper published in the JNM, were trainees at the time the published work was carried out, and made a major contribution to the completion of the work. The tracer has now gone on to complete a phase 1 clinical trial.

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