PET Imaging

Positron emission tomography (PET) is a nuclear medicine imaging technique which shows metabolic and biologic functions, and is often used to detect certain cancers, identifying lesions and also assessing organ health. PET produces a three-dimensional image or picture of functional processes in the body. The system detects pairs of gamma rays emitted indirectly by a positron-emitting radionuclide (tracer), which is introduced into the body on a biologically active molecule. Images of tracer concentration in 3-dimensional or 4-dimensional space (the 4th dimension being time) within the body are then reconstructed by computer analysis.

PET and Live Vector Technology

PET Image of mouse bearing tumors, one injected with virus expressing hNET (right front leg armpit in sketch), and the other no virus. The radiotracer [124I]-MIBG allows for PET visualization of the virus-infected tumor in the color image (tumor is bright white image, top right)

Genelux researchers have successfully been able, in preclinical studies, to utilize live vectors (e.g. tumor colonizing E.coli bacterum) in conjunction with radiotracers to perform PET imaging to visualize malignant tissues. This system, if one day applied in larger animals and humans has the potential to track bacteria and their gene expression during tumor colonization or disease progression, while providing concomitant anatomical information.

MoBiVir Program

Genelux GmbH in Bernried, Germany is developing deep tissue imaging applications for PET based on the Company’s vaccinia virus platform, leading a consortium program entitled Research of New Recombinant Vaccinia Viruses and Radiotracers for the Molecular PET-Diagnostics of Tumors (Acronym: MoBiVir) under the grant 13N10451 from the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF).
The project targets collaborative research and development of all enabling components of a novel PET imaging system based on the Genelux platform technology, including reagents, hardware, software, protocols and working together with scientists from:

  • ABX (Radeberg, Germany), a radiochemical and precursor provider;
  • Raytest, GmbH (Straubenhardt, Germany), an equipment provider;
  • University Clinics for Nuclear Medicine (University of Wurzburg and
    University of Freiburg, Germany); and,
  • Bayer Schering Pharma AG (BSP), associated and consulting member.