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Molecular imaging and targeted therapy of the aggressive phenotype: development of uPAR theranostics for cancer patients

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 uPET project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the uPET project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "uPET" about.

planning    hyperpolarized    believe    competencies    prediction    benefit    considering    outcome    prognostic    prostatectomy    prostate    leaving    fulfils    metastatic    tumor    power    human    track    theranostics    visualization    pyruvate    simultaneous    platform    thereby    aggressive    healthy    imaging    mrsi    personalized    sampling    decide    diagnosing    combined    upar    positive    optical    guiding    circumventing    first    therapies    data    translate    tools    scan    13c    alpha    beta    tailoring    surgery    proteolytic    phenotyping    record    medicine    image    tracers    radionuclide    time    treatment    pet    for    unmet    warburg    forms    effect    risk    phenotype    error    dose    performed    selective    emitters    clinical    stratification    removal    cancer    proof    cells    therapy    frame    breast    ligand    breakthrough    tissue    pairing    molecular    realistic    patients    additional    technologies    refine    endeavour    plan    burden    delineate    invasive   

Project "uPET" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: 3400

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Denmark [DK]
 Total cost 2˙072˙000 €
 EC max contribution 2˙072˙000 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-ADG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-10-01   to  2020-09-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    REGION HOVEDSTADEN DK (HILLEROD) coordinator 2˙072˙000.00


 Project objective

For practice of personalized medicine in cancer, non-invasive tools for diagnosing at the molecular level are needed. Molecular imaging methods are capable of this while at the same time circumventing sampling error as the whole tumor burden is evaluated. We recently developed and performed the first-ever clinical PET scan of uPAR, a proteolytic system known to be strongly associated with metastatic potential in most cancer forms. We believe this new concept of uPAR-PET is a major breakthrough and has the potential to become one of the most used PET tracers as it fulfils unmet needs in prostate and breast cancer. Based on this, together with additional proof-of-concept data we obtained on targeting uPAR for optical imaging and radionuclide therapy, we now plan to develop and take into patients these new technologies for improved outcome. Specific aims are to develop and translate into human use: 1. A PET uPAR imaging ligand platform for visualization of the aggressive phenotype and risk-stratification to be used in tailoring therapy, e.g. in prostate cancer to decide whether prostatectomy is necessary. 2. uPAR-PET combined with simultaneous 13C-hyperpolarized pyruvate MRSI (Warburg effect). This will increase prognostic power, refine tumor phenotyping and thereby allow for better tailoring of therapy and early prediction of treatment response. 3. A uPAR optical imaging technology for guiding removal of cancer tissue during surgery. This will help delineate cancer tissue for removal while leaving healthy tissue behind. We expect better outcome with removal of less tissue. 4. Selective radionuclide therapies targeting uPAR positive, invasive cancer cells using β or α emitters. Dose planning will be performed using uPAR-PET imaging. This image-therapy pairing is also known as theranostics. Our endeavour is ambitious, yet realistic considering our competencies and track-record. We expect cancer patients to benefit from our new methods within the 5 year time-frame.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Adam E. Hansen, Henrik Gutte, Pernille Holst, Helle H. Johannesen, Sofie Rahbek, Andreas E. Clemmensen, Majbritt M.E. Larsen, Christina Schøier, Jan Ardenkjaer-Larsen, Thomas L. Klausen, Annemarie T. Kristensen, Andreas Kjaer
Combined hyperpolarized 13 C-pyruvate MRS and 18 F-FDG PET (hyperPET) estimates of glycolysis in canine cancer patients
published pages: 6-12, ISSN: 0720-048X, DOI: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2018.02.028
European Journal of Radiology 103 2019-07-05
2017 Christensen A, Juhl K, Persson M, Charabi BW, Mortensen J, Kiss K, Lelkaitis G, Rubek N, von Buchwald C, Kjær A
uPAR-targeted optical near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence imaging and PET for image-guided surgery in head and neck cancer: proof-of-concept in orthotopic xenograft model
published pages: , ISSN: 1949-2553, DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.14282
Oncotarget 2019-07-05
2017 Skovgaard D, Persson M, Brandt-Larsen M, Christensen C, Madsen J, Klausen TL, Holm S, Andersen FL, Loft A, Berthelsen AK, Pappot H, Brasso K, Kroman N, Højgaard L, Kjaer A
Safety, Dosimetry, and Tumor Detection Ability of 68Ga-NOTA-AE105: First-in-Human Study of a Novel Radioligand for uPAR PET Imaging
published pages: 379-386, ISSN: 2159-662X, DOI: 10.2967/jnumed.116.178970
J Nucl Med 58(3) 2019-07-05
2016 Adam E. Hansen, Flemming L. Andersen, Sarah T. Henriksen, Alexandre Vignaud, Jan H. Ardenkjaer-Larsen, Liselotte Højgaard, Andreas Kjaer, Thomas L. Klausen
Simultaneous PET/MRI with 13C magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (hyperPET): phantom-based evaluation of PET quantification
published pages: 7 (13 pages), ISSN: 2197-7364, DOI: 10.1186/s40658-016-0143-6
EJNMMI Physics 3/1 2019-07-05
2017 Loft MD, Sun Y, Liu C, Christensen C, Huang D, Kjaer A, Cheng Z
Improved positron emission tomography imaging of glioblastoma cancer using novel 68Ga-labeled peptides targeting the urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR)
published pages: 1089-1100, ISSN: 1438-2199, DOI: 10.1007/s00726-017-2407-4
Amino Acids 49(6) 2019-07-05
2018 Sorel Kurbegovic, Karina Juhl, Hao Chen, Chunrong Qu, Bingbing Ding, Julie Maja Leth, Krzysztof Tadeusz Drzewiecki, Andreas Kjaer, Zhen Cheng
Molecular Targeted NIR-II Probe for Image-Guided Brain Tumor Surgery
published pages: 3833-3840, ISSN: 1043-1802, DOI: 10.1021/acs.bioconjchem.8b00669
Bioconjugate Chemistry 29/11 2019-04-18

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