Biotechnology Programme

Molecular Imaging Core Unit

Head of Unit:  Francisca Mulero
Research highlights

The main objectives of the Unit are to provide CNIO researches with state-of-the-art molecular imaging equipment and human resources in order to: guarantee the highest quality studies, develop and update protocols and techniques to optimise visualisation of tumours in both preclinical and clinical fields, as well as assess and advise researchers on the best-suited imaging modality for their research projects.

With the Immuno-PET strategy, the high specificity of the antibody is coupled with the high sensitivity of PET imaging to obtain a strong, non-invasive, tool for glioblastoma (GBM) and pancreatic carcinoma diagnosis and follow-up. In 2016, we published the results of our collaboration with the Seve-Ballesteros Foundation Brain Tumour Group and the Crystallography and Protein Engineering Unit at the CNIO. We reported the development of a new tracer (89Z-LEM2/15) for the efficient detection of MT1-MMP in preclinical GBM models.

We have also provided imaging support in clinical trials conducted under CNIO’s Clinical Research Programme. With the Breast Cancer Clinical Research Unit, we published the 18F-FMISO-PET imaging results from a clinical trial aimed at selecting patients who will benefit from treatment with angiomodulators knowing the degree of tumour hypoxia by using this PET biomarker (FIGURE).

Furthermore, we continued our active participation in the international consortium focused on imaging, ‘M+Visión’ led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).