Pet and spect imaging of the egfr family (Rtk class i) in oncology

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The human epidermal growth factor receptor family (EGFR-family, other designations: HER family, RTK Class I) is strongly linked to oncogenic transformation. Its members are frequently overexpressed in cancer and have become attractive targets for cancer therapy. To ensure effective patient care, potential responders to HER-targeted therapy need to be identified. Radionuclide molecular imaging can be a key asset for the detection of overexpression of EGFR-family members. It meets the need for repeatable whole-body assessment of the molecular disease profile, solving problems of heterogeneity and expression alterations over time. Tracer development is a multifactorial process. The optimal tracer design depends on the application and the particular challenges of the molecular target (target expression in tumors, endogenous expression in healthy tissue, accessibility). We have herein summarized the recent preclinical and clinical data on agents for Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Single Photon Emission Tomography (SPECT) imaging of EGFR-family receptors in oncology. Antibody-based tracers are still extensively investigated. However, their dominance starts to be challenged by a number of tracers based on different classes of targeting proteins. Among these, engineered scaffold proteins (ESP) and single domain antibodies (sdAb) show highly encouraging results in clinical studies marking a noticeable trend towards the use of smaller sized agents for HER imaging.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3663
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021


  • EGFR
  • HER1
  • HER2
  • HER3
  • HER4
  • Molecular imaging
  • PET
  • RTK Class I

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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