CEA-Leti and partners to develop novel injectable tracer for cancer
19 March 2011
CEA-Leti has announced that with four French partners it is
developing an injectable tracer that can provide both nuclear imaging in
the pre-operative evaluation of tumors and optical imaging during
ablation or biopsy.
The three-year Nano-ENO project is developing a specific tracer
using a patented organic nano-carrier (Lipidot). To improve its
targeting capacities, a peptide molecule that recognizes certain
types of cancer will also be grafted to the Lipidots.
In addition to CEA-Leti, the Nano-ENO project partners are:
- a team from the Frédéric Joliot Hospital in Orsay;
- AAA, based in Saint-Genis-Pouilly, and specializing in
- Fluoptics, a CEA-Leti startup based in Grenoble and
specializing in fluorescence-imaging systems; and
- VetAgro Sup, based in Marcy-l’Etoile, will oversee the
pre-clinical studies on large- animal model (spontaneous tumors
When treating cancer, medical professionals often look to several
diagnostic tools and surgical aids, including positron emission
tomography (PET) scan and fluorescence imaging. A PET scan is a
nuclear-imaging procedure that allows doctors to measure the
metabolic activity of an organ by injecting a radiotracer and then
analyzing the gamma rays that are emitted as the tracer
Fluorescence imaging is a relatively new technology that combines
the use of a florescent tracer with near-infrared spectroscopy
(NIRS). The resulting real-time images help surgeons obtain cleaner
margins during surgery and therefore reduce the risk of recurrence.
The nuclear markers used in a PET scan help provide
high-resolution images, while optical contrast agents facilitate the
identification of tumor cells in real-time. Combining these imaging
technologies makes it possible to confirm that the tumors being
operated on correspond to the tumors identified in the pre-operative
It also allows for a more thorough procedure to be performed with
reduced overall surgical time; not only can the surgeon work more
quickly and with greater precision, but the entire operation is
streamlined, allowing for a more efficient use of operating rooms
and surgical staff.
This project will receive support from the Cancéropôle Lyon
Auvergne Rhône Alpes (CLARA) Preuve de Concept (proof of concept)
initiative for three years.