Double duty: Cancer therapy moonlights as breast tumor imaging agent

Metastatic breast cancers positive for HER2 receptor expression can be effectively imaged with Cu-64 DOTA-trastuzumab, traditionally used as a therapeutic drug, according to a study published online Sept. 12 in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine .

HER2 receptor imaging has been picking up speed in recent years. Researchers including Kenji Tamura, MD, PhD, from the department of breast and medical oncology at the National Cancer Center Hospital in Tokyo tested the feasibility of using the fused radionuclide and humanized monoclonal antibody Cu-64 DOTA-trastuzumab, not as a cancer therapy, but as an imaging agent for metastatic breast cancer screening. Results showed consistent detection of HER2 positive lesions.