John Mercer, PhD
Professor and Division Director, Oncologic Imaging, Department of Oncology, University of Alberta
Research Director, Edmonton PET Centre
My research interests are centered on the development and preclinical assessment of PET radiopharmaceuticals.
My present active research areas include the use of PET prosthetic groups for labeling peptides and oligonucleotides and the use of these constructs in molecular imaging and in particular in the development of apoptosis imaging agents.
Steven Burrell, MASc, MD, LMCC, FRCPCC
Associate Professor, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia
In keeping with the goals of the MITNEC program, Dr. Mercer discusses the roles of radiopharmaceuticals in PET and SPECT imaging. Flourine-based FDG is by far the most common of the imaging probes and is suitable for most cases, but it is not appropriate for all types of cancer. Other imaging probes have been developed for specific purposes and new probes are being investigated for enhanced pathology differentiation. The process of novel radiopharmaceutical development is discussed, together with case studies of Edmonton-based developments and current trends in research.
As the Director of the Evaluation of Radiopharmaceuticals and Biotherapeutic Products at Health Canada, Dr. Klein gives a brief background on the introduction of the Food and Drug Act in Canada, followed by a full explanation of the regulatory process for biomarkers in Canada. The regulatory body focuses on the quality, safety and efficacy of diagnostic, preventative and therapeutic agents, being constantly evaluated from first discovery through market use to further evolution and all steps between.
Positron Emission Tomography is an invaluable and perhaps most important tool for assessing cancer in vivo. Dr. Burrell provides a quick overview of the types of imaging used in oncology, specifically describing the role of PET in each stage of the therapy cycle. A brief history of PET is given, together with the basic physics and a glance at radiopharmaceutical use in oncology. The potential role of PET from diagnosis through staging, therapy planning, post-therapy evaluation and followup is discussed and many case studies presented.