Cancer Imaging

Cancer Imaging

Researchers at The University of Auckland, in collaboration with Victoria University of Wellington, have developed a PET-based imaging platform to monitor spatial and temporal distribution of biological vectors during cancer treatment. Inability to readily monitor location and replication of engineered vectors used in cancer treatment has led to long and uncertain timelines to FDA approval. Currently, non-invasive “off the shelf” imaging systems are not available and pre-clinical animal models generally show poor predictive value for therapeutic vectors. The PET-nitroreductase imaging platform provides data to quantify bacterial/viral vector loading, amplification and spread, in a manner that is indicative of normal tissue toxicity and anti-tumour efficacy. The platform utilises PET probes that have achieved high level clinical validation and are under active IND, minimising time, cost and complexity.


UniServices is seeking investment and partnerships with industry.

Unique Selling Propositions
  • Characterise tumour tropism, enabling identification of optimal clinical path
  • Potential for correlation with vector titre
  • Compatible with serial imaging over time
  • Potential for nitroreductase to enhance oncolytic activity of therapeutic vector via prodrug addition
  • Longitudinal detection of vector bio-distribution with time
  • Real time, multiple non-invasive sampling
  • Safe, accurate, reproducible and sensitive
  • Monitoring systemic vector bio-distribution, amplification and spread
IP Strategy

Provisional patent filed July 2010 and PCT/NZ2011/000137 filed July 2011.

Project Status

Proof of Concept - Early prototype built