Oncology remains an increasingly important focus of therapeutic development yet there remain many scientific and operational bottlenecks to deliver optimum treatments efficiently. Radiopharmaceuticals constitute a group of methodologies able to support the many stages of drug development. Methods such as [18F]-FDG-PET continue to have a role, evaluating early metabolic response to treatment and supporting more conventional assessments of disease response. Improvements over such tracers (for example, use of [18F]-FLT) in certain settings can also widen the impact radiotracers have on clinical development. New categories of tracers able to provide molecular insight into therapeutic intervention are likely grow and aim to remove the ambiguity of how effective a new drug is. It is likely that newer tracers able to define processes such as angiogenesis and apoptosis will supplement other methods in supporting early development decisionmaking and de-risking expensive, late-stage programs. Labeled drugs themselves also offer the ability to study localised pharmacokinetics in vivo and study issues such as therapeutic combinations. Owing to the significant cost, resource and time investment in developing novel tracers, new opportunities need to be closely matched with emerging drug development needs.
Keywords: Drug Development, Oncology, radiotracers, angiogenesis, apoptosis
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