dr. Nick Van Laeken (PhD)

CRIG member
Nick Van Laeken

Clinical trial coordinator – department of medical imaging  (UZ Gent)
Radiopharmacist - department of medical imaging (UZ Gent)
Qualified Person - department of medical imaging (UZ Gent)


Research focus

In men, prostate cancer (PCa) is the most frequently occurring cancer in Belgium. Recurrent disease after radical prostatectomy or local therapy with curative intent occurs in 30-40% of patients within 10 years. Biomarkers such as Prostate Specific Antigen are used for follow up of disease status in patients with prostate cancer. However, for salvage therapy to be successful, precise localization of metastases is necessary to determine the most appropriate treatment and to postpone expensive systemic therapies with their inherent toxicity. Recently, prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) has gained interest for PCa-specific imaging. Due to overexpression of PSMA in both primary and metastatic PCa, radiotracers targeting this protein have shown an increased selectivity and sensitivity compared to conventional imaging.

Our research team developed a new PET radiotracer, [18F]PSMA-11, for imaging PSMA in prostate cancer patients. During a phase 1 and 2 clinical trial, the safety of administration and the patient dosimetry has been evaluated, and the scan protocol has been optimized. Subsequently, a phase 3 clinical trial was conducted demonstrating non-inferiority of [18F]PSMA-11 vs. [68Ga]PSMA-11. 

Key publications

  • ‘Radiation dosimetry and biodistribution of 18F-PSMA-11 for PET imaging of Prostate Cancer’. Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 2019 (PMID: 31028165)
  • ‘Optimization of PET protocol and interrater reliability of 18F-PSMA-11 imaging of prostate cancer’. European journal of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging, 2020 (PMID: 32095919)
  •  ‘Intra-individual dynamic comparison of F-PSMA-11 and Ga-PSMA-11 in LNCaP xenograft bearing mice’. Scientific Reports, 2020 (PMID: 33273603)
  • '18 F-PSMA-11 Versus 68 Ga-PSMA-11 Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography for Staging and Biochemical Recurrence of Prostate Cancer: A Prospective Double-blind Randomised Cross-over Trial'. Eur. Urol, 2022 (PMID: 35690515)

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