Sarah Piron

CRIG member
Sarah Piron

Doctoral fellow – lab of radiopharmacy, department of pharmaceutical analysis (Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences)
Principal investigator: prof. Filip De Vos


Research focus

Prostate cancer is the second most diagnosed cancer and fifth leading cause of death in man worldwide. A major issue in the clinical management is the early detection of recurrent disease after prostatectomy or radiation therapy. For the detection of these recurrent lesions, the prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is been investigated as a target for radiolabeled PET tracers as it is highly overexpressed in prostate cancer (PCa). [68Ga]PSMA-11 has been investigated in many clinical trials, but 68Ga has some disadvantages as a radio-isotope. Therefore, [18F]PSMA-11 was developed and has been successfully radiosynthesized by Kersemans et al., but further optimizations are still under investigation. The comparison of both radiotracers in mice is investigated, as well as the influence of the specific activity and expression of PSMA on image quality. In a phase 1 clinical trial, the first-in-human scans were conducted and toxicity, biodistribution and dosimetry were determined, followed by a phase 2 clinical trial were the optimal scan protocol was investigated. The end goal of this research project is to eventually get the new radiotracer in clinical practice to make better and more precise localization of recurrent prostate cancer lesions possible.

Key publications

  • Radiation dosimetry and biodistribution of 18F-PSMA-11 for PET imaging of prostate cancer, JNUMED, 2019
  • Optimization of PET protocol and interrater reliability of 18F-PSMA-11 imaging of prostate cancer. EJNMMI Research, 2020

Contact & links

Lab address: Ottergemsesteenweg 460, 9000 Gent / Lab of radiopharmacy
Lab of radiopharmacy