Researcher advances PET imaging technology to improve response to cancer treatment

April 4, 2016

A promising new discovery by UCLA scientists could lead to a new method of identifying cancer patients that express high levels of an enzyme and are more likely to respond to cancer treatments.

Decades of significant advances and improvements in PET imaging technology have led to the detection of an enzyme in humans that plays a significant role in DNA formation, the building blocks of life. The enzyme, called deoxycytidine kinase (dCK), was previously found to be highly expressed in acute leukemia cells and in activated lymphocytes and controls a critical step in the nucleoside salvage pathway, an important therapeutic and PET imaging target in cancer.

The study will be published online March 28 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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