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PET Research Highlighted at SNMMI 2020 Annual Meeting

July 28, 2020

Yale PET Center research was well represented at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNNMI) 2020 Virtual Meeting held July 11-14.

An abstract presented by Xueying Lyu and Takuya Toyonaga entitled, “Monitoring synaptic loss in a rat model of stroke: a PET imaging study with [18F]SynVesT-2, radiotracer for the synaptic vesicle protein 2A (SV2A),”J Nucl Med 2020 61:84, received much media attention via news releases in Axis Imaging News (July 14, 2020), EurekAlert! (July 13, 2020), and News Medical Life Sciences (July 13, 2020). This study “found that the breakthrough F-18-SynVesT-2 PET approach targeted at the SV2A synaptic protein enabled synapse loss detection and stroke progression monitoring in a rat model of stroke, with synapse loss most prevalent in the hippocampus, neocortex and thalamus, and most significant during the first week after reperfusion. Researcher Xueying Lyu said the findings suggest that SV2A may be used as a tissue viability biomarker, which may allow early detection and treatment and recovery evaluations in patients with stroke.” Xueying Lyu is a postgraduate research associate at the Yale University School of Medicine and Takuya Toyonaga, PhD, is an associate research scientist at the Yale University PET Center.

In addition, PET research commanded a strong presence in the Henry N. Wagner Highlights Symposium. Highlighted abstracts by Yale PET researchers included:

First-in-Human study of [18F]SynVesT-2, a novel SV2A radioligand with fast kinetics and high specific binding signals,J Nucl Med 2020 61:462. Research conducted by Zhengxin “Jason” Cai, PhD, and colleagues found that the novel radiotracer [18F]SynVesT-2 demonstrates good imaging characteristics in humans with high brain uptake, fast kinetics, and high specific binding. These pharmacokinetic properties would shorten scanning time and possibly negate the need for arterial blood sampling, making it a good candidate for Alzheimer’s Disease patients, and may facilitate large scale clinical trials in this population.

“Preliminary Evidence for [11C]PBR28 Sensitivity to Alcohol Challenge in Human Brain,” (J Nucl Med, 2020 61:458). In this study, Ansel Hillmer, PhD, and colleagues demonstrate that [11C]PBR28 VT is sensitive to an oral alcohol challenge in people. Data collection is ongoing to confirm these results in a larger cohort. This imaging approach shows promise for future studies of alcohol-related disorders.

“Independent component analysis of synaptic density 11C-UCB-J PET in Alzheimer’s disease identifies networks correlated with cognitive impairment,” J Nucl Med 2020 61:343. Xiaotian Fang, postdoctoral associate, and colleagues demonstrate that independent component analysis (ICA) could define coherent spatial patterns of synaptic density. Furthermore, commonly used cognitive measures correlate significantly with loading weights for two of such networks within only the Alzheimer’s Disease/Mild Cognitive Impairment group. Further studies will explore whether ICA-based networks might be more sensitive than conventional ROI-based analysis.

Submitted by Angel Machon on July 29, 2020