The Vrije Universiteit Brussel is a Flemish university in Belgium where the TAT group collaborates with the Nick DeVoogdt and Tony Lahoutte research group at the In vivo Cellular and Molecular Imaging Lab.
The collaboration is on the therapy of disseminated cancer using astatine labelled nanobodies. It includes developing chemical methods for astatination and the subsequent preclinical evaluation on tumor bearing mice and ultimately clinical evaluation. Nanobodies with different tumor specificity will be included in the study.
Nanobodies are genetically modified tumor specific antibody structures with origin from camel. It is the smallest antigen fragment available, 15 KD, about ten times smaller than an IgG antibody. The biodistribution of the antigen binding structure is determined by size and compared to normal sized antibodies targeting and clearance of the nanobody is much faster. In this way nanobodies gives new opportunities in targeted imaging and therapy of cancer.