The majority of positron emission tomography (PET) imaging systems map how the body uses the radioactive form of glucose for energy. Because many cancers use glucose as a metabolic fuel, they show up on a glucose PET scan. However, not all cancers use glucose as fuel, and some normal organs, such as the brain and heart, also use large amounts of glucose, making certain diseases difficult to detect with this type of diagnostic scan. goes

Now, scientists at the University of Ottawa (uOttawa) have developed a new radio tracker (called [18F]4-FDF) that can map how cells use fructose for energy. Fructose is a different type of metabolic fuel that is increasingly being recognized as a disease fuel. Fructose, a monosaccharide known as “fruit sugar,” is a common dietary sugar found naturally in fruits, honey, and processed foods. Unlike glucose, fructose is not normally used to fuel a healthy brain and heart, showing up mostly in healthy liver and kidneys. By identifying where fructose is being used in the body, [18F]4-FDF will allow early detection of a wide range of diseases, including cancer, as well as inflammation of the heart and brain.

The research was conducted in uOttawa’s Molecular Medicine Lab by uOttawa Faculty of Science Associate Professor Adam Schoendler, who is also a scientist at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, in collaboration with uOttawa Professors Robert Bean and Christina Addison. Lead author Alexia Kirby, a doctoral student in biology, was responsible for validating and testing the radiotracer in various cell and animal models, while Nicholas Calvert, a doctoral student in chemistry and biomolecular sciences, determined metabolic pathways. used carbon isotope labeling to of radiotracers in cells. The synthetic chemistry was developed by colleagues Rob Bean, Thomas Charlton and Mojmir Suchi, while Dominik Graf and Mojmir Suchi handled the radiochemistry.

“For the first time, we can see where fructose, a common dietary sugar, is used in the body. Outside of the kidney and liver, fructose metabolism in other organs can signal a dangerous problem, including cancer and inflammation. is,” explains. Professor Schoendler.

gave [18F]The 4-FDF compound is made from a carefully modified form of fructose with a radioactive fluorine atom added to a key chemical site, allowing researchers to pinpoint where and how fructose is stored in our bodies. How much is metabolized? By imaging with a PET camera, a device routinely used in diagnostic imaging, observers can see the increased fructose used by organs and tissues as they malfunction, providing early signs of inflammation. do

The discovery opens new avenues for early detection and treatment of cancer, as well as brain and heart conditions.