Affibody molecules are small (58 amino acids) engineered scaffold proteins that can be selected to bind to a large variety of proteins with a high affinity. Their small size and high affinity make them attractive as targeting vectors for molecular imaging. High-affinity affibody binders have been selected for several cancer-associated molecular targets. Preclinical studies have shown that radiolabeled affibody molecules can provide highly specific and sensitive imaging on the day of injection; however, for a few targets, imaging on the next day further increased the imaging sensitivity. A phase I/II clinical trial showed that 68
Ga-labeled affibody molecules permit an accurate and specific measurement of HER2 expression in breast cancer metastases. This paper provides an overview of the factors influencing the biodistribution and targeting properties of affibody molecules and the chemistry of their labeling using positron emitters.
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