Targeting cytokine/chemokine receptors: a challenge for molecular nuclear medicine

Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2003 Jan;30(1):149-56. doi: 10.1007/s00259-002-0941-z. Epub 2002 Sep 21.


Radiolabelled cytokines and chemokines are a group of radiopharmaceuticals that, by highlighting in vivo the binding to specific high-affinity receptors expressed on selected cell populations, allow the molecular and functional characterisation of immune-mediated processes Recently, several authors have described the use of radiolabelled cytokines and chemokines not only for imaging of inflammation and infection, but also as an approach to study in vivo the biology of primary and metastatic cancer cells. The latter avenue of research has been pursued particularly to help oncologists in therapeutic decision making and to follow up the efficacy of new immune therapies. In this paper we describe the characteristics of cytokines and chemokines, focussing on their role as radiopharmaceuticals for the imaging of cancer cells in vivo, a new challenge for molecular nuclear medicine.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Chemokines / pharmacokinetics
  • Cytokines / pharmacokinetics*
  • Humans
  • Isotope Labeling / methods
  • Molecular Biology / methods
  • Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Nuclear Medicine / methods
  • Radioisotopes / pharmacokinetics
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / pharmacokinetics
  • Receptors, Chemokine / metabolism
  • Receptors, Cytokine / metabolism


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Chemokines
  • Cytokines
  • Radioisotopes
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Receptors, Chemokine
  • Receptors, Cytokine