Overview: The field of angiogenesis research is one of the most rapidly growing biomedical disciplines. Great efforts are being made to develop anti-angiogenesis drugs for treatment of cancer as well as non-oncological diseases. Thus, imaging techniques allowing non-invasive monitoring of corresponding molecular processes will be of great interest. One target structure involved in the angiogenic process is the integrin alphavbeta3, which mediates the migration of activated endothelial cells during vessel formation.
Materials and methods: A variety of radiolabelled RGD peptides have been introduced for monitoring of alphavbeta3 expression using nuclear medicine tracer techniques.
Objectives: This review discusses tracer development and highlights some strategies for tracer optimisation. It summarises the preclinical and clinical data and discusses the potential of this class of tracer to characterise angiogenesis.