The Project DETEGAR (ARISTEIA II, ΕΣΠΑ) refers to the synthesis, labeling and evaluation of novel dextran nanocarriers functionalized with bioactive molecules. The overall objective of the project was to develop receptor mediated agents labeled with a radionuclide in combination with a chromophore/fluorophore for sentinel lymph node detection (SNDL) and to apply the conjugation approaches for the development of radiopharmaceuticals which could have application in the diagnosis/prognosis of cancer.
Radioguided sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) is a widely acknowledged technique for the management of various types of cancers, predominantly in the early stages of disease as it contributes significantly to the assessment of risk for metastasis and identification of lymph nodes in unpredictable locations. In breast cancer patients, there is a strong evidence underlining the value of this technique in guiding the surgical management of affected patients. In early stages of melanoma, identifying the highly variable lymphatic drainage-patterns from the affected skin can improve staging of the disease possibly affecting patients’ management. SLNB may also have utility in other cancers such as oral, cervical and other genitourinary malignancies but its clinical value is less well documented.
The project met the need to develop a low-cost, widely available tracer that responds to the requirement of fast migration and high preferential uptake and retention in the sentinel node, with minimal or no migration to upper-tier nodes.