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Kitzberger, Carolin; Spellerberg, Rebekka; Morath, Volker; Schwenk, Nathalie; Schmohl, Kathrin A.; Schug, Christina; Urnauer, Sarah; Tutter, Mariella; Eiber, Matthias; Schilling, Franz; Weber, Wolfgang A.; Ziegler, Sibylle; Bartenstein, Peter; Wagner, Ernst; Nelson, Peter J.; Spitzweg, Christine ORCID: 0000-0002-0413-9697 (2022): The sodium iodide symporter (NIS) as theranostic gene: its emerging role in new imaging modalities and non-viral gene therapy. EJNMMI Research, 12: 25. ISSN 2191-219X

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Cloning of the sodium iodide symporter (NIS) in 1996 has provided an opportunity to use NIS as a powerful theranostic transgene. Novel gene therapy strategies rely on image-guided selective NIS gene transfer in non-thyroidal tumors followed by application of therapeutic radionuclides. This review highlights the remarkable progress during the last two decades in the development of the NIS gene therapy concept using selective non-viral gene delivery vehicles including synthetic polyplexes and genetically engineered mesenchymal stem cells. In addition, NIS is a sensitive reporter gene and can be monitored by high resolution PET imaging using the radiotracers sodium [ 124 I]iodide ([ 124 I]NaI) or [ 18 F]tetrafluoroborate ([ 18 F]TFB). We performed a small preclinical PET imaging study comparing sodium [ 124 I]iodide and in-house synthesized [ 18 F]TFB in an orthotopic NIS-expressing glioblastoma model. The results demonstrated an improved image quality using [ 18 F]TFB. Building upon these results, we will be able to expand the NIS gene therapy approach using non-viral gene delivery vehicles to target orthotopic tumor models with low volume disease, such as glioblastoma.

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