Prof. Dr. Winfried Brenner
Augustenburger Platz 1
Radiation Oncology and Imaging (ROI)
Preclinical in vivo studies using small animals such as mice and rats are essential to develop new therapeutic options in medicine. As part of the Department of Nuclear Medicine, the BERIC is a preclinical imaging core facility and offers all modalities of modern hybrid small animal imaging with radiopharmaceuticals. Using the latest state-of-the-art equipment (SPECT/CT, PET/MR) with the focus on multiparametric imaging, our main research activities focuse on i) the in vivo characterization and molecular profiling of clinically relevant cancer models such as tumor xenografts in vivo and in ovo by hybrid imaging modalities and i) performing longitudinal in vivo imaging studies for testing new diagnostic tools and treatment approaches.
Concentrating on tumor xenograft models in oncology, we collect not only anatomical but also metabolic information in order to characterize tumor tissue and validate therapeutic effects. Our focus is on quantitative imaging methods and new tracers (see also BIOQIC) to characterize e.g. neoangiogenesis, perfusion, diffusion, metabolism, receptor status, and the tumor micro- and macro-environment. Therefore, standardized multiparametric imaging including angiography as well as the development and validation of novel in vivo biomarkers such as ADC mapping for early response monitoring or GIP receptor ligands for diagnosis and radionuclide therapy of neuroendocrine tumors are also part of our research. Besides diagnostics, therapy is a main research focus, because we are able to use most tracers as theranostics (e.g., targeting PSMA, SST-R), in which the tracer is labeled with a short-living isotope such as Ga-68 for quantitative imaging of the tumor status, while the same molecule labeled with a beta-emitting isotope such as Lu-177 is used for radionuclide treatment. We are currently running subcutaneous and orthotopic models for prostate and NET and started establishing the corresponding in-ovo models (CAM assay) as a cost-and animal-saving alternative, which can be easily used for substance testing, prevalidation of therapeutic effects, etc.
Being a core facility, BERIC offers imaging portfolios and animal models for various medical areas besides oncology, e.g. neuroscience, inflammation, heart disease/myocarditis as a basis for successful translation into the clinical setting which is also well represented at the Charité with PET/MR and PET/CT scanners and a ward for new and established radionuclide therapies.