June 25, 2023 – For the second year in a row, the spotlight shone on FAP at a SOFIE-sponsored symposium drawing a large crowd at the annual Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) meeting held in Chicago, IL.  The session, titled “FAP Radioligands for Imaging and Therapy”, explored the latest advances in FAP (fibroblast activation protein) targeting in a lively discourse featuring international academic researchers and industry experts.

The event, co-hosted by Dr. Frederik L. Giesel (University Hospital Düsseldorf) and Dr. Elcin Zan (Weill Cornell), began with a historical overview of FAP by Dr. Andrew Scott (Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute).  Dr. Rodney J. Hicks (Melbourne Theranostic Innovation Center) was the keynote speaker with his thought-provoking talk, “Fibroblast Activation Protein (FAP)-Is it the Hegemony-busting Target?”.

FAP diagnostics was next highlighted starting with Dr. Zan’s talk on FAP imaging since 1986.  Drs. Ajit Goenka (Mayo Clinic), Ali Pirasteh (UW Madison), and Frank Bengel (Hannover Medical School) presented updates on pancreatic cancer, liver fibrosis, and myocardial fibrosis, respectively.

Progress in FAP therapeutics was further discussed in sarcoma by Dr. Wolfgang Fendler (Essen) and biologics and cell-based therapies by Dr. Mark Sellmyer (UPenn).  Dr. Delphine Chen (Univ of Washington) raised probing questions on challenges in developing FAP therapies.

The full agenda also included industry updates from Dr. Sherly Mosessian (SOFIE) in diagnostic and companion diagnostics use of FAPI, and presentation of FAP therapy efforts from Drs. Jacqueline Mock (Philochem), Xiaoyuan Chen (National University of Singapore/Yantai Biotechnology) and Amanda Walker (POINT Biopharma).

Global FAP investigators  — Drs. Tadashi Watabe (Osaka University, Japan); Vasko Kramer (Positronpharma SA, Chile); Haojun Chen (Xiamen University, China); and Jeremie Calais (UCLA, US) – concluded the session discussing the activities and challenges working on FAP in their specific regions.

Dr. Hicks remarked, “It was such a pleasure to deliver the keynote lecture introducing the breadth of opportunity that this target presents but even having read almost everything pertaining to this target and having edited an upcoming edition of PET Clinics, I was still extremely impressed by the further progress presented at this symposium. What exciting times we are living through in nuclear medicine and theranostics.”

The symposium is available to view here.  To view the symposium program, click here.