C-X-C Chemokine Receptor 4 (CXCR4) is upregulated in a broad range of cancers and has roles in both angiogenesis, tumour growth, survival and metastasis; its cognate ligand CXCL-12 (SDF-1) is expressed in many sites of secondary metastasis (e.g. bone, lung, liver, lymph nodes). It is therefore a potential therapeutic target. The Archibald laboratory at the University of Hull has developed a range of high-affinity macrocycle CXCR4 antagonists with applications in both cancer therapy and imaging.
Above: 3D rendering of PET-CT scan data from a mouse bearing a CXCR4-expressing tumour, showing high uptake of radiolabelled probe