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Coming theses from other universities

  • Prostate cancer theranostics using GRPR antagonist RM26 Author: Bogdan Mitran Link: Publication date: 2019-08-23 10:38

    The malignant transformation of cells is often associated with an alteration of their molecular phenotype, resulting in overexpression of several cell surface proteins. Gastrin-releasing peptide receptor (GRPR) and prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) are examples of such pro-teins that are expressed at a high density in prostate cancer. GRPR is primarily expressed in earlier stages of prostate cancer and tends to decrease with disease progression. This expression pattern indicates that GRPR could be a promising target for imaging and treatment of oligometa-static prostate cancer, an early step in prostate cancer progression characterized by limited meta-static spread. In contrast, the expression of PSMA increases with cancer progression and is significantly upregulated as tumors dedifferentiate into higher grade, in androgen-insensitive and metastatic lesions.

    This thesis is based on five original articles (papers I-V) and focuses on the preclinical de-velopment of radiotracers for imaging and treatment of prostate cancer. The work can be divided into three distinct parts: (1) the development and optimization of GRPR-antagonist RM26 for high contrast PET and SPECT imaging of oligometastatic prostate cancer (papers I-III), (2) the preclinical evaluation of 177Lu-labeled RM26 as a potential candidate for peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) in GRPR-expressing tumors, alone or in combination with anti-HER2 antibody trastuzumab (paper IV), and (3) the development of a bispecific heterodimer targeting both PSMA and GRPR in prostate cancer (paper V).

    We have demonstrated that the in vitro and in vivo properties of GRPR antagonist RM26 are strongly influenced by the choice of chelator-radionuclide complex and that long-lived radionuclides are desirable for high-contrast imaging. Furthermore, our data indicate that 55Co-NOTA-PEG2-RM26 has remarkable potential for next-day high-contrast PET imaging of GRPR-expressing tumors. Experimental PRRT using 177Lu-DOTAGA-PEG2-RM26 resulted in a pronounced inhibition of tumor growth and a significantly longer median survival. Interestingly, survival was further improved when trastuzumab was co-injected with 177Lu-DOTAGA-PEG2-RM26. These data indicate that blocking HER2 with trastuzumab decreased the repairing ability of irradiated cells. Finally, we developed a heterodimer (NOTA-DUPA-RM26) for imaging GRPR and PSMA expression in prostate cancer shortly after administration.

    In conclusion, we have successfully developed and preclinically evaluated radioconjugates for GRPR-directed theranostics in oligometastatic prostate cancer using the bombesin antagonistic analog RM26.

  • Mechanisms of mechanically induced Osteoclastogenesis : in a novel in vitro model for bone implant loosening Author: Cornelia Bratengeier Link: Publication date: 2019-08-21 11:21

    Total joint arthroplasty is the primary intervention in the treatment of end-stage osteoarthritis. Despite the high success rate, in some patients, the replacement will fail during their lifetime requiring a revision of the implant. These revisions are strenuous for the patient and costly for health care. Joint replacement at a younger age, in combination with a more active lifestyle, increases the need for an early revision of the joint prosthesis. The main reason for revision surgeries is aseptic loosening, a condition where the prosthesis is loosening due to bone degradation at the peri-prosthetic interface in the absence of infections. The most well-established pathological mechanism for aseptic loosening is related to wear particles, generated from different parts of the prosthesis that will trigger bone degradation and bone loss. In addition, early micromotions of the prosthesis and resulting local pressurized fluid flow in the peri-prosthetic interface (supraphysiological loading) have also been identified as a cause for aseptic loosening. However, it remains unknown what cells are the primary responders to supraphysiological loading, and what underlying physical, cellular and molecular mechanism that triggers osteoclast differentiation and osteolysis.

    In this thesis, we intended to shed light on three currently unknown aspects of mechanical loading-induced peri-prosthetic osteolysis, leading to aseptic loosening of orthopedic prostheses: (1)Which cells are the primary responder to supraphysiological loading? (2)What characteristics of the mechanical stimulus induce an osteo-protective or osteo-destructive response? (3)Which cellular mechano-sensing mechanisms are involved in an osteo-destructive response?

    We successfully implemented supraphysiological mechanical loading, mimicking the periprosthetic pressurized fluid flow around a loosening implant, in an in vitro model for bone implant loosening. Using this model, we uncovered the involvement of mesenchymal stem cells and myeloid progenitor cells (monocytes) in mechanical loading-induced peri-prosthetic osteolysis. Applying supraphysiological loading on cells from patients undergoing primary hip arthroplasty, successfully validated the in vitro model for the use of cells of human origin. We further identified in murine myeloid progenitor cells that a combination of high loading amplitude (3.0±0.2Pa), prolonged active loading duration per cycle (duty cycle 22%-50%), and rapid alterations in minimum/maximum values of the loading profile (square wave) is necessary to induce an osteo-destructive response. Further, the loading-induced ATP release and subsequent activation of the P2X7 receptor was essential for the release of soluble factors modulating osteoclastogenesis.

    In conclusion, we expect that the proposed new in vitro model is a helpful tool to further advance the knowledge in aseptic loosening, by uncovering the mechanoresponsive cellular mechanism to supraphysiological mechanical loading. The identification of the respondent cells in mechanical loading-induced prosthetic loosening gives the opportunity to deliver targeted treatment strategies. Furthermore, identifying the physical parameters that define the shift towards an osteo-destructive response emphasizes the importance of the prosthetic design and surgical technique to reduce mechanical loading-induced bone degradation around a prosthesis.

  • Exercise Testing in Firefighters : Work Capacity and Cardiovascular Risk Assessment in a Low-Risk Population Author: Anna Carlén Link: Publication date: 2019-08-21 08:44

    Background. Firefighting is one of the most physically demanding occupations and it requires a high cardiorespiratory fitness level.

    Pre-duty medical evaluation of firefighters includes fitness testing and assessment of cardiac health to ensure that firefighters meet the minimum physical fitness standard and to ensure that they are not at increased risk of cardiac events. The medical evaluation methods for Swedish firefighters are regulated by the Swedish Work Environment Authority and include a 6 min constant workload treadmill (TM) test for fitness evaluation in which the firefighter wears full smoke diving equipment and a maximal effort exercise electrocardiography test (ExECG) at cycle ergometer (CE) for assessment of cardiac health. Previously, fitness was also evaluated by cycle ergometry.

    The standard parameter for evaluation of ischaemic heart disease (IHD) is exercise-induced ST depression. In general, exercise testing of asymptomatic low-risk individuals is discouraged due to low sensitivity and specificity for IHD, generating both false-positive and false-negative test results. Heart rate (HR) adjustment of the ST-segment response has been shown to be superior to simple ST depression to evaluate cardiac ischaemia in some populations, but has not been extensively evaluated in an occupational setting.

    Methods. We retrospectively analysed a cohort of 774 firefighters who were asymptomatic at the time of the testing.

    In paper I, test approval, HR response, and calculated oxygen uptake from TM tests and CE tests for 424 firefighters (44±10 years) were compared.

    Paper II methodologically described the process for data extraction, processing, and calculation of ExECG data from a clinical database. Procedures for noise assessment, error checking, and computerized calculation of ST/HR parameters were described.

    In paper III, ExECG and medical records of 521 male firefighters (44±10 years) were studied. During 8.4 ± 2.1 years of follow-up, IHD was verified angiographically in 12 subjects. The predictive value of HR-adjusted ST variables (ST/HR index, ST/HR slope, and ST/HR loop) for IHD was evaluated.

    In paper IV, subjects with objectively verified IHD were excluded and factors associated with exercise-induced nonischaemic ST depression were studied in the remaining 509 males (46±11 years).


    Results. The firefighters had an average maximal exercise capacity of 281 ± 36 W (range 186-467 W) achieved by incremental CE exercise. To enable comparison, the maximal workload was converted to the workload sustainable for 6 min. It was more common to pass the 6 min TM fitness test but to fail the supposedly equivalent CE test rather than vice versa.

    Twenty percent of the firefighters developed an ST depression of ≥o.1 mV in at least one lead during exercise and half of the firefighters had a horizontal or downsloping ST depression. While an abnormal ST response associated with an increased risk for IHD only in V4, both an abnormal ST/HR index and an abnormal ST/HR slope associated with IHD in three leads each. Clockwise rotation of the ST/HR loop was infrequent in all precordial leads (1%), but it associated with an increased risk for IHD.

    In the subgroup without evidence of coronary artery disease, age and the HR response associated with ST depression, whereas hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, diabetes, blood pressure response, and exercise capacity did not.


    Conclusions. Even though the calculated oxygen uptake was higher for the TM test than for the supposedly equivalent CE test, the higher treadmill approval rate may indicate that the fitness requirement for Swedish firefighters has been lowered by changing the test modality.

    Exercise-induced ST depression was common in asymptomatic physically active men, although there were only a few cases of IHD during follow-up. If performing ExECG in asymptomatic, low-risk populations, ST/HR analysis could be given more importance. However, the limited clinical value of ExECG in low-risk populations was emphasised and needs to be reconsidered.

    In asymptomatic, physically active men without coronary artery disease, false-positive ST depressions can be partially explained by HR variables rather than by common cardiovascular risk factors and blood pressure response to exercise.