David Ulmert

About David Ulmert

Development of 89Zr-5A10, a novel radiotracer to address AR signaling in advanced prostate cancer

The androgen receptor (AR) signaling pathway is a key component in the progression of prostate cancer to its lethal form, castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Several, recently developed, potent inhibitors of AR-signaling have shown encouraging, though highly variable responses in patients. One of the reasons for this inconsistent response is the biological heterogeneity of different cancerous lesions in the same patient. Therefore, documenting the response of individual tumor lesions to therapy is important for prostate cancer clinical management (e.g. understanding the overall patient therapeutic response; decision-making for dose escalation or designing therapy combinations that more completely suppress AR-signaling etc.).

Employing molecular imaging tools such as PET (Positron Emission Tomography) is an efficient way to estimate the biological diversity of prostate cancer. Dr. David Ulmert has developed a novel radiotracer called 89Zr-5A10 that specifically detects the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) upon PET imaging. PSA is a protein whose production is governed by AR-signaling and is solely produced in the prostatic tissue and prostate cancerous tumors. In this study, Dr. Ulmert aims to evaluate the efficiency of 89Zr-5A10-PET for measuring tumor response to next-generation androgen-deprivation therapeutics such as MDV3100 and Abiraterone. Dr. Ulmert also proposes to conduct first-in-man studies to determine if 89Zr-5A10 can detect CRPC.

If successful, this radiotracer (89Zr-5A10) will potentially be an important molecular imaging tool to definitively measure AR inhibition in individual tumor lesions in response to AR pathway-directed therapies. Since the complexities of metastatic CRPC still remain unclear, understanding the biology of responsive and resistant lesions could provide a clear rationale for the individualization of patient care, impacting decisions for dose escalation and/or combination therapy to completely suppress AR signaling.


The 2012 David H. Koch – PCF Young Investigator Award

David Ulmert, MD, PhD

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center


Jason Lewis, PhD