Theranostics 2016; 6(12):2084-2098. doi:10.7150/thno.13917

Research Paper

Optimization of Early Response Monitoring and Prediction of Cancer Antiangiogenesis Therapy via Noninvasive PET Molecular Imaging Strategies of Multifactorial Bioparameters

Xiao Bao*, Ming-Wei Wang, Jian-Min Luo, Si-Yang Wang, Yong-Ping Zhang, Ying-Jian Zhang

Department of Nuclear Medicine, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center; Department of Oncology, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University; Center for Biomedical Imaging, Fudan University; Shanghai Engineering Research Center for Molecular Imaging Probes, Shanghai 200032, China.
* Current address (Xiao Bao): Department of Radiology, Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, 507 Zhengmin Road, Shanghai 200433, China.


Objective: Antiangiogenesis therapy (AAT) has provided substantial benefits regarding improved outcomes and survival for suitable patients in clinical settings. Therefore, the early definition of therapeutic effects is urgently needed to guide cancer AAT. We aimed to optimize the early response monitoring and prediction of AAT efficacy, as indicated by the multi-targeted anti-angiogenic drug sunitinib in U87MG tumors, using noninvasive positron emission computed tomography (PET) molecular imaging strategies of multifactorial bioparameters.

Methods: U87MG tumor mice were treated via intragastric injections of sunitinib (80 mg/kg) or vehicle for 7 consecutive days. Longitudinal MicroPET/CT scans with 18F-FDG, 18F-FMISO, 18F-ML-10 and 18F-Alfatide II were acquired to quantitatively measure metabolism, hypoxia, apoptosis and angiogenesis on days 0, 1, 3, 7 and 13 following therapy initiation. Tumor tissues from a dedicated group of mice were collected for immunohistochemical (IHC) analysis of key biomarkers (Glut-1, CA-IX, TUNEL, ανβ3 and CD31) at the time points of PET imaging. The tumor sizes and mouse weights were measured throughout the study. The tumor uptake (ID%/gmax), the ratios of the tumor/muscle (T/M) for each probe, and the tumor growth ratios (TGR) were calculated and used for statistical analyses of the differences and correlations.

Results: Sunitinib successfully inhibited U87MG tumor growth with significant differences in the tumor size from day 9 after sunitinib treatment compared with the control group (P < 0.01). The uptakes of 18F-FMISO (reduced hypoxia), 18F-ML-10 (increased apoptosis) and 18F-Alfatide II (decreased angiogenesis) in the tumor lesions significantly changed during the early stage (days 1 to 3) of sunitinib treatment; however, the uptake of 18F-FDG (increased glucose metabolism) was significantly different during the late stage. The PET imaging data of each probe were all confirmed via ex vivo IHC of the relevant biomarkers. Notably, the PET imaging of 18F-Alfatide II and 18F-FMISO was significantly correlated (all P < 0.05) with TGR, whereas the imaging of 18F-FDG and 18F-ML-10 was not significantly correlated with TGR.

Conclusion: Based on the tumor uptake of the PET probes and their correlations with MVD and TGR, 18F-Alfatide II PET may not only monitor the early response but also precisely predict the therapeutic efficacy of the multi-targeted, anti-angiogenic drug sunitinib in U87MG tumors. In conclusion, it is feasible to optimize the early response monitoring and efficacy prediction of cancer AAT using noninvasive PET molecular imaging strategies of multifactorial bioparameters, such as angiogenesis imaging with 18F-Alfatide II, which represents an RGD-based probe.

Keywords: Antiangiogenesis therapy, PET, Molecular imaging probe, 18F-FDG, 18F-FMISO, 18F-ML-10, 18F-Alfatide II, Therapy response, Sunitinib.

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How to cite this article:
Bao X, Wang MW, Luo JM, Wang SY, Zhang YP, Zhang YJ. Optimization of Early Response Monitoring and Prediction of Cancer Antiangiogenesis Therapy via Noninvasive PET Molecular Imaging Strategies of Multifactorial Bioparameters. Theranostics 2016; 6(12):2084-2098. doi:10.7150/thno.13917. Available from