Multimodality molecular imaging of glioblastoma growth inhibition with vasculature-targeting fusion toxin VEGF(121)/rGel JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE Hsu, A. R., Cai, W., Veeravagu, A., Mohamedali, K. A., Chen, K., Kim, S., Vogel, H., Hou, L. C., Tse, V., Rosenblum, M. G., Chen, X. 2007; 48 (3): 445-454


Vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) and its receptors, Flt-1/FLT-1 (VEGFR-1) and Flk-1/KDR (VEGFR-2), are key regulators of tumor angiogenesis and tumor growth. The purpose of this study was to determine the antiangiogenic and antitumor efficacies of a vasculature-targeting fusion toxin (VEGF(121)/rGel) composed of the VEGF-A isoform VEGF(121) linked with a G(4)S tether to recombinant plant toxin gelonin (rGel) in an orthotopic glioblastoma mouse model by use of noninvasive in vivo bioluminescence imaging (BLI), MRI, and PET.Tumor-bearing mice were randomized into 2 groups and balanced according to BLI and MRI signals. PET with (64)Cu-1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododedane-N,N',N'',N'''-tetraacetic acid (DOTA)-VEGF(121)/rGel was performed before VEGF(121)/rGel treatment. (18)F-Fluorothymidine ((18)F-FLT) scans were obtained before and after treatment to evaluate VEGF(121)/rGel therapeutic efficacy. In vivo results were confirmed with ex vivo histologic and immunohistochemical analyses.Logarithmic transformation of peak BLI tumor signal intensity revealed a strong correlation with MRI tumor volume (r = 0.89, n = 14). PET with (64)Cu-DOTA-VEGF(121)/rGel before treatment revealed a tumor accumulation (mean +/- SD) of 11.8 +/- 2.3 percentage injected dose per gram at 18 h after injection, and the receptor specificity of the tumor accumulation was confirmed by successful blocking of the uptake in the presence of an excess amount of VEGF(121). PET with (18)F-FLT revealed significant a decrease in tumor proliferation in VEGF(121)/rGel-treated mice compared with control mice. Histologic analysis revealed specific tumor neovasculature damage after treatment with 4 doses of VEGF(121)/rGel; this damage was accompanied by a significant decrease in peak BLI tumor signal intensity.The results of this study suggest that future clinical multimodality imaging and therapy with VEGF(121)/rGel may provide an effective means to prospectively identify patients who will benefit from VEGF(121)/rGel therapy and then stratify, personalize, and monitor treatment to obtain optimal survival outcomes.

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