EJNMMI research

Evaluation of repeated [(18)F]EF5 PET/CT scans and tumor growth rate in experimental head and neck carcinomas.

PMID 25977879


Tumor hypoxia is linked to invasion and metastasis but whether this associates with tumor growth rate is not well understood. We aimed to study the relationship between hypoxia evaluated with the positron emission tomography (PET) tracer [(18)F]EF5 and tumor growth. Our second goal was to assess the variability in the uptake of [(18)F]EF5 in tumor between two scans. Four human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (UT-SCC) cell lines were xenografted in flank or neck of nude mice, and tumor size was closely monitored over the study period. The tumors were clearly visible when the first [(18)F]EF5 scan was acquired. After an exponential growth phase, the tumors were imaged again with [(18)F]EF5 and also with (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose ([(18)F]FDG). There was a clear correlation between the percentage of tumor growth rate per day and the [(18)F]EF5 uptake in the latter scan (r = 0.766, p = 0.01). The uptake of [(18)F]EF5 in the first scan and the uptake of [(18)F]FDG did not significantly correlate with the tumor growth rate. We also observed considerable variations in the uptake of [(18)F]EF5 between the two scans. The uptake of [(18)F]EF5 in the late phase of exponential tumor growth is associated with the tumor growth rate in mice bearing HNC xenografts.