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Eur Radiol. 2010 Aug;20(8):2013-26. doi: 10.1007/s00330-010-1743-5. Epub 2010 Feb 25.

Morphological, functional and metabolic imaging biomarkers: assessment of vascular-disrupting effect on rodent liver tumours.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, University Hospitals, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.



To evaluate effects of a vascular-disrupting agent on rodent tumour models.


Twenty rats with liver rhabdomyosarcomas received ZD6126 intravenously at 20 mg/kg, and 10 vehicle-treated rats were used as controls. Multiple sequences, including diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) with the microvascular permeability constant (K), were acquired at baseline, 1 h, 24 h and 48 h post-treatment by using 1.5-T MRI. [(18)F]fluorodeoxyglucose micro-positron emission tomography ((18)F-FDG microPET) was acquired pre- and post-treatment. The imaging biomarkers including tumour volume, enhancement ratio, necrosis ratio, apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and K from MRI, and maximal standardised uptake value (SUV(max)) from FDG microPET were quantified and correlated with postmortem microangiography and histopathology.


In the ZD6126-treated group, tumours grew slower with higher necrosis ratio at 48 h (P < 0.05), corresponding well to histopathology; tumour K decreased from 1 h until 24 h, and partially recovered at 48 h (P < 0.05), parallel to the evolving enhancement ratios (P < 0.05); ADCs varied with tumour viability and perfusion; and SUV(max) dropped at 24 h (P < 0.01). Relative K of tumour versus liver at 48 h correlated with relative vascular density on microangiography (r = 0.93, P < 0.05).


The imaging biomarkers allowed morphological, functional and metabolic quantifications of vascular shutdown, necrosis formation and tumour relapse shortly after treatment. A single dose of ZD6126 significantly diminished tumour blood supply and growth until 48 h post-treatment.

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