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PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e53410. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0053410. Epub 2013 Jan 4.

[18F]FLT and [18F]FDG PET for non-invasive treatment monitoring of the nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase inhibitor APO866 in human xenografts.

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  • 1Cluster for Molecular Imaging, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.



APO866 is a new anti-tumor compound inhibiting nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT). APO866 has an anti-tumor effect in several pre-clinical tumor models and is currently in several clinical phase II studies. 3'-deoxy-3'-[18F]fluorothymidine ([18F]FLT) is a tracer used to assess cell proliferation in vivo. The aim of this study was non-invasively to study effect of APO866 treatment on [18F]FLT and 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-D-glucose ([18F]FDG) uptake.


In vivo uptake of [18F]FLT and [18F]FDG in human ovary cancer xenografts in mice (A2780) was studied at various time points after APO866 treatment. Baseline [18F]FLT or [18F]FDG scans were made before treatment and repeated after 24 hours, 48 hours and 7 days. Tumor volume was followed with computed tomography (CT). Tracer uptake was quantified using small animal PET/CT. One hour after iv injection of tracer, static PET scans were performed. Imaging results were compared with Ki67 immunohistochemistry.


Tumors treated with APO866 had volumes that were 114% (24 h), 128% (48 h) and 130% (Day 7) relative to baseline volumes at Day 0. In the control group tumor volumes were 118% (24 h), 145% (48 h) and 339% (Day 7) relative to baseline volumes Day 0. Tumor volume between the treatment and control group was significantly different at Day 7 (P = 0.001). Compared to baseline, [18F]FLT SUVmax was significantly different at 24 h (P<0.001), 48 h (P<0.001) and Day 7 (P<0.001) in the APO866 group. Compared to baseline, [18F]FDG SUVmax was significantly different at Day 7 (P = 0.005) in the APO866 group.


APO866 treatment caused a significant decrease in [18F]FLT uptake 24 and 48 hours after treatment initiation. The early reductions in tumor cell proliferation preceded decrease in tumor volume. The results show the possibility to use [18F]FLT and [18F]FDG to image treatment effect early following treatment with APO866 in future clinical studies.

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