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PLoS One. 2008;3(12):e3908. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003908. Epub 2008 Dec 12.

Early detection of erlotinib treatment response in NSCLC by 3'-deoxy-3'-[F]-fluoro-L-thymidine ([F]FLT) positron emission tomography (PET).

Author information

1
Max Planck Institute for Neurological Research with Klaus-Joachim-Zülch-Laboratories of the Max Planck Society, Medical Faculty of the University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Inhibition of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) has shown clinical success in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Somatic mutations of EGFR were found in lung adenocarcinoma that lead to exquisite dependency on EGFR signaling; thus patients with EGFR-mutant tumors are at high chance of response to EGFR inhibitors. However, imaging approaches affording early identification of tumor response in EGFR-dependent carcinomas have so far been lacking.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

We performed a systematic comparison of 3'-Deoxy-3'-[(18)F]-fluoro-L-thymidine ([(18)F]FLT) and 2-[(18)F]-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose ([(18)F]FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) for their potential to identify response to EGFR inhibitors in a model of EGFR-dependent lung cancer early after treatment initiation. While erlotinib-sensitive tumors exhibited a striking and reproducible decrease in [(18)F]FLT uptake after only two days of treatment, [(18)F]FDG PET based imaging revealed no consistent reduction in tumor glucose uptake. In sensitive tumors, a decrease in [(18)F]FLT PET but not [(18)F]FDG PET uptake correlated with cell cycle arrest and induction of apoptosis. The reduction in [(18)F]FLT PET signal at day 2 translated into dramatic tumor shrinkage four days later. Furthermore, the specificity of our results is confirmed by the complete lack of [(18)F]FLT PET response of tumors expressing the T790M erlotinib resistance mutation of EGFR.

CONCLUSIONS:

[(18)F]FLT PET enables robust identification of erlotinib response in EGFR-dependent tumors at a very early stage. [(18)F]FLT PET imaging may represent an appropriate method for early prediction of response to EGFR TKI treatment in patients with NSCLC.

PMID:
19079597
PMCID:
PMC2592703
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0003908
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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